Nataša Tesner

Name: Nataša Tesner

Website Link: www.nakit-ulmana.si

Where are you located? Ljubljana, Slovenia

Tell us a bit about yourself: I grew up in a charming rural environment. My parents were divorced when I was still young. I could describe my childhood as modest but happy and always joyful. I lived with my brother, my mother and grandfather, who was, in a way, my second father. When I turned 16, I met the love of my life. We have been happily married for some years now and have a son and a daughter.  I finished high school, business and administration, but had to get a job immediately because of money. I work as a bank clerk. Designing jewelry is, for the time being, just a hobby. I am my happiest and most creative when surrounded by my family, listening to wicked dance or romantic ethnic music.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I began designing in my mid twenties. At first, I did silk painting but later wires weaved their way into my fingers. It came very spontaneous. Ideas were being born and the first necklaces made on the spur of the moment and out of imagination. I have been designing for 15 years.

What do you make? I design necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. Occasionally, I would do a brooch or something. I leave a piece of myself in every finished product.

What materials and methods do you use? When designing, I mostly use colored craft wire, polymer clay and other synthetic materials. Every now and then a pearl, a gemstone or glass or wooden beads are interwoven into the wires.  Products don’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. I think it’s stupendous to be able to thread an astonishing design out of common wire that you can easily and without embarrassment wear on special even formal occasions.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Ideas come spontaneously, often in the still of the night over the city, when it’s off to dreamland. That’s the time to reflect on new projects. Sometimes, I’d make a draft sketch, so that it doesn’t slip my mind, but it only happens so often. Most of the time, though, I just let my imagination roam. An idea would cross my mind but then good music, a touch of inspiration and a combination of the right colors do their thing.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? There is no particular place for designing that I would call my own. I tend to move around a lot; one time I’d work in the kitchen, the other in the living room. In the summer, I find it particularly snug to sit at the back of the house and design outside. Most of all, I consider good lighting to be very important, as the wire is very fine and the eyes suffer considerably.

Where can your products be seen? All products can be viewed at my online gallery, and some are featured on my Facebook profile Nataša Tesner Nakit Ulmana.

Upcoming events: None currently. Looking for opportunities.

Magazine articles or press: Over the past years I’ve entered two jewelry competitions for charity and have received positive reviews at both. I have been a finalist for the »Create for Life« competition for the first time. All proceeds from the sale of the jewelery from the finals went to the renovation of the Institute for Oncology Ljubljana, under auspices of Europa Donna, the European Breast Cancer Coalition, and for my second finals placement at the »Create for Fight Against Violence« competition, I received a special prize from the BELI OBROC Society (Fight Against Violence Society) for jewelry with a message.

Last year, I was honored to host at my home Ms Lorella Flego, a renowned Slovenian fashion expert, who did a piece on my work for Glitter, a fashion program hosted by Slovenia’s national television.

Who are you a fan of? I am fascinated by the work of Ms Tanja Curin, an established Croatian jewelry designer. I find her jewelry exceptionally feminine..

Price range: My products are valued at $15 up to $400.

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: One piece from my collection is particularly striking; it’s a necklace, a black beauty, fit for the evening, formal occasions. It’s made of fine threads, intertwined in a labyrinth of thicker wire; I designed it in the moment’s inspiration, without a draft sketch or a preconceived idea and it gives the piece the appearance of intricate lacework. More than 100 hours of work went into the piece and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

Anything else you wish to add: I assuage the stress of the hustle and bustle with my hobby, which is slowly growing into something more, fueling my desire to own a small shop in the old city center, where my products could bring joy to admirers of unique pieces of jewelry.

My motto is ” Full of inspiration, accompanied by the three persons, dearest to my heart, I pursue my dreams” ULMANA

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Aleksandra Jovanović



Name: Aleksandra Jovanovic

Website Linkhttp://ksandrajewelry.blogspot.com/

Where are you located? Niš, Serbia

Tell us a bit about yourself:  I was born in Niš, a city in south-east Serbia. Even as a child I was creative and I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. I wanted to study art, but I never had the opportunity and so I finished Mechanical Engineering at university. I married my childhood sweetheart in high school, and we have son and daughter together. I am happy that I have wonderful family who support me.


When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I only started making jewelry a year ago. I like fine art, and I think that making jewelry is my favourite way to express myself.

What do you make? I make unique handmade jewelry such as rings, bracelets, earrings, hair accessories and my favorite – necklaces.

What materials and methods do you use? I use copper, silver, gemstones, my favorite material being Czech glass beads. I learnt basic techniques for making jewelry on the internet, and now I love to use them all to create a piece of jewelry. Techniques that I use are metal smithing, wire wrapping and wave.

Where do your design inspirations come from? My designs are purely from my imagination. As soon as I see the materials laid out in front of me, I create a picture in my mind of the piece I want to make.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is a corner in my flat. I feel relaxed there as I am always surrounded by the comfort of my family.

Where can your products be seen? My blog,   My Flickr,   Copper wire jewelers,   and my facebook page.

Upcoming events: In October my work will be displayed at an exhibition in a Car History Museum in Belgrade, Serbia.

Magazine articles or pressCopper Wire Jewelers Magazine – Issue 3

Price range: $5 – $150

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: My favorite pieces of jewelry are a cuff and a tie I made out of copper. I used a piercing technique and a saw blade for the first time along with hand graving, which gave the metal a texture. It was a big challenge for me, and I really enjoyed doing this set.

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Derya Aksoy

Name:  Derya Aksoy

Website Link: www.jewelera.etsy.com

Where are you located? Orange County, California

Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in the most beautiful city, –for me- in the world; Istanbul, Turkey . Istanbul is where two continents meet and has thousands of years of history. It is a city which never sleeps, where time goes faster and I never stop missing it. Right after graduating from Fine Arts College I followed the man I loved and moved to USA after our wedding in Istanbul. I was 22 then, and that was about 7 years ago. Since then I lived in Atlanta/GA, Appleton/WI and now Anaheim/CA. America is so huge, and has many different cultures under the same roof. Even though it was hard moving around just when you feel like you adjusted to the new place, it is also culturally enhancing.  Yes, I had back pain for a week after shoveling the snow in our driveway in Wisconsin the first time in my life, but I’m happy to say now that I did that you know? I’m a person who likes to learn new things by reading, but prefers to the actual practice too. Last but not least; I always start my day with a cup of Turkish coffee!

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? Why? Because I believe creativity was the ingredient added to my soul, genes and blood when I was being created. The women in my family were also very creative and artistic, especially my mom. She used to sew all my dresses, even school uniform and I grow up seeing her doing all kinds of craft from making flower bouquets out of dough to decorative painting. I have been drawing, creating with my hands and dreaming about being an artist since I was a kid. I used to make my own paper dolls, clipped house ware images from my mom’s magazines and made furniture by folding card boards to decorate a whole house for them!  That took me to study fashion in high school, then Set and Costume Design in College.  I never tried jewelry making until I moved to USA and got bored out of my mind at the first year. It felt like time slowed down and the streets were so empty compared to Istanbul with 18 million population. I was jobless, no language and no driver license, no family and friends. I always believe lack of things pushes people to be more creative, and with my mom’s suggestion I ordered some beads and basic beading supplies from the internet and started playing with them. I remember trying to make earrings first, and thinking ‘wow, it is a lot harder than I thought!’ Soon after I found my way around it and couldn’t stop!

What materials and methods do you use? I’m constantly trying to discover some new techniques and materials to create new and fresh look for my jewelry. I’ve never been interested in doing something traditional, not that it is a bad thing, but I’m just passionate about going against the rules and putting something out there that you don’t see alike around. I love people’s reactions when they see my designs and go ‘what is this made out of?’ or ‘how the H did you think of that?, it is really cool!’ Currently my butterflies/wings collection would be a perfect example for that, where I transfer butterfly images onto organza fabric to create them! I’m also proud of my cotton plants collection; I love my little unique cotton balls. I also used photographic prints, wool, electrical wire, plastic grocery bags, plastic bottle, raw silk, wallpaper and such materials in my designs so far. My studio is like a chemical lab most of the time. I love reconstructing vintage jewelry or include vintage components to my designs as well. Those make unique additions to my creations and a one of a kind features.

