Monthly Archives: November 2008

A look back at our November featured artisans

We are on to another month of great artisans. Hope you enjoyed viewing the work seen here and visit the websites of our featured artisans to see their latest creations.

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3Fine Design®

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Name: Tracy Behrends (3Fine Design®)

Website Link: http://www.3finedesign.com

Where are you located? Minneapolis, MN USA

Tell us a bit about yourself: I graduated from the University of MN with a BA in International Relations and worked in the airline business for a few years after graduation. Following my time with the airlines, I studied graphic design and typography for a year at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  I’ve been on a creative journey ever since.  In my spare time, I love to garden, listen to music, read, study the Bible, research interesting topics on the internet, watch chick flicks, socialize with my friends and spend quality time with my wonderful husband and 3 beloved pets (2 cats & 1dog). Basically, I’m an optimistic blue jean, T -shirt and boots kind of gal who’s fond of bright sparkling accessories. I love life, laughter and adventure. I’m crazy about animals. They make me smile and warm my heart. One of my greatest desires in life is to bring joy and beauty into the world through the gifts God has given me.

img9109_leather_pendant_1_When did you begin designing jewelry/art? I began designing jewelry in January of 2005 and started my own business in March 2005. The past 3 years have been a tremendous learning experience for me registering my trademark and establishing 3Fine Design®. All of the challenges I’ve faced along the way have caused me to stretch and grow as an artist, a business owner and as an individual. This continual growth and ongoing maturation process is what I find to be tremendously fulfilling on many different levels.

What made you choose this type of art? Designing jewelry allows me the opportunity to express my creative abilities and affinity for graphic design via an exquisite 3D art form. I would describe myself as a graphic designer at heart that applies basic graphic design principles to the jewelry pieces I create. I thoroughly enjoy the visual problem solving aspects and challenges of the design business. Jewelry art allows me a tremendous amount of flexibility and creative freedom. The sky is the limit when it comes to materials, techniques, composition and design possibilities. In addition, handcrafted jewelry is a very intimate form of art. Choosing decorative adornments to wear on one’s body is a very personal decision that makes a public statement about who we are as individuals. When people decide to purchase a jewelry piece, they’re either purchasing it because it suits their own personal style or purchasing it as a gift for someone special. Due to their intimate nature, these pieces are frequently handed down as beloved tokens or heirlooms that have great sentimental value.

What do you make? Most of my most recent work would fall under the categories of contemporary beadwork, wire sculpture and leathercraft. I design a whole range of items to include earrings, bracelets, cuffs, pendants, brooches, necklaces, chokers and the like. I’m very fond of designing pendants in particular and look forward to contemplating some new designs over the winter.

48c9504b18d57_24126bWhat materials and methods do you use? I use a variety of different materials in my work. Recently, I have been focusing more on leather, fused glass, dichroic glass, gemstones, paua, freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, seed beads and copper. I have a special affinity for cabochons of all kinds and enjoy discovering unique creative applications for them. Several of my jewelry pieces are hand stitched using embellished right angle weave or bead embroidery techniques. I particularly enjoy the intricacy and challenges associated with tiny seed beads, needles and various beading threads. It’s a very time consuming process with an abundance of love, patience and gratification woven into every stitch. I find that the most time consuming projects are the ones that I derive the greatest amount of artistic and personal satisfaction. In addition, a couple of my other passions include creating wire sculpture pendants and hand carving leather. It’s my fascination with detail and the beauty of the finished product that make the stitching, wrapping and tooling process particularly captivating. From start to finish, I consider each and every new design an exciting adventure.

Where do your design inspirations come from? They come from my heart. I derive a lot of inspiration from the beauty found in my garden, nature, the universe, the Bible, my travels around the world, the Art Deco movement and graphic design.

48b19a11beccf_24126nWhat is your best working environment/where is your studio? Home is where the heart is. I tend to work best at home in my studio where it’s warm, cozy and comfortable. I enjoy working in a peaceful environment. The serenity in my studio allows me the opportunity to remain focused with limited interruptions and distractions. I’ll readily admit that I’m not an advocate of chaos and confusion in my working environment. I’m currently responsible for all the administrative, photography, video production, web, graphic and jewelry design for 3Fine Design®. All of these functions take place within the confines of my home studio.

