Follow me through my interview with her!
How do I get out of creative ruts?
I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which means I don't have an ocean view :) - we have a view of San Jose from our deck. We are above the valley floor, so the air is clean, redwood trees, bay trees (yes, you use these trees' leaves in cooking) and a stream (seasonal) are around us. I go outside or look out the windows and see deer, coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, hawk, jays, finches and the occasional bobcat. A few minutes up to a couple of days of just "chilling out" with all the beauty that surrounds me usually lets me get back into the design of something new.
Another way that works is I love to read; mysteries, history, biographies, science fiction, science, and classics like Jane Austen. And reading will sometimes trigger a new idea to try.
And, another way is to play with my dogs to clear my mind of everything except having fun.
How did I get into the business of making jewelry?
Growing up, I wasn't allowed to play with my brother's toys - you know, the train set, the chemistry set, the erector set and so on. Because of that, I started designing clothes and jewelry for my Barbie doll, and from there, went to designing jewelry for myself.
I started seriously making jewelry because I would see something I liked, but wanted it a little different. I wanted something special for my family that I couldn’t find in any stores. Once I did this, we would receive many compliments and from there started my business.
In order to fulfill my vision, I have taken many courses at local stores and jewelry schools. I am continually working to improve my knowledge of jewelry design and construction, so that I can make fine pieces with the best materials.
How would I describe my creative process?
When I decide to make another new piece of jewelry, I will get out a variety of different gems, both precious and semi-precious, chains (sterling silver, gold and gold-filled usually), pearls, crystals, and some findings and start forming shapes out of wire, or picking out various beads in different colors, textures and shapes and play! When I finally think I have a design, I will make it - and then step back and take a second look. Sometimes at this point, I will decide that what I made isn't good enough; therefore, I will take it apart and see if there is a different way to put all these pieces together and start over, or if I don't see a better way, the pieces get put back or into scrap for use another time. I have to really love what I have made in order to finally "put my name on it" and sell it. Some pieces, I have worked through 3 or 4 iterations before I am satisfied with the result. As you can tell, I am very picky! I have to love it in order to sell it.
What handmade possession(s) do I most cherish?
I do love handmade items; I have jewelry, quilts, needle work (embroidery, needlepoint, etc.), knitted and crocheted throws, paintings and handblown glassware. But, my favorite items are anything my daughters have made me - cards, bookmarks, paintings, ceramics and, of course, their hands pressed into plaster of paris when they were in kindergarden.
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