Where do your design inspirations come from? My biggest inspiration source is my surroundings. I’m a big fan of nature and I believe the most amazing designs/creations are already in the nature only not made by people. I mean look at the amazing patterns on animals, or color combinations on flowers, the veins on the wings of a tiny bug, there is no wrong, everything is so breathtakingly beautiful! My maze towards nature is definitely mirrors on my designs. The other one I would say is the culture I’m from. What I observed visually and emotionally when I was growing up definitely show themselves through my creations. I don’t plan to do so but that just happens, I believe that is same for all the other artists.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? For the last year I had a studio space in Artist Village, Santa Ana, which I loved. But then I realized I’m more productive at late nights so having my work space at home was more convenient. Now I’m back to working from home again, in my craft room where I have all my mess spread all over most of the time. I was never one of those well organized craft people!

Where can your products be seen? My online shop, my blog, and flickr (if you like to see more behind the scenes action), and my facebook page.  My work also can be found at Terrain store in PA .

Upcoming events: I will be in Long Beach Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival at June 27th Sunday   One of my favorite craft shows of all times!

Magazine articles or press:   I’ve written step by step instructions on several of my designs for jewelry magazines in the past years, a recent one will be in Handcrafted Jewelry magazine this year (more details will be in my blog once the issue is out). Also some recent features of my jewelry in these wonderful online sites:  Craftzinepapernstitchblog,   designspongeonline, collegecandy,   scoutiegirl

Who are you a fan of? I’m a huge fan of people who are willing to be open to share from themselves! Sharing would be in any kind, I share through my work, you may share a smile, or another one may share his knowledge, no limits! We are all unique and special and have different talents, skills etc. Why keep everything to ourselves? As you keep sharing, it becomes epidemic and that gets bigger and bigger, and from that huge thing it becomes there is always a good chunk of slice or two for everyone, it comes back to you. Some may see these as cliché, but things become cliché for a reason, it is the truth.

Price range: $13.50 – $265

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: Currently my Fluttery Breath of Life necklace is my favorite one. It is bold in some way but not too overpowering due to the sheer nature of the organza fabric and mostly natural tones with just a little pop of bright colors here and there. It simply makes me happy to look at it, and the design itself is so unusual with my unique technique of creating the butterflies by transferring images of many different kinds of moths onto organza fabric.

Fluttery Breath of Life

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Theresa Burger

Name: Theresa Burger

Website Link: www.theresaburger.com

Where are you located? Currently located in Cape Town, South Africa but am relocating to Dublin, Ireland in September of this year to begin a MA degree in Design.

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a 25 year old South African, who grew up in Cape Town. I love life and I am fortunate enough to be able to travel regularly and delight in absorbing foreign cultures and sights. Exposure to such places and people helps with design inspiration and self awareness. The process of designing and making my own jewelry enriches my life greatly and I relish the creative process of exploring these creative energies.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry art? I began my studies in jewelry design in 2005, I enrolled in a design and manufacture degree course at Cape Peninsular University of Technology. I actually decided on studying jewelry through a recommendation from my godmother. Knowing that I was creative and wanted to explore something in a more practical line, she suggested that particular course having visiting a previous exhibition and being amazed by the standard of the students work. Once I began I was hooked, learning the skill of silver smithing is not easy and it is not something that one can just accomplish in a short space of time. Its a skill that demands practice and patience – things I had to learn and am still learning. Ultimately I was looking for the right medium for my self expression and jewelry is such a perfect vehicle for this process.

What do you make? I manufacture most types of jewelry, from rings, neck pieces, earrings and brooches. I would describe my jewelry as being contemporary individualistic items that reflect my creative drive. I enjoy the designing process and my items always begin with pencil and paper, once it gets taken to the bench and one begins fabrication, its a wonderfully rewarding artistic practice. The most important aspects to my designing is that the object is wearable and aesthetically pleasing. The meshing of these 2 elements in a design are essential to all the jewelry I design and manufacture. As far as style goes, I think that is something that needs to consistently develop and grow, I go through stages where my designs are very organic and narrative in nature and then stages where they are abstract and the designs are less literal.

What materials and methods do you use? For the last 5 years I have predominately been working in silver, I also have gold and some platinum smithing experience. My 2008-2009 graduate collection consists mainly of silver, semi-precious stones and resin. The collection revolved around my family tree and each item was inspired and designed around various family members, the tree going back 3 generations. For this particular collecting I used more traditional metal fabrication techniques, allot of hollow construction and piercing. My resin work is a big favorite of mine, I love experimenting with various ideas, I produced a collection of rings where I made the ‘stones’ from the resin in different geometric shapes, using clear resin set holding suspended gold or silver leaf. Currently for 2010 I have been working on a collection I like to call ‘AfricaRich’ – it’s almost like homage to my mother continent before I move. This body of work is more commercial, designs have been simplified for faster production. I have incorporated silver, different woods, bone, animal horn, recycled glass beads and epoxy resin to create vibrant and fun items.

Where do your design inspirations come from? There are many things that inspire me, I believe that it is imperative as a creative person, one must know what inspires you. I agree whole-heartedly with Emma (From Emma Anne Jewelry) that anything and everything has the potential to inspire us. I am very inspired by the beauty of nature but also by previous art and craft movements, a favorite being the Art Deco period. I find what other contemporary jewelers produce very inspirational, especially jewelers who work with using non-precious materials. A lot of my work also centers around autobiographical themes, deriving sources from my own personal experiences. With my current collection it is Africa that is my source of inspiration, the colors, textures and vibrancy serve as fantastic sources.What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have set up my studio at home, in a garage type of a space. Which is not always ideal but as long as I am able to work I really don’t mind. In the future I do hope to acquire a larger studio space to be able to set up another bench. As long as it is quiet and I am able to work in peace, I am happy where ever I may work.

Where can your products be seen? My website,   My flickr

Magazine articles or press: IforOne Blog,   CarrotBox,     Mar De Color Rosa Blog

Who are you a fan of? I adore Mah Rana for her message and the way she sets out to highlight the important role of jewelry within our lives, her work is fascinating. The Australian Julia DeVille, the Dutch jeweller Jacomijn Van Der Donk, who changes the ordinary into the truly extraordinary and Cristian Dorigatti for his bold sense of aesthetic and exciting design.

Price range: $50 – $350

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: This is a silver ring and pendant from my graduate 2009 collection. I chose these pieces because I loved manufacturing them, they were fun experimental items which presented many new challenges for me as both a designer and a maker. They have come to represent a turning point for me as a designer, they signify the confidence and knowledge I gained in the final year of my degree. They contain clear resin and gold leaf and are prime examples of the fantastic aesthetic resin has to offer!

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Emma Stricker

Name: Emma Stricker

Website Link: www.emmaanne.com

Where are you located? Cape Town, South Africa

Tell us a bit about yourself: My name is Emma and was born and raised in the beautiful city of Cape Town, which is situated on the coast of South Africa. I grew up as one of three children in a very supportive, close-knit family. Creativity definitely runs in my blood, my mom can only be called an artist, dabbling in interior design, jewelry, beading and painting to name but a few and my brother is an architect by profession but is also one of the most creative people I know.  Put simply, I’m a jewelry designer and manufacturer and I absolutely love the work I do…I’m a creative person through and through and designing is my passion!

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I actually started out studying English and psychology but after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, I decided my heart wasn’t entirely into it and I was craving a more creative path. On a whim at school I’d shadowed a jeweler as a potential career and loved it but I think I was naively too scared to go through with it when everyone I knew was choosing careers in finance. I changed my mind, though, in part because I liked the concept of being able to not only design something, but also be responsible for creating it. There is without doubt an awesome feeling in putting so much of yourself into an idea and then, in the end, having something really beautiful to show for it.

