I love the creative process. The possibilities are endless! The freedom of choosing what to make, how to make it, and what materials to use, is very refreshing. As a busy mom, it is my jewelry making that I turn to for my personal rejuvenation.
I hope that the jewelry I make allows people who have been otherwise unable to wear accessories be able to finally put some on comfortably and be able to feel pretty!
I am a stay-at-home mom to two little girls. I am working on my Master's Degree in Technical Japanese translation with a background in Aerospace Engineering. I have had the pleasure of traveling internationally to Japan, France, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Canada, and am excited to see more of the world someday! I love my Kindle which my husband got me for this last Christmas!
What got you started crafting?
I started making earrings using Surgical Steel hooks for my own ears. I had purchased a large supply of hooks that I found on overstock.com and was going to make some simple pretty styles for my own sensitive ears and/or swap out hooks on some of my other earrings. My mom commented on how pretty the styles were that I had made for myself and suggested I try selling them. I now sell them on Etsy and have branched into offering Surgical Steel hooks, Surgical Steel posts, Niobium hooks, and just recently Niobium posts, hoops, and rings. I also have recently listed plastic coated surgical steel wire necklaces. I hope to continue to work with these materials to offer new and different accessory options for people with metal sensitivities and/or allergies because it is really disappointing when you cannot wear pretty jewelry for fear of irritated skin.
My bio is written on my website at: http://prettysensitive.weebly.com/bio.html
I also recently wrote a tribute to one of my inspirations / mentors on my blog: http://prettysensitive.blogspot.com/2011/03/tribute-to-inspiration.html
What is your source of inspiration?
I really gain most of my inspiration from the materials themselves. I am drawn to particular materials - usually ones that have a great feel as well as look. I then enjoy sitting down with my materials spread around me and play with color and material combinations. By looking at everything in front of me usually particular combinations will sort of jump out at me. I can envision a particular look and then it's a matter of trying to make it happen.
I also enjoy the idea of upcycling items. When I see items that are headed for the garbage, I try to look at them in terms of their material and / or practicality to see if they can be reused and / or broken down so parts can be used again. It's a great creative challenge!
Lately, I have realized that I do tend to look at the jewelry people are wearing when I am out and about or reading magazines too. Something I never really did before!
I love learning new things so I am constantly checking out new library books, reading magazines, and researching techniques online. I am hoping to be able to take an intensive beginner's metalsmithing class soon!
What have you made recently?
I found some leftover playing cards that were garbage and decided they'd make fun earrings. I used a craft punch to punch out the King's face and his sword on each end of one particular card. Then I used metal eyelets to reinforce the holes created with a craft knife. Then I made jump rings to attach the two discs to each other and to a surgical steel earring hook with the face on top and the sword below. They turned out great! They are very lightweight and very fun!
I like to make sure that my work is well done before listing it or sending it out the door. I've wrestled with wire more than once while wire-wrapping, but eventually get the right wrap which gives the right look! Quality is important.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I started selling my jewelry at local holiday bazaars. Now I sell my jewelry mostly online in my Etsy shop. I still do like to take part in an occasional bazaar / festival though - the atmosphere is so fun and it's great to see other people's creations too! I enjoy creating jewelry pieces for friends and family as gifts for holidays and other special occasions too.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
I enjoy looking at the items on Etsy created by hand because I know that people put a lot of time and effort into their creations. I like the idea of supporting small businesses and other individuals like myself who are trying to either supplement their household income or make a living via their craft. I also appreciate the quality of the work, the personal service, and the fact that as a customer you know what went into the item(s) (in terms of ingredients and labor).