Where can your products be seen? Retail: Evolve 108 (Eco-Chic Boutique), 108 Webster Street, Monterrey, CA 9394 

dscn4143Online:  http://www.3finedesign.com
http://www.3finedesign.ecrater.com
http://www.3finedesign.blogspot.com
http://www.youtube.com/3finedesign

Magazine articles or press:  EBSQ Featured Artist Interview (2007), Instablogs News Network Interview (2007)

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? I would just like to say that there’s an abundance of extremely talented jewelry artisans around the world. The level of ingenuity, skill and craftsmanship never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

Price range: Currently, $10 – $1,500.

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: This pendant is made of veg-tanned cowhide that was hand designed, tooled, carved, hammered, dyed and sealed for protection. The focal is a dichroic glass cabochon with bright shades of pink, orange, mint and silver. The pendant is finished on all sides (including the flesh side of the leather) to a smooth glossy sheen. I use water based eco-friendly dyes on all my leatherwork. This particular piece was dyed a deep rich mahogany.

leather pendant

leather pendant

Anything else you wish to add here: In closing, I would like to say thank you to World Artisan Gems for the opportunity to do this interview. It was an honor and privilege to be asked to participate.

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Cynthia Tilker

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Name: Cynthia Tilker 

Website Link: Ebay.com

Where are you located?  Santa Rosa, California

img31391_potted_bouquet_1Tell us a bit about yourself: I have been working with glass for about 10 years now on and off.  The off times were short though.  It’s very hard to stay away from glass for very long.  I have not had the priviledge of taking any formal classes.  I’ve learned from books, and many, many hours behind the torch.  No matter how many hours I spend making glass art, there is always something more to learn.  I seem to never run out of ideas or the drive to make my ideas transform into a bead.  After all of these years working with glass,  I am now teaching lampwork which has really opened up a whole new aspect of this artform for me, and I am really enjoying it.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I have always been very creative.  My mother tought me how to sew, knit, crochet, needlepoint and anything else that was possible to create with fiber.  I started my hand at making beads from polymer clay and wanted to incorporate glass into my finished peices.  My husband brought me home a torch and some glass and set me up in the garage and it just seemed to take over EVERYTHING.  The polymer came to a screeching hault and although I still like to work with fiber, it has slowed way down because of the time I spend in my glass studio. 

peepers-1What do you make? I make large focal beads, meaning each of my beads is a small piece of artwork that has some kind of theme.  I like each bead to tell a story and to be able to stand alone.  I have my character series that I really enjoy making.  They are all face beads and all have different personalities.   I just keep adding to my family of beads and I love to think of new ideas.  I don’t make sets of beads because I love working on a large scale, so the focal bead is my favorite.  The larger the bead or canvas, the more detail I can fit on or in the bead.

What materials and methods do you use? I use mostly Moretti, Murano and German Lausha glasses.  The methods I use are anything and everything I can come up with to achieve my final result.  I often say that if a master lampworker watched me, he/she might just fall off the chair.  I don’t know if my methods are right or wrong in other lampworkers’ eyes, but it’s what I do to achive the look and individuality of my beads.

Where do your design inspirations come from? I have always loved anything whimsical.  I love sparkle, bling and color, which really plays a huge part in my bead styles.  I just keep adding elements to my beads until there is no more room left.  I make a lot of forest character beads which really allows me to just go on forever in how I want to create my own little fantasy world. 

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woodland-3What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is in my garage and is set up exactly the way I want it to be, which makes it very comfortable for me to sit and create. 

Where can your products be seen? I sell on Ebay under the screen name “glassactcc”   and  Glassartist.org

img31426_orange_potted_plant_upUpcoming events: Classes at Arrow Springs and a brand new Tutorial.

Who are you a fan of?  My earliest inspiration was Kimberly Osibin.  Her work really spoke to me, and I strived to even come close what she could do with glass.  There are so many wonderful glass artists around, that it’s hard to really single one out, but I know that Kimberly really gave me the drive to pursue this form of artwork and for pushing myself to become better and better.

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations:  One of my favorite beads would have to be my “Wildwood” bead.  This bead was made to look as if there was a complete forest in the bead under a clear encasement of glass complete with sparkle, trees, flowers, plants and anything else I could fit into it.

Wildwood

Wildwood

Anything else you wish to add?  Thank you so much for inviting me to join the wonderful array of artisans that are here on your website.  I am in good company.

