Where are you located? Northern California near Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park
Julia Bristow Seashell Brooch
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My Bio: Julia Bristow Jewelry is unique and elegant, hand-crafted, nature-inspired, one-of-a-kind wearable art jewelry. Each piece is designer-signed with engraved tag. Every piece of jewelry is hand-crafted by artisan/designer Julia Bristow. All jewelry pieces are hand wired or woven and meticulously pieced together using a variety of high-quality semi-precious gemstone beads, beautiful sparkling Swarovski crystals, Czech glass flowers, fruit, leaves, etc., and various pearls, shell, clay and wooden beads. The jewelry designs are inspired by my love of nature and every attempt is made to incorporate that beauty directly into each piece created.
"Ultimate charm bracelets"
When did you start creating your jewelry/art?
I originally began collecting vintage/antique costume jewelry because I found it appealed to the little girl in me to collect these sparkling rhinestone treasures and place them in a jewelry box, as they were pretty and fun to look at. I eventually realized I was more drawn to the signed, hand-wired and woven pieces with intricate designs which clearly demonstrated the detailed workmanship of these various artisans. My sister gave me some beads, findings and tools to make my first beaded bracelet. I had my own ideas after looking at all of my collected vintage pieces and with that new-found knowledge of how to go about it, I was on my way to realizing my new passion/hobby/career. I went on to teach myself various techniques which would enable me to create exactly the designs I envisioned.
Julia Bristow beaded guitar strap
What exactly do you create? I make one-of-a-kind, beaded, handcrafted, signed, wearable-art jewelry, loom-beaded guitar straps and belts, healing gemstone and fertility jewelry and keychains, vintage-style fruit jewelry, handwired brooches, etc. Vintage style fruit and flower jewelry; surf, beach and nature-loving casual wear; healing and fertility gemstone jewelry; hand-beaded guitar straps and belts; children’s jewelry; eyeglass holders, and whatever else I can think of.
What materials and methods do you use? I use quality semi-precious gemstones, pearls, Swarovski crystals, shells, MOP, ceramic, and Czech glass beads. Occasionally, I will find beautifully-designed polymer clay beads as well.
- Julia Bristow purple robe locust necklace & earrings
Where do your design inspirations come from? All of my designs are inspired by nature – ocean, sand, forest, trees, flowers, rocks, water and sky. Every piece of jewelry I make is inspired by one aspect of nature or another. I always have some type of plant, flower, tree or scene of nature in my mind that I am trying to recreate in a piece of jewelry. Semi-precious gemstone beads, shell, and wood beads are my favorite beads to work with because they come directly from the rocks of the earth. I enjoy the beauty and feel of each individual bead as no two gemstone beads are exactly alike. I admit my designs are based more on an artistic idea rather than any type of fashion trend. The beauty and colors of the beads themselves also inspire me.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I like to always be around my family/kids so I prefer to work right in the main living area. I have my “studio” workspace there so I can enjoy my family as I am working. As long as I am by a window with plenty of light, I am quite content.
Where can your products be seen? I decided to develop and manage my personal web site in order to display my jewelry and offer it for sale when I started to run out of room for all of the pieces I was making. I am also a participating designer at various sample sales and events, which are listed on my blog where you can subscribe via email for automatic updates of events and newly added items. My Etsy Shop. Become a Fan on Facebook.
I am also listed on several indie artist websites including Indiepublic, FashionIndie, Fashion.org, SPJ, and so many others.
Nature's Presence Collection
Harvest Festival Original Arts and Crafts Show at Ventura Seaside Park, Ventura, California October 3-5, 2008.
10th Annual Bass Lake Holiday Crafts Fair & Tree Lighting Celebration, November 28-30, 2008, beautiful Bass Lake, California
I participate annually at the Ventura Holiday Street Festival (booth 221), Downtown Main Street, Ventura, California (this year on December 7, 2008)
Pasadena Bead and Design Show January 15-18, 2009, Pasadena, California
I also participate annually in the Ventura 4th of July Street Festival (booth 221), July 4th, Downtown Main Street, Ventura, California
Magazine articles or press: I have been featured in articles on various fashion websites including: Shefinds.com, LA-Story, Styledash, Fashion156.com, Red Carpet Threads, Beading Daily and The Glamorous Bee. Julia has also recently been mentioned on Stylebakery.com‘s “Daily Scoop” and OK Weekly.
Who are you a fan of? I am very much inspired by jewelry designed by Miriam Haskell. I am a fan of several glass bead artists, including Harold Cooney, Anastasia, and Molly Cooley (who was actually interviewed on this site!) and many others.
Julia Bristow Fruit Necklace
Price range: $10-359.00
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: I don’t really have a favorite creation, as each piece of jewelry I make is special to me for one reason or another. I did recently released a very limited edition jewelry collection called Nature’s Presence which is a small collection of one-of-a-kind nature-inspired pieces using beautiful hand blown glass centerpiece beads made by Harold W. Cooney, which I found to be very beautiful and unique. The advertisement for the collection can be seen on this YouTube video:
Anything else you wish to add? I enjoy connecting with other jewelry designers/enthusiasts. You can add me as a friend on Myspace or you can help support my site by becoming a “fan” of my Facebook page. I appreciate the friendships and all of the nice comments received on these sites. I am also a contributor to Designers4Africa and I encourage others to become involved.
Julia Bristow bib necklace
Thank you Julia for the informative interview and we can’t wait to see what you will create next!