So, after enrolling at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to study Jewelry Design and Manufacture I was accepted and for the next five years studied the practice of making and designing jewelry (which was a lot more work than I’d ever anticipated). I ended up graduating top of my class and looking back the decision to study jewelry was the best one I’ve made to date. I officially launched my label emma anne at the beginning of this year and I feel like I’ve found my true calling and I absolutely love the work I do which I think is fundamental in life.

What do you make? I design and manufacture jewelry. I would describe the work I do as distinctive contemporary jewelry that is not only unique and intriguing, but that also pushes the boundaries of traditional jewelry by using metals in different ways to create jewelry that is fresh and exciting.  I like to design pieces that haven’t been made before so that each piece is not only beautiful, but also individualist and innovative.

What materials and methods do you use? I mostly use Sterling Silver because it is so versatile and, compared to other metals, is inexpensive. Some of my pieces also incorporate resin or semi-precious stones or even semi-precious beads that I string. Regarding methods, most of my work is made by folding metal in different ways. I like the idea that with repeating a few simple folds in metal, I am able to seemingly complex pieces that are visually appealing.

Where do your design inspirations come from? In terms of my influences, I am inspired by new things on a daily basis from the simplest of lines to the most complex structures…I think there is potential in anything to inspire creativity.

In my current collection, though, the predominant inspiration is the art of origami. I have loosely translated the skill of paper folding into my designs by creating a few simple folds in metal and repeating these in various patterns. What results is an array of simple yet effective pieces with a structured, geometric feel.  This inspiration even plays a role in the design process of my folded collection in that I often start an idea by playing with paper shapes and folding these in ways I think will work or be effective in metal. Once my paper models are made, I translate the workings into metal. It’s really about playing with ideas and being patient enough to come up with fresh exciting designs.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? Two words, organized chaos. I have to admit I’m certainly not the neatest of workers but that’s who I am and I think rather than hindering creativity, it somehow enhances it (or that’s what I tell myself anyway).  I have a studio in my garage at home and that’s where everything happens.


Where can your products be seen? In terms of the Internet, my jewelry can be found in my Etsy shop, on my Website, on my blog, and lastly on my facebook page.
My jewelry can also be found in stores like Mememe on Long Street in Cape Town as well as at Reads Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Upcoming events: I will be participating in the next annual exhibition at Reads Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg beginning 2nd September 2010.

Magazine articles or press: The Carrotbox Blog,    Most Beautiful Object in South Africa,   Design Indaba,   Dress Sense Blog,   Kim Gray Stylist.

Who are you a fan of? This is a tough one, I have so many favorites and the list just keeps growing.   At the moment though, I think that the work coming out of South Africa is really inspiring.  I’m a huge fan of two of my contemporaries, Theresa Burger and Nina Schiller (www.inkheartdesign.com). The former creates exceptional jewelry often incorporating resin and gold/ silver leaf in such innovative ways; her creativity is very inspiring. And the latter’s work is really fun and quirky, based on things like word play and childhood stories.

On a more international note, I’m totally inspired by the work of contemporary jewelry designer Mariana Acosta, who plays a lot with form and color, as well as the work of Katherine Wardropper, Yoko Izawa, Ulrike Hamm and Sarah Louise Kelly( Saloukee) to name but a few.  Outside the world of jewelry I’m a big fan of international clothing designer Leanne Marshall whose intricate constructions are a huge inspiration to me.

Price range: $30 – $180

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: The Flow Ring is definitely one of my favorites. It is hand made from sterling silver and has a cut out design filled with color resin. The piece is colorful and contemporary, and has a very individualist intensity. It is one of my favorites because of how it incorporates a very structured, geometric pattern within an overall organic design. I particularly like the fluidity of this ring, which, in conjunction with the cool colors, gives the piece an element of serenity. The ring also features one of my favorite materials, resin. I enjoy using resin in my jewelry, particularly colored resin, not only because it is an inexpensive way the add color to a piece but also because of the effect it creates when light filters through the different colors, casting captivating shadows.  This ring inspired the idea of folding metal that became the foundation of my folded or, as its being called, origami collection

Flow Ring

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Su Fen Tan – Il Mare Atelier

Name: Su Fen Tan

Website Link:   ilmare-atelier.blogspot.com

Where are you located? Singapore

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? Born and raised on a tiny tropical island in Southeast Asia, I’m grateful for the proximity to the lush greens of nature when most cities are monochromatic.  I’m also fortunate to have many opportunities in my life to experience and learn about the various art forms and cultures of the world.  My creative journey started a few years ago when I was learning to paint with oils.  As time passed, I wanted to create art that could fit more easily into everyday life and that was how I began experimenting with gemstones and wire and my own line of handmade jewelry was born.

What do you make? Earrings, bracelets, necklaces in a variety of colors and hues from mauves and pinks (my favorite!) to violets and blues.

What materials and methods do you use? I’m amazed to discover the incredible variety of high quality materials available to jewelry designers!  I use mainly semi-precious gemstones and pearls with goldfilled and sterling silver wires and love to create clusters from these using wirewrapping techniques.  I’m looking forward to exploring more complex wirewrapping styles in the future.

Where do your design inspirations come from? It is hard to pin down a single source really.  I could be inspired by a story, a painting, a piece of music, a poem, a bunch of flowers…inspirations manifest themselves in the most unexpected forms.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? A section of my room is dedicated as my studio area where I work.  I love to lay out my beads and sometimes ideas and inspirations develop on the spot as I pick and choose the gems.

Where can your products be seen? My creations can be seen at both my Etsy and Artfire studios.

Magazine articles or press: It has been my pleasure to be featured on:  The Bright Side Project, Cuteable, and Handmade News.

Who are you a fan of? There are so many talented artisans out there and here is just to name a few whose works take my breath away – Iza Malczyk, Emily Gray of EmilyGrayJewels, Mgypsy,  Magdalena.

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:  My favorite creation has to be this piece – Lavender Fields bracelet.  I am a big fan of mauves and pinks and this bracelet is created from lavender amethyst and cherry red rhodolite and pink topaz.  What touches my heart about this bracelet is the dash of sunshine yellow citrine which I felt help to bring the rest of the gems to life.

Lavender Fields bracelet

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Lisa Bruemmer

Name: Lisa Bruemmer

Website Link: www.treeandkimball.etsy.com

Where are you located? Philadelphia, PA

Tell us a bit about yourself: After working as an apparel designer at Anthropologie for a little over four years, I have just recently left my job in order to focus on my jewelry business. I am a lover of all things vintage & storied… some of my favorite finds are: a well-worn Russian book of nursery rhymes, a hand-carved portrait of a woman on a piece of scrap wood, and an antique crochet lace blouse. I inherited my craftiness from a long line of quilters, tatters, embroiderers, & seamstresses. I’m originally from Ohio, currently live in Philly with my fiancé & precious pup, aspire to see every corner of the world, and to live in a few of them too!

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I started making jewelry about a year and a half ago – just as a little something to occupy my creative energy after my day job. I have always loved & collected lace – my Great Aunt Marg was an incredible tatter & I was blessed with part of her collection when she passed away. Although none of her actual pieces have made it into my Etsy shop (they are tucked away safe & sound!), they got me thinking about how I love the juxtaposition of delicate against tough — in this case, lace against metal. I tinkered around, made my sister & some close friends some pieces & voila, I was in love. I’ve been keeping at it ever since.

What do you make? I make necklaces & earrings out of vintage lace & findings.

What materials and methods do you use? I use vintage lace, vintage glass beads, & antiqued chain.

Where do your design inspirations come from? I am inspired by so many things & people… some of the necklaces in my shop have been inspired by & named after those closest to me. Beyond that, I look to nature & all of the amazing vintage bits & baubs I have surrounded myself with… their well-loved looks always put me in a happy place!

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is nestled in a cheery little corner of my house, stuffed to the brim with all of the things I love. I have everything I need at my fingertips, either tucked away in a charming little cabinet that my grandfather made, or lined up along my favorite wall in the room – it’s covered in lovely lace wallpaper by British artist Louise Body. With sunshine streaming in through the windows & my little pup, Atlas, keeping me company, I’m at my best.