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Barbara Lee – Gemella Contemporary Jewelry

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Name:    Barbara Lee

Company name:  Gemella Contemporary Jewelry

Website Link:  www.gemellajewelry.etsy.com

Where are you located? Bergen County, NJ – right outside Manhattan

il_430xn_16676307Tell us a bit about yourself: I am an autodidact, a Gemini, a musician, and an artist. In that order.

When did you begin designing jewelry/art?  Well, technically I began in 1973 when I was a hippie. I loved beads but couldn’t afford to buy any. So I made my own out of clay. I etched designs into the wet clay with a safety pin. After the clay was dry, I painted the beads with watercolor paints and a makeup brush, “shellacked” them with clear nailpolish, then strung them on embroidery floss. I sold one of them to a woman who worked at my parents’ drugstore.  She came in the next day wailing because she wore the necklace in the shower, and the clay melted into a gray goo around her neck. That’s when I learned that you have to FIRE the clay first.  But really, I began to be serious about making jewelry after I left my job as an art director in 2000. That summer, I visited my aunt who wore what was then the trendy style of stretch beaded bracelets; a whole stack of them going up her arm. They were just glass beads, but the effect looked like an armful of garnets. I saw it and knew I could make the same thing.

What made you choose this type of art? I love shiny things, especially colored gemstones. I wanted to find a way to incorporate my graphic sensibility with that medium.

il_430xn_320324731What do you make? Well, my tag line reads “heirloom quality jewelry from 18k gold and gemstones.”  I make necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

What materials and methods do you use?  I use my heart, my brain, my hands, my torch, and my pliers to fashion gold wire with gems. There are certain gems I predominately work with: tourmaline, chrysoberyl, sapphire, and kyanite. And pearls. I’m experimenting now with making wire flourishes which reflect my background in typography and design. I spend most of my design time making sure that my jewelry has drama, contrast, and a unique color sensibility.

Where do your design inspirations come from? I think from the stones themselves. Infrequently will I sketch out a design. More often, I arrange stones on my desk and let color palettes and shapes drive the final piece. It’s hard to describe, but I enter a kind of “zone” where I know that what I’m making will work. If I’m not in the zone, then I’m not happy with the finished piece. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve destroyed a project and remade it. It’s a good thing that metal refiners will take back scrap!

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What is your best working environment/where is your studio? It’s in a small loft off my bedroom, which is under a steeply pitched roof. I tucked my bench against the one flat wall and ran some shelves up the exposed chimney on the other side. It’s cluttered, but perfect. I keep my guitars in the adjacent bedroom, so I can always take a break and get to them really quickly.

Where can your products be seen?   At the moment, at:   www.gemellajewelry.etsy.com
www.seekingdesigners.com/gemella                                          www.tresjolie.us

summery-gemmy

Magazine articles or press:  Magazine: One of my bracelets was featured in the Valentine’s Day issue of Polished, a style and fashion magazine out of Las Vegas.  Blog: GrandiaRoad.blogspot.com

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans?  Of course! I love Mallary Marks’ work. Also Danielle Miller – I think she is a true original. And I’m inspired all the time by Magdalena Borejko (of Magdalena’s Atelier) and Jennifer Hallsey (of JleeOhio Designs).

Price range: $200 – $2,100

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Tuyen Huynh – Création Twinne

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Name: Tuyen Huynh

Website Link: www.creationtwinne.com

tendre fleur

tendre fleur

Where are you located? Granby, Québec, Canada

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a vietnamese cultured fashion designer graduated at Cégep Marie-Victorin in 2004 in Monreal. I am passionate of arts. I love nature and travelling the world to discover the amazing differents cultures of our planet. An excess of folly, a wave of creativity and 3 cups of patience is enought to drive me into crazy originals jewelry piece of art.

twist and shout

twist and shout

When did you begin designing jewelry/art? My first experience with beads was when I was studying fashion design. I put beads to embellish the clothes that I was designing. Then I found interesting to create some jewelry for myself. I got very great comments about my jewelry designs and then I’ve decided to make a business out of it in 2006.

What do you make? I make very special designs of jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and hair jewelry. The uniques jewelry that i make are very particulars and originals by their frivolous shape. Their nonsymmetric shape gives them their uncommon form.

