Name: Donna Millard
Website Link: www.fyrebeadz.com
Where are you located? Currently in Rice Lake, WI but I hope to be moving back to Alaska soon.
Tell us a bit about yourself: Born and raised here in the mid-west but once I moved to Alaska I’ve since become an Alaskan through and through. I can’t wait to get back, it is there that I find the most influence for my work and peace and harmony in my life.
When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? There is a large outdoor market in Anchorage every Saturday during the summer months and it was there that I first became acquainted with lampwork. I was fascinated, to say the least and have been captivated ever since. One thing led to another and I started to make unique jewelry pieces with my beads and often sterling wire.
What do you make? I make a large variety of bead sets and focals. Often times I make florals or my “Loon” beads. I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with all the new silver glass in my focal beads as well and I’ve recently developed a new beads style of organic water bugs. Sometimes I saw my beads in half and make my own sterling settings for them.
What materials and methods do you use? Effetre, double Helix, R4 glasses, silver foils, enamels, etc. In my jewelry I use PMC and sterling wire, misc. stones and FW pearls.
Where do your design inspirations come from? Having just spent 7 years in Alaska, much of my work has been influenced from the beauty that surrounded me there. The ocean, the mountains, glaciers and so on. My florals were often inspired by the lush gardens in Anchorage, and yes, lush due to the 24 hours of daylight during the summers.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? Right now my studio is located in the back sunroom of my home. I’ve completely converted it into a studio that overlooks my backyard where there are many flowers blooming in the summer and many birds. I usually have some sort of music playing in the background as I work.
Upcoming events: I will be attending a private art show in Wasilla, Alaska in November 2008
Who are you a fan of? Many of my peers of which there are too many to mention.
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: My favorite has to be my newest Waterbugs. There were something that just happened one day as I was working. I was so excited as I saw them begin to transform right in front of me. It was awesome, as glass always is.
Anything else you wish to add? I want to thank you for featuring me on your website. I am honored.