Where can your products be seen? In my Etsy shop & on my Facebook page.     Also, my jewelry can be found at Vagabond Boutique in Philly, The Little Apple in Manayunk. White Elephant Boutique in Ontario, and Tedda Hughes in San Francisco.

Upcoming events: I will be participating in the next Punk Rock Flea market to be held in Philly later this month! It’s always a great time.

Magazine articles or press:
ohjoy.blogs.com ruffledblog.com katyelliott.com theuniformproject.com

Who are you a fan of? Elinart, Spinthread, Laura Lombardi, Miss Amy Phipps, Wondercabinet, Debeaux Souvenirs, Lapomme, Elsita, Enhabiten, Liarock… all on Etsy!

Price Range: $18 -30

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:
Of what’s currently in my shop, it would have to be the Corinne necklace – it’s named for my dear aunt, and I love the tiny faceted leafy green beads.

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Susan Seal – Bead Relish

Name: Susan Seal ~ Bead Relish

Website Link: www.beadrelishonetsy.etsy.com

Where are you located? Anderson, Indiana

Tell us a bit about yourself: Years ago my mother told me that when I was a little girl I did not like having my hands dirty — I was always wanting her to wash them off. It’s interesting that today I love gardening and working in clay, two things I never thought I would enjoy. I am intrigued with nature and the natural elements of the earth — plants, animals, rocks and stones, metals and clay. I like the feel of the clay when I work with it and the result I get when I combine a clay pendant with stones, semiprecious stones, or metal adornments, and sometimes it’s fun to incorporate the image of an animal or plant on a piece too!  Nature transformed into wearable art.

When did you begin designing jewelry/art? For most of my life pottery has always fascinated me, especially the work of Rookwood, Newcomb, and the Overbeck sisters. If it was unique, unusual or Art Deco in design, I was even more attracted to it. So several years ago I decided to take a few classes to see what I could do.  I found slab work to be very enjoyable, but wheel work frustrated me. A good potter can make it look so easy, but I think I kept fighting the wheel and it was winning.  When my daughters became involved in bead making and jewelry design, and came up with the name “Bead Relish” for a business that created bead embellished jewelry, textiles, home décor, etc., that started me in a new direction. I wanted to add my own individuality to the business and found that I could incorporate my love of working in clay with jewelry.  It was smaller to work with, I enjoyed the challenge of seeing what I could create, and it definitely was easier to pack and travel with when we did an art fair or festival.

What do you make? At the present time I am creating one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets and earrings in several types of clay, embellished with sterling silver; bronze; copper; antique beads, buttons and buckles; pearls; gemstones; lampwork beads; and antique brass.

What materials and methods do you use? I use ceramic clay most of the time, but I like to embellish it with the wonderful metal clays that have been created, such as PMC silver clay, BRONZclay, and COPPRclay. Once fired those clays become pure metal…with PMC silver turning to 99.9% pure silver. I also enjoy weaving sterling silver wire for my necklaces and bracelets. When I work in silver I make most of my S-hooks for closures, charms or pendants from molds I have made from my antique button collection, and I have also experimented with silver wire fusion.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Every moment of the day our eyes rest on designs we sometimes never see because of our hurried lifestyle or because we take them for granted. I am learning to move slower, look longer, and really try to understand the simple and complex designs that are all around me. Since I love gardening, water elements, nature, and form, there is no end to finding inspiration for my work. Given my enjoyment in working with all types of clay, it’s a perfect fit.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have a small studio in the lower level of our home, and it has separate areas where I can work depending on what I am doing at that time: ceramic clay, metal clay, jewelry making, sewing, and photographing my work.  Most of these don’t require a lot of space. In a separate area is a large ceramic kiln that I use to fire earthenware clays.

Where can your products be seen? Right now my products can only be seen on our Etsy site or the occasional local art fair or festival. I am also involved in a new gallery in a neighboring town, and that has been exciting.

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? There are so many incredible artists it is hard to pick just one but I enjoy the work of bead artist Joan Miller, and the textile techniques in metal by Arline Fisch. Talk about statement pieces! Though not jewelry related, I also love the great potters of the past as I mentioned earlier and am fascinated by today’s miniature potters, Jane Graber and Andrea Fabrega. It is amazing to me how they throw on the wheel those tiny, tiny pieces that measure 1” to 2” in size!

Price range:  $8 – $125

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:
Right now my favorite creations are the Art Deco designs.  I like the clean lines and geometric shapes that to me convey elegance and sophistication.

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Anything else you wish to add? I appreciate your kind words regarding my work and thank you for giving me the opportunity to be featured on your website with the wonderful artists listed here.  I am reminded of a quote I have always loved by Helen Keller, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.”

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Ivy Long—designer of Edera Jewelry

Name: Ivy Long—designer of Edera Jewelry

Website Link: http://ederajewelry.etsy.com

Where are you located? Beautiful Vermont, in the United State

What do you make? I make opulent, handcrafted lace jewelry. Many of my designs are one of a kind, and I have recently branched out into a Bridal Collection. I love creating custom pieces for brides–my specialty is designing jewelry that compliments the lace and detailing on a bride’s wedding gown.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I’m fortunate to have grown up in a creative household where all sorts of supplies were at hand, and creativity and experimentation were encouraged. My mother is a milliner and textile artist, so from a very early age I was surrounded by wonderful fabrics, laces, buttons, beads and trims, and could watch her at work. As a result, I’ve had a lifelong fascination with fiber arts and other handcrafts. In my early teens, I became particularly interested in jewelry making and apprenticed with several jewelry designers while still in high school. In my early twenties, I began crocheting delicate lace as a hobby, but quickly realized that I could combine this with my love of jewelry making, and Edera Jewelry was born.

What materials and methods do you use? My jewelry is created with an unusual fusion of lace making and jewelry techniques that I’ve refined over the years. Any given design might include crochet, tambour embroidery, sewing, hand beading, wire wrapping and stringing. Many of the lace motifs in my jewelry are drawn from my collection of lace patterns, some dating back to the 1800s. I use the finest silk and real metal threads –like those used in historic Renaissance and Rococo textiles–in my work, as well as vintage beads, semi-precious stones, gold-filled and sterling silver wire and findings.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Historical costuming, antique and vintage lace patterns and textiles, ethnic embroideries, silversmithing techniques, Renaissance, Art Nouveau and Rococo jewelry, the art of Klimt, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Glasgow School, Elizabethan portrait paintings–the list goes on! I am like a magpie, blending different eras and inspirations together. Sometimes even the stones and beads themselves suggest a design to me.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have a sunny little studio in our house that has a slanting roof and lots of windows.

Where can your products be seen? My Etsy Shop,   My 1000Markets Shop,  My Boticca.com Shop,  My Blog

Magazine articles or press: Courtney Love’s Hotlist Atlanta Magazine StyleList.com OneWed Best Wedding Sites

Who are you a fan of? There are so many talented, independent jewelry designers out there, especially on Etsy. I’m always amazed and inspired by: Magdalena of MagdalenasAtelier.etsy.com,  Jennifer of JenniferMorrisBeads.etsy.com,  Lorianne of Plumevine.etsy.com,  Emily of EmilyGrayJewels.etsy.com,  Penny of SparrowSalvage.etsy.com, Sheela of Eccletica.etsy.com, Wendy of FussJewelry.etsy.com, Jess of RosyRevolver.etsy.com

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite designs right now is the Aurore Necklace. It’s the result of an experiment in creating more layered, three-dimensional effects in my jewelry. Strangely enough, I was inspired partly by translating silversmithing assemblage techniques into textile techniques. The pendant has an openwork base, which I embellished with different motifs and components, including a vintage rhinestone in a handmade cabochon setting. Instead of cutting and sawing and forging, though, the pieces are crocheted, and instead of soldered, they’re sewn in place to the base. This is perhaps one of my most opulent designs, too, in that it features quite a few AA and AAA grade stones, and is a wonderful, dramatic length that can be worn long or doubled up. I started with the large pink chalcedony focal and let it inspire me. The result is a romantic harmony of pinks and gold and crystals, which reminds me of something from a fairy tale.

