One of our most popular interviews, published on August 6th.
Deryn Mentock is a published jewelry designer, has a recognized blog that was recently featured in the Stampington publication ‘Artful Blogging,’ and has a collaborative project coming out soon in the book ‘A Charming Exchange’ – she visited with Art Bead Scene about her love of beads, her work and her studio, her inspirations and what’s coming up in her designs.
2. What kind of jewelry do you make? What types of materials do you prefer? What kinds of art beads do you use?
My jewelry is created with all kinds of mixed materials. Everything from sterling wire to puppy teeth! I love to combine unusual and found elements to create unique pieces of jewelry. I have a special fondness for worn and aged things and love anything a little strange.
Some of my favorite things include tin types, tiny bottles, vintage jewelry findings, old coins and tokens, teeth, bones and petrified wood. I also love all things natural; feathers, mica, butterfly wings, seeds, shells…you get the idea! I use a lot of steel wire in my work but also use copper, sterling and precious metal clay.
I’m addicted to beads! Mostly, I use freshwater pearls and semi-precious stones but I also have a collection of vintage aurora borealis crystal beads and chandelier crystals.
Anything faceted…lots of natural materials. Basically, anything is fair game.
3. How did you get into jewelry design? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
My mother is very creative and, when I was a kid, we used to make earrings together. I loved those trips to our local craft shop picking out beads and findings! That love has stayed with me over the years though I’ve worked in many other mediums as well.
The most important thing I do for my business is pray! I try to turn it all over to the true Creator and also remember where my inspirations come from.
I started my blog about three years ago and it’s been a fantastic way to connect with people. The Etsy shop is my tool for retail sales but the blog keeps people informed about what’s going on in my creative world. My blog was recently featured in the latest issue of “Artful Blogging” published by Stampington. That was a big honor and a great way to attract readers.
I’m not sure how I get anything done in my studio, considering its size! My workspace is fairly small and I tend to drag a lot of things out when I work on a project. I’m more interested in creating than housekeeping. When things build up to a certain point, I take time to re-organize.
My typical day usually starts by answering emails. I have two kids at home still so I squeeze time in my studio in around driving my youngest to and from school, doing laundry and making dinner. It doesn’t sound too romantic but, that’s life! My most creative time of day is usually the afternoon … right about the time I should be cooking dinner!
5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?
Again, I pray a lot about inspiration. I don’t seem to have much trouble staying inspired. I see things that bring on new ideas in everyday life. Much of my inspiration comes from Bible verses, quotes, phrases … even a word or two will bring on an idea for a design. I’m a scavenger so things I run across in junk stores or in parking lots often inspire a design.
Staying motivated isn’t hard. My studio time is fairly limited so that drive to create never really goes away. It’s not something I want to do but something I have to do. If I wasn’t making jewelry, I would be creating in some other way.
I keep a sketchbook of design ideas so I don’t forget anything. There’s never enough time to do everything I want. Right now, on my blog, I’m offering a challenge for anyone who wants to participate. We’re going through Mary Hettmansperger’s book “Wrap, Stitch, Fold and Rivet”, putting our own twists on Mary’s ideas. It’s a great way to spark your own ideas.
6. What kinds of art beads do you look for? Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?
I love faceted beads, turquoise and anything ethnic or old … anything unusual. This summer I picked up an incredible strand of huge, unpolished amber beads. I can’t wait to work with them.
I adore Pauline Warg’s metal beads and one day hope to take a workshop with her. http://www.paulinewargdesigns.com/
I also love lampwork and think I will have to try my hand at that someday. In the meantime, I would love to have any beads from Gayle of Graciebeads. http://graciebeads.blogspot.com/ She makes the most incredible lampwork!
7. What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
Yes! I have a few new things I’ve been pondering for focals for my necklace designs. I picked up some great natural materials in my summer travels this year so will be incorporating that into my designs…maybe with a Western flair. Should be interesting!
Thanks to Deryn Mentock for answering our questions and giving us a peek into her studio and her creative process.