When I started making jewelry, I discovered my calling. I studied English in school, and wrote poetry, plays, fiction and a billion research papers. A couple of years after graduating college, I fell out of the habit of writing, and had no creative outlet. One weekend, I was at my mom’s, and she was stringing a bracelet. I took some of her unwanted, unloved beads, and made a bracelet for myself. That was seven years, and miles and miles of beading wire, ago. Making jewelry is like a form of meditation for me—a calming, beautiful way of easing my mind and expressing myself.
I tend to be a very structured, organized person, except when creating jewelry. When I buy supplies or even sit down to make jewelry, I usually have no plans for what I might put together until I start poking around in my beads. Usually, I change designs right up until the time when I crimp the final crimp bead and a piece is finished. What I end up with is always a surprise.
Most of my inspiration comes from vintage or antique pieces. I’ll run across an old skeleton key with a great patina and a feel of mystery and design a necklace from there.
I’ll find some odd piece of hardware or ephemera, and see the potential for a necklace.
Or take a pile of vintage wind watch guts and bits, and see a unique collage pendant.
Characters from old movies and books inspire me, too, like this necklace inspired by a character from The Great Gatsby.
And sometimes all it takes is some shiny colorful beads that I picked up randomly in a store the day before.
I can't think of anything I'd rather do than sit down at my bead board and see what conjures itself up. The true joy of this is making a one-of-a-kind piece that forms a connection with another person, sometimes as far away as France or Sweden. I know that rush when I buy a piece of jewelry that seems like it was made just for me. Knowing that a stranger feels that way when they look at a piece of my jewelry is the strongest inspiration of all.