Aurore Necklace

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Alida Nunez

Name: Alida Nunez

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Website Link: http://www.alidajoyas.etsy.com/

Where are you located? Peru, South America

Tell us a bit about yourself: I’m from Lima, Peru and have been living here all my life. I studied Textile Design and worked in this business for almost 7 years not only as a designer but also as an account executive for brands like Liz Golf and Perry Ellis America. During my experience as an account executive I had the opportunity to visit NY twice, and despite the little time I had to make tourism, I really loved it there. I always had the idea of being my own boss and in 2003, after seeing a local jeweler’s interview on TV, I decided to try it myself. Since then I’ve been working with silver jewelry and in 2006 I landed my brand Alida Joyas (joyas is Spanish for jewelry). I’m also venturing in blogging and I expect to have a lot of visitors. Jewelry design is one of my passions. My other passion is music. I’ve been singing for a few years and since 2007 I joined a jazz choir where I found the most amazing people to share my love for music.

3031824451_b677a88a3dWhen did you begin designing jewelry/art? It was in the middle of 2003 when I decided to take jewelry lessons (metalsmithing), but I started designing my own jewelry in 2004.

What made you choose this type of art? I’m not sure why I exactly chose jewelry because I had the idea of taking metalsmithing lessons long before thinking about dedicating to jewelry design. I guess my dad buying me nice pieces of jewelry when I was little had a little to do with it.

What do you make? I make silver jewelry but I work in 18K gold as per request as well. I also make bridal jewelry, which includes engagement rings, wedding rings and headpieces.

What materials and methods do you use? I use sterling silver 950, which is a purer quality than 925. I combine it with Peruvian natural stones such as serpentine, amazonite and sodalite. The technique I work with is metalsmithing.

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Where do your design inspirations come from? I just realized that they find me. They usually come in flashes when I’m listening to music, watching tv or movies, but mostly in my dreams (it comes in handy to have a notebook in the nightstand). I also get inspiration from art and nature, and I’m constantly surfing on the web to see what’s new.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is at home. I always have music on when I’m working. I can’t be without music. And if it’s sunny, even better! Sun usually puts me in a good mood to work.

Where can your products be seen? You can visit me at: my website,   my blog,   dawanda,   Novica.com

3911664338_7a21f5fbb6Upcoming events: I’m designing my new collection and I’m pretty excited about it. I won’t tell you what it is about yet, but I can’t wait to share it with you!

Magazine articles or press: Interview for Handmade Crafts blog
Interview for Sara’s Texture Crafts blog

Photoshoot for a local bride’s magazine Bodas where they showcased my jewelry and tiaras

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? There are tons of jewelry artists I like. These are some of them: H. Stern,  Alexis Bittar, Claudia Stern

Price range: US$9.00 – US$110

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite designs is my funky set of ring and earrings. It’s colorful, fun and playful and for some reason I identify with it. I don’t mean that I’m colorful, fun and playful, but I do joke a lot.


Anything else you wish to add? There’s no better reward than seeing people wearing my jewelry and being recognized for my style and quality. This makes all the effort worth it.

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Einat Agmon

Name: Einat Agmon

Website Link: http://www.einatagmonjewelry.com/

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Where are you located? Buffalo, New York

Tell us a bit about yourself:  I am originally from Israel and was raised in Jerusalem. I found much inspiration for all my artistic interests through the beauty and history of the land. I have had many hobbies throughout the years, but my main focus was on artisan jewelry and music. Both have been my greatest passions since early childhood. I started making jewelry when I was 12 years old and by 17, I was teaching jewelry classes at an arts and crafts shop in Jerusalem. After high school, I enrolled in the Israeli Army as part of my mandatory service. I served as a boot camp instructor for two years which was an interesting and unusual experience. After that, I moved to the US in 2003 to pursue a music career in Vocal Jazz. My plans, however, were soon to change. Today I live in Buffalo, NY with my husband Dave who is a wonderful musician and teacher.

il_430xN_72340106When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I opened my design studio in 2007 after a few years of working as an assistant jewelry designer for an acclaimed Buffalo artist. What’s funny is that I always thought music would be my primary occupation and jewelry design would be my hobby. But, very quickly after I started working with Karol Kirberger, I realized that my heart and passions were in artisan jewelry. Today, I still sing from time to time when I have a free moment, but I love what I do. I can’t picture myself doing anything else.

What do you make? I make artisan gemstone jewelry and my work is “one of a kind”. I use sterling silver and/or 14K gold filled with all of my designs. The details are very important to me, which is something that people always notice. I make many different types of jewelry from rings and necklaces to hair and body jewelry, which is usually custom designed.

What materials and methods do you use? My materials are always gemstones and pearls which I buy annually at the Tucson Gemshow – the biggest gem show in the country. My methods include beading, wire wrapping, soldering, riveting, forging, sawing and other jewelry making techniques. I really enjoy working on small details that tend to be very time consuming and intricate.

ringWhere do your design inspirations come from? It’s funny, but many times I dream my designs. My subconscious picks up on different visuals and they come back to me in my sleep in the form of jewelry. Other than that, I always have music playing when I’m working, which is a great inspiration for me. I also love nature and organic shapes and forms and use them often in my designs. Every now and then I also find inspiration in industrial structures of different kinds. Strong contemporary jewelry is really fun to make when I’m under that influence.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My work environment is in my home. I have a beautiful workshop in my sunroom looking towards my back yard with birds and tree branches looking back at me. I love my studio and it is my special corner where I can relax and create.

TurquoisetearsWhere can your products be seen? My work can be found online at my new Etsy shop.    Etsy is a wonderful platform for artisans and crafters and I love to shop there myself. You can also find my work in shops and boutiques in Buffalo such as the famous and featured artisan shop Wild Things and the Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery. I also take part in many art and craft shows across New York.

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: The Tree of Life is one of my all-time favorites. The one in this photo is made with tourmaline and sterling silver. Like most people, I love trees. They give us fruits and their leaves give us oxygen and so without them, there would be no life. This design always touches people and it is one that I have also made for myself and wear all the time.

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Tree of Life

Anything else you wish to add? Making jewelry has become my world and it is my full time passion. There are many things about what I do that I love. One of them is the joy of meeting the strong and beautiful women from around the world who have bought my pieces. I feel privileged to make jewelry that helps them express who they are.

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Bonnie Van Hall

Name: Bonnie Van Hall

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Website Link: http://www.bonnievanhall.com/

Where are you located? Prescott, AZ

Tell us a bit about yourself: Unique clothing and jewelry have always held an attraction for me. From designing my own tops out of scarves as a teenager, to a fascination with the weaving of cloth from a single thread, my love for this practical and personal form of expression has continued to grow. My educational background is in spiritual psychology, and I see parallels between the forms and layers of the mind and the physical wearing of clothing. I hope my work expresses the idea that we can find meaning in everything we do, no matter how seemingly mundane or ordinary.

glasswear1047002When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I began doing beadwork in 1987 because I wanted to wear a certain kind of jewelry, but couldn’t find anything I liked. I taught myself to bead and gradually I found myself interested in creating larger wearable and decorative pieces. In the twenty-two years since then, I’ve found that my purpose in creating these pieces has evolved along with my skills. I’m interested in further refining my skills and methods, and finding new and more creative applications for my work. But perhaps more importantly, I’d like to generate some new interest in the old-fashioned traditional “women’s arts.”

What do you make? Most of my work is wearable, usually women’s clothing, jewelry, and handbags. Beadwork is the main focus of most of my pieces, if not the entirety. I have also experimented a bit with decorative works such as tapestries.

What materials and methods do you use? My materials range from glass beads, silver, gold and semi-precious gemstones to various fibers and antique or found objects. My methods are standard beadworking techniques (including both loom and off-loom weaving), and knitting. But I try to apply and combine these standard techniques in unique and creative ways.

