How did you get started?
I have been creating jewelry since 2000. When I started, I was ten or eleven years old. My first creations used acrylic beads and lots of yarn! I have been learning new techniques and trying different styles ever since.
What got you interested in jewelry making?
My family has always encouraged my creativity with frequent gifts of craft supplies and bead kits.
As a child, I would play dress-up with my Mom’s and Grandma’s jewelry. It was so much fun! The best thing about Fairy Tale princesses, for me, was their jewelry. I would try to duplicate the necklaces of my favorite characters using broken pieces from my Mom’s and Grandma’s jewelry boxes, combined with left over beads from the kits I was given.
How did you start selling your jewelry?
Again, credit goes to my family. My Grandma, Irene Fleming, an artist herself, prompted me to bring some of my jewelry to the Czech-Slovak festival (held annually in Phillips WI). That was in 2004; I was surprised at how successfully my jewelry sold.
Where do you get your ideas?
I am inspired by beautiful things everywhere, everything from other jewelry, to fabric patterns, the intricate arrangements of nature, fashion, and art.
Some of my ideas come from just experimenting with diverse combinations of bead shapes, sizes, and hues to see what works.
What about the techniques you use, where did you learn them?
I am self- taught. Not being the sort of person who is good at following instructions, books on jewelry design and bead magazines inspired me more than taught me. The jewelry making techniques that I know were learned through trial and error. I am constantly trying to learn more and polish my skills. Beading and jewelry making are about patience and practice, those are my two most important techniques.
What about Wire Sculpture?
In 2014, I started creating wire sculptures. Over the years, I had seen wire sculptures that I really liked online and thought “Wow! I could never make that” but still ended up giving it a try one day. As it ended up, lot of my wire Jewelry techniques crossed over into sculpture design, just were applied on a larger scale.