I’ve been asked how I started, and how I get my ideas. Thanks to my parents, who were antiques dealers once upon a time, I’ve been fascinated with jewelry and antiques as far back as I can remember. I always wanted cool jewelry, but couldn’t afford it. So in high school, I started making my own, and had requests from other people to make them jewelry as well. This provided not only a creative outlet but a way to make some extra money, which was always welcome.
My hobby has continued for years, my techniques and materials have changed, and now it’s morphed into my own business. I have discarded some things and brought others on board, tweaking and refining as I go. As for influences, my biggest weakness is and always has been Art Nouveau, whose lines, figural representations and organic forms are simply stunning. A close second is the romantic jewelry of the Victorian era.
I am completely self-taught. One of the benefits of being self-taught is that I don’t know that I can’t do something, or that I shouldn’t do something. This is very liberating. As I am a natural problem-solver, I always find ways to do the things I want to do. Thanks to the advent of the Internet, YouTube, and Pinterest, there are millions of tutorials at my disposal. The biggest problem is deciding what to do when. I am spoiled for choices, and it’s wonderful – though it can be a bit overwhelming. I remember going to the library to check out art and jewelry books, which I still do all the time. I wonder how much different my work would be if I’d had access to the Internet back in the day!
A lot of the people I encounter say how much they love my work, and that they’d never be able to create something like it as they are not creative or artistic. My reaction is always, “Yes, you are!” This reaction surprises people. However, I remind them that humans are inherently creative beings. Whether you make music, cook, draw, paint, garden, make jewelry, sculpt, whatever it may be, you are creating something that didn’t exist before.
Don’t underestimate the power of belief in yourself. If you’ve always wanted to try something, try it! Obtain the best materials you can afford, visit your local library and/or the Internet, and begin at the beginning. Remember that no one else ever needs to see what you’re doing. Do it for yourself, first and foremost. You may eventually discover that that you enjoy sharing with others and being part of a large community of creative people who are helpful, supportive and appreciative. Even if you don’t, you may discover something about yourself that you didn’t realize – namely that you are creative. It can be very satisfying and cathartic.
Create in happiness and good health!