What materials and methods do you use?  I am working with every kind of material. Glass beads, gemstones, pearls, sea shells, Swarovsky crystal and other various materials are thread on malleable metallic wire or acrylic coated wire made of stainless steel, sterling silver, copper, bronze or tin foil. I mixt them all together and by twisting and binding the wires, I create an incredible piece of art, a wearable sculture. My work is very aerial.

slinky bracelet

slinky bracelet

Where do your design inspirations come from?  Art, the earth, the nature and all the universe are an incredible source of inspiration.

herbes en folie

herbes en folie

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is in my home. My boyfriend provided me a room where I can work in a nice and bright environment. I work with the rhythm of the music.

Where can your products be seen? You can see my  creations on the internet on my website: www.creationtwinne.com, on Facebook, on Etsy: and on the TV at the “2 filles le matin” show. The jewelry is wore by the animator Amélie Grenier.

Upcoming events: I will be participating to the  Salon de la Marié in February 14th  of Montreal ( wedding show).

Magazine articles or press: My work as been featured in the “La semaine” magazine in Quebec, Canada.

Price range: $15-$300

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite creation is this funky style necklace (seen below). This one-of-a kind creation is made of stainless steel, glass beads, sea shells, acrylic beads and fresh water pearls. I’ve twisted the metal to give it this shape.

tendre-fleur

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Sig Wynne-Evans – Beaded Bear

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Name: Sig Wynne-Evans

Website Link: www.beadedbear.com

Where are you located? Modesto California

Art Nouveau tiles

Art Nouveau tiles

Tell us a bit about yourself:  I am a safety inspector by day. But I started out as a classically trained violinist, until an accident at a part time summer job nearly amputated my finger tip, ending my violin playing. So I switched from music to working with horses for a while (as a groom/assistant trainer at a race track in Saratoga Springs NY, then finally earning my degree in Environmental Toxicology that landed my in my present job as a safety inspector for the State of CA. For me, beadwork filled my creative need which helps balance the scientific/technical end of my day job.

The transitions above were not easy. I fell onto hard times, and welfare. Before welfare kicked in to make ends meet, my then very young daughter and I survived from gathering “groceries” from the local supermarket dumpster. So when the welfare was approved, we actually had a little money left over, with which I bought beads, and the beadwork also helped to provide a little extra money. It was during this time that I also finished my degree work.

Winter Branch

Winter Branch

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I used to admire beadwork that was in a gallery near where I lived (in the 1980’s), I couldn’t find a class or someone to teach me, so I taught myself out of a book (Deon Delange’s Technique of Beaded Earrings). Quickly, I tired of the geometric designs and began designing my own earring designs. My first inspiration came from a restaurant ad that featured a couple having dinner. Behind them, was a wonderful stained glass peacock. Determined, I charted a likeness of the peacock into an earring design. That started the avalanche of designs (over 2000) that I have today.

What do you make? Assorted styles of seed bead work. Earrings, necklaces, three dimensional figures. In addition, I write a column of sorts called The Cracked Bead which is on my website that is a commentary on the bead business. So many people have loved my commentaries, asking for more! They tell me, it is about time someone says what I say in my tongue in cheek rantings! 🙂

Peacock and Doves Garden

Peacock and Doves Garden

What materials and methods do you use? Primarily Delica beads, and I am exploring Aiko beads as well. I add Czech beads, Austrian C\crystals and other beads to enhance my work. I am always looking for unique materials!

Where do your design inspirations come from? Much comes from Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Arts and Crafts and the Pre-Raphelite art movements inspire me, as well as traveling to other countries.

The Garden Wall

The Garden Wall

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is the room meant to be a dining room. It never served that purpose. The room houses my beads, computer and part of my art/bead library. I have a work table where I sit with my parrot beside me while I bead.

Where can your products be seen? www.beadedbear.com, www.bead-patterns.com

Upcoming events:Dec 6-7 The Women’s Building Craft show in Ft Mason San Francisco.

Magazine articles or press: I have written articles for Bead and Button, and Beadwork Magazines, I was also contributing Editor for Jewlery Crafts Magazine for 10 years. I also have authored over 20 bead pattern books.

Who are you a fan of? The Dali Lama, Yanni, Madonna, Vivaldi, Johan Strauss, Enigma, Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmer, John Waterhouse, Alphonso Mucha (not necessarily in that order!).

