Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BSBP: Why I Became a Jewelry Designer

Lori Anderson, the lovely lady behind the Bead Soup Blog Party, emailed us recently with an interesting idea: Tell why I became a jewelry designer. I scratched my head... Have I already told you how I decided to become a jewelry designer? I'm pretty sure I haven't... because, really, I kind of stumbled onto it accidentally.

I was working at Borders when I started designing jewelry. Right around the time I had to drop out of LCAD, I felt like I couldn't do any art. I had failed to complete art school because I was lacking funds and therefore, I had failed as an artist. I drifted around quite a bit. Threw myself into working at Borders... Oh, I still sketched, but I couldn't complete a real "piece."

Enter Beadwork magazine. I was putting magazines away and this one just caught my eye. Gorgeous designs in beautiful colors. My brain went "OH! It's just thread and beads! I can do that."

From a 2010 blog post. I couldn't make the seed beads hold the rivoli in place.
Epic. Fail.

I can't tell you how many incomplete projects I STILL have sitting in a plastic box from 2009. Oh, they started out pretty enough but maybe I couldn't find exactly the right size seed bead and then it threw the whole project out of whack. Or the tension was wrong. Or the needle(s) broke. Whatever the reason, I just couldn't do bead weaving.

But. Then.

I found... wire.

My first piece published in Jewelry Affaire

And I never looked back. I think my love for seed beads stems from the fact that I so desperately wanted to be a beadweaver. I tried so hard but just couldn't do it. So I wrap them up instead. And they come in so many beautiful colors and sizes! I love that they add such detail to pieces... they're tiny gems!

I've added leather and cord to my list of tools I love and now I'm learning to play with metal. It's such an awesome learning process and I don't think I'll ever stop growing, learning, making mistakes... HAVING FUN!

Jewelry gives me an opportunity to express myself. To add some beauty to our world. And I find myself loving it like I never thought I would. I can actually FINISH pieces, which I used to struggle with when I was just drawing and painting. I even finish paintings now...

Something about making pretty things just makes me happy. And that's ultimately why I do what I do. To bring smiles and happiness to my life and to the lives of those who like my jewelry.

So why did you become a jewelry designer?


  1. Lovely story!

    I wouldn't call myself a jewelry designer yet - I still think of myself as a dabbler even though I've been at it for 5 years. Most of my stuff is crap!

    Anyway, in 2007 my Mom called me and said "We should take a beading class!" I replied, "yeah, whatever, okay, sure."

    Two weeks later I call Mom and say, "Hey, that bead shop is offering Bead Stringing 2! Wanna go?" and Mom replied, "Sure."

    A month after that I called Mom and said, "GUESS WHAT?? Bead Stringing 3 is in 2 weeks! C'mon! Let's go! Wanna go??" And Mom replied, "yeah, whatever, okay, sure."

    Five years later have drawers and drawers of beads and wire, and Mom has me fix her broken jewelry. :)

  2. I like your story. =) Thanks for sharing. I haven't answered Lori's question yet, and I definitely need to.
    I love reading about inspirations.

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