Name: Susan Stevens
Website Link: www.hotrocksglassjewels.com
Where are you located? I live in Alberta, Canada.
Tell us a bit about yourself: I have always been a creative type, drawing, painting, and beading as a young girl, and oh yes… the macramé stage as a teen! I remember by grandmother teaching me how to embroider, crochet, knit and sew from the age of about 6 years old. When I was 7 years old I used to collect beads, and buttons. Everything I collected was in a small grey metal box. I had a few little friends that also collected beads and we would spend our time trading our beads amongst ourselves. Much of my creative endeavors went on hold from the early age of 18, as I then had a daughter to take care of. By the age of 21, I had two children, and no time at all to spend on “hobbies.” So many years later, after raising two daughters of my own, and one stepdaughter, with only a ten year old son at home now, I have the time to devote to doing something that I enjoy. I still love to paint, I enjoy photography, but designing jewelry is my passion. Now I collect quirky vintage kitchen items from the 40’s and 50 (the fruit and veggie items with little faces on them), as well as retro teapots, and cream and sugar bowls, and I adore vintage jewelry!
When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I started dabbling in jewelry making, about 3 years ago after taking one basic bracelet making class! I was immediately attracted to the vast array of beads that I could incorporate into my pieces, especially artisan lampwork glass beads. I began experimenting with different materials and wire, and became obsessed with the whole idea of designing jewelry!
What do you make? I create unique pieces of jewelry, ranging from whimsical to elegant. I name each bracelet and necklace that I design after a song.
What materials and methods do you use? I search for beautifully made artisan glass lampwork beads, which are little works of art in themselves, as well as vintage beads, handcrafted Bali and Thai silver beads, semi precious stones, pearls and mainly sterling silver wire with the occasional use of gold wire. I love using rare Swarovski crystals from the 1940’s and 50’s, for that touch of retro glamour!
Where do your design inspirations come from? My designs are inspired from nature, the way a vine grows, or the colors of fall, a vacation on the coast, a walk in the woods, a song, fashion, interior design, the colors of pebbles on a beach…so much beauty and many interesting things surround us, that it is easy to be inspired.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is here at home, and I usually like to listen to music while I create.
Where can your products be seen? My Website, Etsy, Blog, and Flickr
Upcoming events: The Redwood Meadows Christmas and Fine Art Sale: Nov 14-16 2008
Who are you a fan of? There are so many fantastic jewelry designers out there! I admire anyone who steps out of the box and creates something unique and original. I also have extreme admiration for the talented lampwork artisans, who create the little works of art that I like to include in my designs.
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: This bracelet cuff was a commissioned piece, inspired by a summer day. It incorporates, a fabulous dragonfly glass lampwork bead, vintage Swarovski crystals, pearls, glass beads, and lots of my own wire wrapped coils, spirals and curls, in sterling silver and gold that represent the vines and tendrils of an overgrown plant.