Broken Teepee Designs
What kind of jewelry do you make? What types of materials do you prefer? what kinds of art beads do you use?
I create beaded jewelry utilizing bead wire and sterling silver. I love, love, love lampwork! I discovered it while learning about beading and fell in love with the way the artisans create such beauty with glass.I have some excellent relationships with a few select bead artisans whose work I incorporate into my designs. I know their quality is high and their beads are unique. I have recently discovered beads made with polymer clay – I couldn’t believe the designs! So I am starting to work with these beads as well. I also use semi precious gemstones and other stones – it’s really all about color, texture and balance.
How did you get into jewelry design? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
It’s a funny story. My eyesight was giving me problems and I ended up with two pairs of glasses – now I have three; an extra pair for beading! I wanted to make beaded holders for my glasses so I bought what I needed and found a new love! I discovered a talent and it grew from there. I do have a lot of health problems and it takes me a while to get my pieces completed but I enjoy what I do and love what I create.
I have joined a street team on Etsy – The Eclectic Jewelry Artisans. It has been one of the best things I have done for my business. The group works together to promote each other through sales and advertising. We are also there to support each other and provide answers to questions.
I consign some of my work in a shop in my town and that is working very well for me. I am looking for other outlets to do this.
What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?
Right now I am living in a 400 square foot fifth wheel trailer. My husband and I have been traveling around the country for three years. We recently bought a piece of land in Montana and are building a house. Right now my workspace is my dining room table. So everything is has to be unpacked from its boxes, laid out, used for the day and then packed back up again. This can be a bit time consuming. The new house will have a room I can use for my beading. I don’t work everyday as I don’t feel well enough everyday…
When I do work I usually have an idea that has been floating around in my head for a bit and I piece it together. Some creations come together quickly; others take a few days. It all depends on how complicated they are.
How do you stay inspired and motivated?
New beads! Aren’t we all motivated by new beads? But otherwise I will see something out my window that will inspire me – the scenery here in Montana is awe inspiring. Or I will just start putting beads side by side and inspiration will strike. Or it might be the design that doesn’t let me sleep for three nights….
What kinds of art beads do you look for? Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?
I love lampwork that is bright and colorful! I think because I don’t see all that well I love bright colors. I am also drawn to abstract patterns with strong elements. And on the other side I love cute beads; like little animals or cupcakes and things like that.
Actually I did have a bead wish fulfilled. I belong to an organization called ChemoAngels. It supports people undergoing chemotherapy. I wanted to make a necklace for someone with a lampwork angel. I made a request of a lampwork artist with whom I work and she made me the most beautiful angel – and she GAVE it to me. It was a lovely gift for my buddy.
What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
As I mentioned I am exploring polymer clay beads. It is like a whole new world has opened up. Just what my budget needs! I am also working more with semi-precious gemstones and I plan to add gold fill and vermeil to my line.
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