1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?
Gaea Cannaday, Gaea Pendants, http://www.gaea.cc/, Ojai, California.
2. What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use? What is your favorite beadmaking technique?
I make ceramic beads by hand building some and press molding others. I love “free form” creating molds. I love sculpting little pieces like stars or flowers in clay to create a scene or story. I guess I really like the story telling aspect of it.
3. How did you get into beadmaking? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
My business started as a love of jewelry and a need to stay home with my son. I was “down sized” from an art director job after I had my son. I had made jewelry as a side thing for fun and gifts and had spent many years in the ceramic studio at collage and LOVED it! Totally addicting. I would decorate pots and cups with “jewelry” bits. One holiday season I had wanted to make some of my own components and picked up some sculpey. Baked and painted it with some fun results. My husband quickly pointed out that the pieces would be a good fit for ceramics. Ding! Light bulb moment! We experimented and fired up the old kiln. That first batch was horrible but really amazing with potential. Just seeing how the different clays and glazes worked together was just pure excitement!
4. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?
My workspace is where ever my kids are but mostly the kitchen and bathroom. The patio is crammed with my work things. Kiln, glazes, clay tools, jewelry supplies, beads in various states are all kept there, safely out of the munchkins reach. They do like to play with the clay. My two year old still likes to put it up her nose or eat it so it’s closely supervised. Luckily when you work from home you have flexibility to get things done at your own pace. I try to center my day around my kids. Beads are pretty portable and most things if planned right cant be taken with us. It is a joy to be able to take my son and daughter to school and pick them up, take swim lessons, gymnastics or a martial art. I would hate for them not to have those opportunities. If I’m in the car on a family trip I make a kit to take with me. I usually bend wires or do something that is repetitive but I can still carry on a conversation. Our days are pretty full so laundry and pick up time often get over looked for reading or coloring.
5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?
Inspiration comes from all directions! Necessity is the mother of invention sometimes. Other times my family are my inspiration. The past, good memories, even bad one. There is room for everything in inspiration. Life.
6. What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment your art beads? Do you design your own jewelry too?
I love designing jewelry. My Mom and I are both jewelry addicts (I will blame this on my Mom!). I’ve spread the bead disease to here now though and we hit a local gem faire pretty hard a few weeks back! Go Mom, GO! I’ve been heavy into wire wrapping for a while and feel like that lets each bead make its own statement but also tell a story with the other elements. I feel stuck in the “necklace” and should break out of that a bit into other things. I’ve been thinking about hair ornamentation for a while and playing with some ideas on and off.
7. What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
A few years ago I made these light up wood, story wall boxes that had decoupage and beads. Maybe revisiting this idea with handmade beads would be a hoot.