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Where do your design inspirations come from? Many things inspire my work, most notably nature, color, and interesting forms, but often more elusive things like ideas, numbers, and even questions. The mysteries of being alive, and inquiries into the nature and meaning of life are often the seeds that grow into a new work.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My “studio” is wherever I can find the space. Currently, my husband (bronze sculptor Gary Persello) and I share a tiny room in our house for studio space.

Where can your products be seen? My website has the most up-to-date works available for viewing.

libertyPrice range: My prices range from $75 items all the way up to $5000 for a one-of-a-kind beaded top.

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite pieces is the very first beaded top I created, called “Desert Demonstration.” This piece actually began as a necklace/choker, but it took on a life of its own and evolved into a top made entirely of beads and gemstones. This was the beginning of a whole new direction for my work, and it really taught me to trust the creative process.

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Desert Demonstration

Anything else you wish to add? For me, one of the most exciting aspects of creativity is in not knowing where it will take me next. The most recent turning point in my work has led to the combining of knitting with beadwork, and I am enjoying the new possibilities this has led to. But I fully expect this will become something else entirely, and I welcome this unknown twist of fate!

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Black Crow – Trudy Gerritsen

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Name: (Black Crow) Trudy Gerritsen

Website Link: http://www.blackcrowjewelry.nl/

Where are you located? I’m located in a small town in The Netherlands.

IMG%20001aa_mTell us a bit about yourself: I grew up as an only child with beloved parents. My mom was creative too and she could make wonderful things with knitting. I was a creative child with a special love for collecting beads and feathers, pieces of wood and stones. Ever since I can remember I was  very interested in Native culture and their respect for nature and all living things! Many years later, I started to make dreamcatchers with gemstones, and that was (again)  the restart of my love for beads!

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I started with making dreamcatchers when I had my own small bead shop on the world wide web. In the beginning, there were only glass crow beads and gemstone chips that I used for my dreamcatchers. That was in 2004. A few years later, the bead collection became bigger and I started to sell other gemstone beads and that was also the start for making jewelry myself. The addiction to seed beads was much later and I created the first cuff in April 2007 after I saw the art of Heidi Kummli.  Designing and making jewelry started as a hobby, but slowly it became my work and I love it !

What do you make? My favorite piece of work is to design and create a beadwork bracelet, especially turquoise and bridal cuffs, but I also make rings, necklaces, earrings and jewelry with gemstones and natural beads. I guess bracelets are my favorite because I wear them myself too, I never wear necklaces.

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What materials and methods do you use?  I love to work with gemstones and all other natural materials, for the cuffs I always use leather as a backing. The seedbeads I use are size 15-11 and 8. The methods I use are beadwork (embroidery) and beadweaving. At the moment, I am busy trying some new stuff like lace or wool in combination with gemstone cabochons.

Where do your design inspirations come from? My inspiration is in everything I see – nature, a picture or painting, people…just everything.

IMG%20011a[4]_mWhat is your best working environment/where is your studio? I work the best when I am alone at home, just with our 2 cats, a strong cup of coffee and a CD by Metallica in the CD player.  I don’t have space for a separate studio, I always work in our living room, but it is still a dream to have my own studio one day…

IMG%20006grtur[2]_mWhere can your products be seen?  My products can be seen on: http://www.blackcrowjewelry.nl/

Upcoming events:  I don’t do shows, but a few times a year I’m on a local art market in the neighborhood. 

Magazine articles or press: An article in a local newspaper and in a women’s magazine and my work can be seen in the book “Flatwork” written by Nicole Campanella/Beadwright.

Who are you a fan of? Sherri Serafini, Heidi Kummli, Jamie Cloud Eaking, Good Quill Hunting, Kerri Fuhr, Vampi Choi.

Price range:  $20.00 – $400.00

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: It’s hard to choose a favorite one, I love many of my cuffs, especially the turquoise ones…but this one is my favorite!Just simple earthtones in combination with lovely turquoise cabochons, they don’t need more.

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Anything else you wish to add?  Thank you so much for choosing my designs for your interview, it is a great honor and I am delighted  to be on your beautiful website among such other great artists!

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Karen Sugarman

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Name:  Karen Sugarman

Website Link:  www.karensugarmandesigns.com

Where are you located?  Scottsdale, Arizona

Tell us a bit about yourself:   I grew up in Louisiana as an only child (although I do have a wonderful older step-sister) with parents that made certain I had plenty of artistic experiences.  I graduated from Northeast Louisiana University with a degree in Education and taught high school for four years early in my career.  I eventually transitioned into interior design and eventually owned my own retail design store in addition to my design firm for over 20 years in Boston. 

16221_aWhen and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I began designing jewelry in 2005 when my family was transferred from Boston to Arizona.  Having been uprooted from such a long-term career as a designer and leaving behind a fabulous office on Boston’s posh Newbury Street in addition to a busy schedule with high profile clients, I began tinkering with jewelry in an attempt to occupy my sudden abundance of free time in this new city.  I was inspired by a necklace I had brought back from Paris a few years prior and attempted to modify and improve upon a very simple style.  Although that necklace was lovely, I always felt it needed to be more bountiful and creative.  My first prototype was a floral inspiration and the lush bouquet format confirmed my idea resulting in a completely new design.  If interior design was my first love, beautiful jewelry was my second!

What do you make?  Although I make several different styles of jewelry, my hallmark design is the lush format statement necklaces that were inspired by the Parisian necklace.  I like to think of it as handcrafted couture jewelry with a twist.

What materials and methods do you use?  Most of the designs I prefer to work with utilize a wire twist and/or wire wrap method.  I do seem to have a fascination with time consuming and complex designs and much prefer a long-term project over the simple bead stringing techniques.  I utilize a cacophony of semi-precious gemstones and freshwater pearls and most often work with either sterling silver or 24K gold vermeil due to metal allergies.  I do hope to try my hand at working with high karat gold sometime in the near future.

11817_aWhere do your design inspirations come from? Like all designers (interior, fashion & jewelry), I am inspired by everything!  A garden of delicate flowers, beautiful artwork, a fabulous pair of shoes or stunning interior design can become a point of inspiration.  I believe that my experiences as an interior designer have greatly influenced my style as a jewelry designer and, as a matter of fact, I have devoted an entire blog to that idea.  Additionally, my southern roots have clearly had a great influence on my “feminine” style both as an interior designer and as a jewelry designer – something I am completely oblivious to!

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? Believe it or not, since all of this started out as a little folly, I still work at my kitchen table.  I must admit that it frequently spills over into the counter space of my very generous kitchen.  I’m certain that my Hubby is secretly worried he is going to have “gemstone soup” some evening for a first course at dinner!  Since a kitchen renovation is in the works and will begin shortly, I have plans to restructure my office into a studio with long expanses of counter surfaces to allow me the luxury of keeping several projects out simultaneously.  Necessity is the mother of invention!   

Where can your products be seen?  In addition to my web site  ,     my blog,    and 1000Markets,   my jewelry is also in an elegant store in Phoenix called – Do Me A Favor  which specializes in the most magnificent custom gift wraps you have ever seen!

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Magazine articles or press: WGSN, Recessionista Americana, April 2009; AZ Society, April 2009; Desert Living, April 2009

Who are you a fan of? I admire antique and estate jewelry for the quality of workmanship and fine details and Chanel and Van Cleef & Arpels for their feminine genre.

Price range: $65 to $1,500

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: I have been transfixed by sea shells since I was a child and this amazement continues as an adult.  One of my favorite designs was this “Shell of an Idea” necklace which not only fed my fascination with seashells, but also included an exquisite antique angel skin coral cameo brooch.  It was purchased by a young man in Boston for his girlfriend after she admired the necklace – a very lucky gal!

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Shell of an Idea

Anything else you wish to add? I am just delighted and honored to have been invited to do this interview for World Artisan Gems.  To think that I have been included in such a prestigious group of artisans is more than I could ever have hoped for.