Price range: $15-$4000

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: The Mermaid. It is by John Waterhouse, one of my favorite artists. It represents over 40 hours to chart the design, and some 3 months of beading time.

mermaidtetsy1

The Mermaid

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Stephanie Sersich

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Name: Stephanie Sersich

Website Link: www.sssbeads.com

Where are you located? 15 Perkins St. Topsham, Maine 04086

Tell us a bit about yourself: I live on the coast of Maine, and my work is very much inspired by the ocean and the treasures beneath. When I’m not making jewelry, I love to run my dog on the beach or in the neighboring woods. I love to knit and garden, too! Textiles and my garden also bring me loads of inspiration.

assorted_2005_2_300wWhen and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I have been making jewelry since I was a little girl – I always say, since I was stringing pasta on yarn! I began working with glass and making beads when I was in college. My art became a business 10 years ago when I got out of college.  My mom collects ethnic jewelry and clothing, so it’s been a passion for as long as I can remember. While I originally learned to make beads on my own, my best tricks and techniques came from Sage and Tom Holland, who live and teach in the Ozarks of Arkansas. They were some of the pioneers of the bead-making movement. I feel very lucky to call them my friends and mentors.

What do you make? I make glass beads, using the ancient technique of lampworking.  I make my jewelry by combining them with vintage beads, talismans, natural materials, cords and fibers. My jewelry is full of color and texture. The large neckpieces are pretty wild, and I also make individual beads and smaller items for other jewelers to incorporate into their own pieces. 

flower_06_300wWhat materials and methods do you use? I make my beads from Effetre and Bullseye glass (both soft glasses), chosen for their high-contrast color palette. I use other beads and items that add a different sheen than the glass.  I like to mix shiny and pitted, new and old, bright and muted. The assemblage-type pieces are made from my signature Spiny Knotting technique, which is derived from macramé knotting.  I also love to just simply string beads, but mostly I can’t help adding fibers and knots to make my items more unique.

Where do your design inspirations come from? The natural world is an endless source of inspiration.  I love pod-shapes and radial forms, like flowers and stars. I like rocks and shells, encrusted with barnacles and sea-shells and funny-shaped growths.  Anything with a varying texture and things that stick out.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I live in Topsham, Maine in a Greek Revival house, built in 1830. My studio is in the carriage house. I make beads and teach classes on the main level and string beads and work in the upstairs office, in a well-lit room with high-ceilings.  I love space, and that’s important when you have a lot of stuff.

bauble_neck_2006_2_300wWhere can your products be seen? As far as retail locations, I have my work at several galleries, like Foundry Lane in Portland, Maine and Arts Afire, a glass gallery in Alexandria, Virginia. I also do several bead and craft shows (listed on my website) in different parts of the country. I’ve recently written a book called Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads, published by Interweave Press, and I have an example of almost everything I make in there! There are 20 “How-To” projects, as well as classifications of glass beads, a history of glass beads and useful tips and tools for beaders.

Upcoming events: This season, I have two craft shows in New England, but I’m also preparing for the Pasadena Bead and Design Show in January. I have a piece that just won an award at The Bead Museum in Washington, DC – part of their Celebrating Beads event. In March of 2009, I am teaching a collaborative class with my friend, fellow beadmaker Michele Goldstein, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where we plan to bead and laugh ourselves silly.  I love to teach, and workshops are the events that I look forward to the most.

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Magazine articles or press:
My own book: Designing Jewelry With Glass Beads
And I have photos in several others, including:
Beads of Glass by Cindy Jenkins
Contemporary Lampworking and Formed of the Fire by Bandhu Scott Dunham

I have had magazine articles in Ornament, Beadwork, Bead & Button Magazine, Lapidary Journal and others.

Who are you a fan of? Other people’s jewelry & beads?  Gail Crosman-Moore, Michele Goldstein, Dustin Tabor, Amy Johnson, Lucie Weir, Bronwen Heilman, Caitlin Hyde, Isis Ray

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:  Like to make the big, outrageous pieces, like the Fiesta Necklace.

Fiesta Necklace

Fiesta Necklace

Anything else you wish to add? There are two things I love about my job – combining the colors and textures, and teaching.  Nothing brings me more joy than coaching a student to make something they had never envisioned, but that comes from inside them.  The exchange of excitement gives me a true connection to other people.  The power of creating something joyful from inanimate materials is a thrilling experience.  I just can’t get enough of it.

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