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Emily Gray

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Name:  Emily Gray

Website Linkhttp://www.emilygray.org/

Where are you located? Malvern, England

Tell us a bit about yourself:  I’m the eldest of four daughters, born to doctor and dentist parents. Born and bred in England with an Honors Degree from UEA, Norwich in the History of Art.  I have worked in engineering, investment banking (!), interior design and complementary therapy prior to coming to my senses and following my destiny to be an artist of one form or another.  I’m married to David, a musician, and I have an adorable two-year-old daughter Roseanna.

il_430xn_67895998When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?   I began ‘making’ jewelry in 2003 in a very small way.  I actually feel that at this point, my natural artistic instincts had been dormant for such a long time, it re-ignited my creativity and the whole thing snowballed from there!   Having been out of the creative flow for such a long time (forced into academia rather than being allowed to take-up a rare and extremely coveted ‘direct entry’ to Art School), I knew something was seriously lacking from my life.  Working in London was a thrill in many ways but the standard office lifestyle was so not me!   Very quickly after discovering pliers, silver wire and gemstones (I know you ALL know what I mean here!), I became completely obsessed with making jewelry.  The Complementary Therapy Practice that I had set-up funded my new passion and I quickly became more and more creative and began selling my work!  Five and a half years on and I’m just as obsessed as I was back then.  The difference now is that my life is just how I want it.  I have a wonderful husband, a gorgeous daughter and I really feel I am living the life I was born to live, rather than the one that society was trying to push me into for so long.

What do you make? I call my style of jewelry ‘Fusion’ Jewelry.  It is a synergistic mix of intricate wirework techniques with the finest gemstones. 

 

 

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What materials and methods do you use?  I love to work with silver and gold metals and often oxidize the silver as I love the dramatic effect this creates.  I have a *ridiculously* large stash of gemstones which I’m sure if I began this very second and never stopped, I could never hope to use up!  Wire-wrapping is my favorite style to use in my pieces, but I am always trying new techniques.

12-11_600x600Where do your design inspirations come from? I have images flying around my head all the time.  Sometime these are inspired by something I have seen, such as a view, a flower, a piece of textiles – other times it could come from music or a smell or a poem. My art background is in world textiles and I am always reading books on the subject.  My long-term passion is the Indian Sari which is a constant source of joy.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?  I have a home studio here in Malvern.  Malvern is a beautiful town in the West of England, full of culture, and is a designated ‘area of outstanding natural beauty.’ However, I can work anywhere and some of my very best work has been done sitting on my rug on the sitting-room floor!  David and I are looking for a bigger house and, when we move, I am hoping to have a garden studio.  I can’t imagine anything more lovely than having my workspace open out onto a lush green lawn with gravel pathways and beautiful peonies and magnolias all around!

Where can your products be seen?    On Etsy   and Trunkt 

Who are you a fan of?  The one person who has constantly made me gasp in awe is Magdalena Borejko, but I must also name Holly of Bijoux d’Odalisque, Ivy of Edera Jewelry, Jennifer of JLeeOhio and Hee Soon of Sky Dreams as my favorites as I love virtually everything they create.

Price range:  $65 to $2000

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: My favorite recent piece is the ‘Giverny Cuff Bracelet.’ It was one of those pieces that I created ‘in the zone’ and it went swimmingly from start to finish  (sketch to photographs).  I was thrilled with the finished piece and even happier that it sold within one day to one of my favorite customers!

Giverny cuff bracelet

Giverny cuff bracelet

Anything else you wish to add:  I am so honored and happy to have been invited to do this interview.  WorldArtisanGems is a wonderful place for Jewelry Artists of the globe to gather together in mutual admiration and get an insight into the things that motivate, inspire and excite us.  Thank you!

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Silke Buechler – Calypso’s Beads

Name: Silke Buechler a.k.a. Calypso’s Beads

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Website Link: http://www.silkedesign.de and http://www.glasperlenreich.de

Where are you located?  Ulm, Germany

Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in the idyllic city of Ulm which is located in the South of Germany, between Stuttgart and Munich. I used to work in an advertising department of a big international company and, in addition, was occupied with media design works on freelance-basis till I became a “late”-mummy in 2007. Now, I enjoy my three years “baby-break”and after that will only work part-time so that I am able to have more time for my beloved glass beads.

mandala2When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I was caught by the bead virus in summer 2004. I saw some lampwork beads in a shop window and that same day spent hours investigating, surfing the Internet and reading all about lampwork beading. One week later, I sat at the torch by myself and tried the first beads.

What do you make? Beads of soft glass – mainly bead sets – rather seldom focals. And I almost only do beads that are wearable. Therefore, most of my beads are flat / squeezed, because I myself prefer to wear flat rather than round beads and not too big, because you want to hang them round your neck or wrist and if they are too big, they become too heavy. I love making beads with fanciful patterns so that each time you look at them, you might find something new to discover.

What materials and methods do you use? All kind of soft glass, goldstone.

Where do your design inspirations come from? From everywhere … shopping tours where I see skirts made of beautiful patterned fabric, flipping through a magazine with interesting advertising pictures, a weekend-trip to a beautiful town in springtime, walk in the park …

hommageankarmencita_450What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is in my house. I have a separate room stuffed with glass and all the accessories. My “realm of glass beads”(hope I translated this correctly..)

Where can your products be seen?  http://www.silkedesign.de or the German link http://www.glasperlenreich.de or on etsy

Upcoming events: I do not do shows – only very small ones here in the area where I live.

Magazine articles or press: Glas…Perlen…eigenArt, GER (ISBN 978-3-00-022186-6)

Who are you a fan of? There are many many bead artists that I like very much. When I started bead making, Corina Tettinger’s book “Passing The Flame” was my bible – I really love this book. Today, I adore the beads of David Sivers, Lisa Fletcher, Manuela Wutschke and Lydia Muell.

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations:  I do not really have favorite creations. Almost each time a new set is completed I am thinking “wow, I like this set so much, I will keep it for myself.”  Then the beads lie there on the table some days and when another set is finished, I decide to give the older set away. Can’t keep all those beads for me 😉 ….. The beads I am making reflect the mood I am in when sitting at the torch. Perhaps this is why I love each new set most.  There are sets that I do not forget because they meant a milestone for my work. These are certainly the sets that I did during my four month stay in Thailand .. one of those:

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And this set is also rememberable for me:

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Mirjana Cesar

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Name:   Mirjana Cesar

Website Linkwww.mirjanacesar.com

Where are you located?  Orlando, Florida

scarletTell us a bit about yourself:  I’m a full time mixed media artist/wearable art/jewelry designer. I was born and raised in Zagreb, Croatia. I studied furniture design at University of Zagreb. In 1992, I moved to USA with my husband (who is also an artist), where our three children were born.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? From a very young age, my artisan grandparents and my mother influenced me with their creative spirits. They taught me sewing, needlework, crotchet, knitting and everything else involving fiber. I started designing my own clothes and jewelry when I was in elementary school. We didn’t have any beading supply stores or  “how to” books in Yugoslavia (Croatia was part of the federation at that time), but I used my grand-grandmother’s stash of Czech seed beads and any other vintage beads that I could find to make my earrings and necklaces.   Through my thirties I put my creative ideas to rest and devoted myself to raising my kids. About four years ago I started painting, and little bit later I discovered free form peyote.

What do you make? I make wearable art jewelry, fiber art accessories and mixed media artwork.

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What materials and methods do you use? Any kind of beads, precious stones, mosaic tiles, fiber, yarns, basically anything I can find interesting and combine it into my designs. Recycling is my favorite source of materials. Freedom of the free form peyote technique intrigues me, and I love exploring the new possibilities it provides.

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Seaweed

Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature is my primary inspiration, memory of my grandmother’s designs, rich Croatian folk heritage and my plentiful inspiration. Very often I don’t really plan new project, just pile up materials and let it develop by itself.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is on the loft in my house. It’s divided into my beading area and painting area. I love listening to spiritual, calming music while I work.

Where can your products be seen?  My website   and Etsy store 

Magazine articles or press:  I didn’t submit to any magazines yet, but I’m planning to do it in the near future.

Who are you a fan of?  There are so many great jewelry artists, but two of my favorites are:
Lidija Fairbanks and Patrizia Tager.

Price range:  $20-$300

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations:  “Golden Star” was one of my first creations. It’s Free form peyote stitch necklace with mosaic glass tile, free form freshwater pearls and seed beads.

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Golden Star

Anything else you wish to add:  I’m grateful to be included on your website. I’m also very glad to see more and more appreciation for handmade jewelry.

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Meltem Semizoglu

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Name: Meltem Semizoglu

Website Link: www.meltemsem.etsy.com

Where are you located?  Istanbul, Turkey

il_430xn_54699632Tell us a bit about yourself: After 18 years of being a lawyer I have started beading as a hobby 5 years ago and I have been trained as a traditional jeweler for the last 3 years. Right now I continue my works with silver, gold and semi precious stones. I live in Istanbul with my husband, son and my cat.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I have been interested in crafting since my childhood because my mom used to be an artist also. I have started beading as a hobby 5 years ago. I have found the escape from the stress of being a lawyer with the colorful beads. After studying with beads for about 2 years, I have realized that it wasn’t enough for me to work with ready made materials. So I started to design my own works and learned to do metal work.

What do you make? Necklace, bracelet, ring, earrings, brooch are what I have been producing right now. I also want make hairclips, barrettes and bangles out of silver and gold.

What materials and methods do you use? Silver and gold plate, wires, semi precious stones, freshwater pearls

Where do your design inspirations come from? I am inspired from nature and environment. I also impress that I read a book, watch a movie.

il_430xn_53714942What is your best working environment/where is your studio?  My studio is where my old office used to be. But inspiration might come anywhere that’s why I have my sketch book with me all the time. I sketch anything that comes up to my mind.

Where can your products be seen?  Etsy,   ArtfireBlog,   Ecrater

Who are you a fan of?   Women from any age group who is elegant, stylish , has modern and classic style.

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations:  My rose collection. It’s because it’s my favorite flower and I was impressed by a quote of the great Anatolian philosopher, mystic poet Mevlana  “You consist of thought. The rest remaining is the flesh and bone. You become rose garden if you think of rose, you become thorn patch if you think of thorn” 

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Anything else you wish to add: I keep doing and learning this job I  started 4 years ago with passion. When I was create a jewelry silver or gold, stones and tools accompany me on this exciting journey. I believe that this good spirit and energy is also recorded and stored in the jewelry and in its stone. You may feel this positive energy while having the jewelry on you.  I believe that jewelry is a way to complete the dress and express a woman ideas.  I hope you  enjoy to wear my jewelry.

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Patricia Greer

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Name: Patricia Greer

Website Link: www.plgreer.com

Where are you located? Winchester, VA

nk121Tell us a bit about yourself: I used to work as a computer programmer and database designer.  After being stationed abroad for 12 years and returning to the states a year ago my husband encouraged me to pursue jewelry design as a business.  So now I work from home and take care of our very spoiled dog and cat.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I began making jewelry about 4 years ago when my husband and I were stationed in Belgium.  I had a lot of time on my hands and needed an outlet.  Jewelry was it.

What do you make? Right now I make bracelets, necklaces and earrings.  I just haven’t gotten to the rings, fibulas and other things yet but they are in my future.

What materials and methods do you use? I like working with sterling silver, copper and brass.  I love the fair trade beads that I am discovering and also the unique handmade lampwork beads being made.  I am slowly trying to expand my skills and have started to study various techniques such as fold forming.  There is just so much out there to learn.  There’s always something new for me.

Where do your design inspirations come from?  I love to look through books on ethnic and tribal jewelry. I really love the ethnic styles.  I get so much inspiration from the forms, shapes, materials and even the people wearing them.  I also like forms in nature.  I have a collection of leaves and bark from my neighborhood.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I work in my home.  Right now my studio is in the basement but we have just bought a house and I already have my new space picked out so I’m very excited about that.

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Where can your products be seen?  My products can be seen on my website and I have also just joined up with a very talented group of women artisans called the Eclectic Jewelry Artisans.

nk101Upcoming events: Silent auction at Widener University School of Law

Who are you a fan of? Charles Lewton-Brain, Susan Lenart Kazmer, Connie Fox

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations:  One of my favorite pieces is  a bracelet made with lots of wrapped silver and one of a kind handmade lampwork beads.  It very much reminds me of a stormy beach.  The reason I like it so much is because it was one of the first pieces I ever made and the structure of it was really outside of my comfort zone but it felt so good to do this and I really like the end result.  Now I still try to do some things that are outside the box for me.

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Lidija Maric Fairbanks

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Name: Lidija Maric Fairbanks

Website Link: www.lidijafairbanks.net

Where are you located? Loveland, Colorado

scarabbraceTell us a bit about yourself:  I grew up in Yugoslavia in a very artistic family. I spent my days in museums, galleries, and concert halls learning to appreciate the wonderful world of art. My childhood was affected by the communistic and socialistic regimes and art was my escape into a more wonderful and friendly world. I took many art classes like painting and ceramic sculpture. I received a diploma in leather accessory design. Currently, I am attending a school for interior design.  I met my husband, Adam, in England. We fell in love and got married in Germany. It was quite an unusual love story, but it worked out for us and we were blessed with two wonderful boys that joined our family. Art was always a part of my life. All of life is art. For me, I’m doing art when I’m cooking, decorating my house, applying makeup in the morning, painting, and when I’m making dolls and jewelry. When art becomes a part of your soul, then everything you do in life is radiated in a beautifully creative light… Life becomes magical for you and everyone around you is affected. Creating an enchanted atmosphere is more than arranging furniture and cooking food, it is a reflection of who you have become.   I would like to look back one day at my life and see it as one big art masterpiece combining these smaller pieces I do every day.   We live in Northern Colorado. After years of searching, we moved here a couple years ago from California and we are finally home.

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When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I always loved very unique things and jewelry was my passion for many years before I actually started making it myself. I would always imagine some unusual and unique forms that I could be wearing around my neck or hand. I didn’t know how to make it, but I knew how it was supposed to look. One day, many years ago, I met someone who gave me a lesson in free form Peyote and everything started from there.  I love watching the expressions on people’s faces when I wear a piece of jewelry that no one has ever seen before. I feel that it is very special and unique, just as we all are.

emotionbrac2What do you make?  I make jewelry, ceramics, and art dolls. I also sell kits for art dolls so people can make their own unique creations. By helping people express themselves, I feel that I am helping them further develop their own creative soul.

What materials and methods do you use?  My favorite thing to make is a free form piece. You start with a single bead and then the whole piece creates itself in front of your eyes. In this way, you are surprised with the result as much as others are. Every time you create a new piece, it has its own new life. There are no mistakes in free form art, no limitations, its absolute freedom.  For materials, I use different kinds of beads, cabs, antique buttons, crystals, ceramic faces, and so on. Anything that grabs my eye will end up on my neck!

Where do your design inspirations come from?  Inspiration comes from dreams, nature, and unexpected places. I keep a journal by my bed, so that when I dream up a piece of jewelry, I can quickly sketch out the idea before I forget it. Most of the time I just start a piece and then inspiration comes during the creation. I think this is important for people to understand that you don’t need inspiration to start a project, that inspiration is the project.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?  I have a large studio in my house. I have 10 different projects that I am concurrently working on at all times. I like beading outdoors in the summer.

lju1Where can your products be seen?
www.lidijafairbanks.com     and   my blog

Magazine articles or press: Doll crafter and Costuming magazine August 2008;  Doll Crafter and Costuming –March 2007;  Dolls United- “Tropical” issue;  Contemporary Doll Collector-June/July 2007;             Soft Dolls and Animals- May 2007;  Dolls United published “The Elect”; August 2006 – Dolls United Magazine, Fairytale Issue, pages 29-36;
July/August 2006 – Belle Armoire, Salon, page 67…

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:   One of my favorite creations is my beaded doll that won the “All Dolled Up” competition a few years ago. I had big offers from a doll collector who wanted to purchase this doll but unfortunately… I do not sell my dolls. They are promised to stay in our family.

 

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