Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Interview of Jolita Jewellery

What is your art/craft and how long have you been doing it?
It all started as a hobby and about a year later or so I set up Jolita Jewellery company together with my sister. I'm creating one-of-a-kind and bespoke jewellery pieces. I work with various materials: silver, precious and semi-precious stones, beads, anything I find in antique markets etc. Right now I love creating pieces, using reclaimed and new materials.

What got you started?
Both I and my sister were always very interested in fashion and about 6 years ago we opened our womensware shop in Angel, London. Whilst there were no problems finding clothes, we struggled with jewellery pieces. We were looking for something unique, not like anything else that was on the market at the time. Algis kept on thinking about it and had a recurring dream for a few days, which prompted him to go to the bead shop in Beak street, London, and buy a set of tools and charms. That's how he made his first piece – a big, over the top charm bracelet. Shortly after he started making more and more jewellery. All of our friends were wearing his handmade jewellery pieces and one day we decided to share it with the world and established Jolita Jewellery. Although Algis is self–taught, he likes to deepen his knowledge by reading about various jewellery techniques and experimenting with different materials, colours and objects.

Are there any other arts and crafts that you would like to try your hand at? If so, why?
At the moment I am interested in making highly scented candles and perfume. I obtained this book published in 1850's which lists hundreds of original perfume, cologne and soap recipes. I am using that book for creating candles and perfume. I would also love to learn the art of shoemaking.

What are your favorite materials to use?
Right now I love working with silk, vintage crystal jewellery and coral.
What and/or who inspires you? (you can use people's Etsy shops and/or websites as examples)
My collections are inspired by novels by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, also mythology, Aztec art in British Museum, Memento Mori jewellery, trips to antique markets. During one of the recent visits to Portobello market I was particularly intrigued by an intricately woven Victorian human hair bracelet with beautifully engraved gold clasp. I also like the idea of using vintage and antique components and give them new lease of life. I love using various carvings in my pieces - I am currently working with some master carvers in Indonesia - they produce the most amazing pieces!!!

Do you have a Coupon Code for your Etsy Shop and/or website?
Anyone quoting Beloved Bijou will be entitled to a 30% discount.

Etsy Shop:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Interview of Sevan Avakian

1.  My art/craft is a few, actually.  I paint, draw, hand carve in wax, handcraft jewelry and make art pieces in all types of metals.  I also create my own metals, cut gemstones in bullets and design.  I am a gemologist and enjoy mining for stonesI have been doing all this for over 25 years.

2.  My father was a wood craftsman and painter; thus, art is my blood.  I somewhat stumbled upon jewelry as an accident after my father forced me to not pursue my political interests at the university.

3.  Platinum, colored diamonds to create.  I use a mryiad of tools that are unusual for wax carving jewelry making that are my secret.

4.  My father:

5.  Code at checkout for 10% off purchase:  VIIAD

6.  refer to list below:


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Interview of Eryka Garbutt Designs

Today I'm interviewing Eryka Garbutt Designs of Canberra which is the capital city of Australia.
Here is what she had to say:
What is your art/craft and how long have you been doing it?
Decoupage is my obsession, however I avoid the traditional designs of flowers and angels and try for something different. Most of my work has an Art Nouveau influence. Canvas to jewelry to glass, furniture and house ware, I will decoupage with paper, fabric, real flowers and leaves. I believe a good piece of decoupage has a minimum for 20 layers of varnish to achieve that glass like finish.

I am proud to say that I am one of very few artists who create decoupage jewelry.
I just love Japanese and Indian paper, which I buy direct from the manufacturer. This ensures the quality and range of papers I have access to. Buying paper at the local craft store limits your choices.
 I have been playing with wire and bead and Swarovski crystals. I prefer colours to just silver and gold. I often make my own findings, chains, beads and focal beads.
Currently I am experimenting with hand made paper beads, which I then lacquer and make into jewelry, my necklaces have been very popular.

What got you started?
In my previous life I was a Cad Operator (Computer aided drafting) and web site manager for the largest government building here in Canberra Australia. Most of my career was spent working in an ordered engineering environment. Everything had to fit preordained layouts, be symmetrical, aligned, no allowance for personal expression and differences were not tolerated.
When I retired I began decoupage and instead of this being my pastime it became a stepping-stone. I was introduced to flame glass beadwork and this started my expedition into jewelry. Then of course came decoupage jewelry and lacquered paper jewelry. Silk scarves and canvases closely followed this.
Are there any other arts and crafts that you would like to try your hand at? If so, why?
Polymer clay. I have all the equipment necessary and I am mentally ready but as yet time eludes me. I am fascinated at the different effects you can achieve from some blocks of plain coloured blocks of clay. There are some very talented artists out there and they inspire me.

What are your favorite materials to use?
Paper. Even as a child I have been enamoured with paper. These days I just love Japanese paper. They manage to make miss matched colors work in their designs. They use bright colors; the texture is almost like fabric.

What and/or who inspires you? (you can use people's Etsy shops and/or websites as examples)
I love designs that are a bit different. Nerreda Singleton is a decoupage artist I admire, I love Alfons Mucha, Art Deco, Art Nouveau.
Rebecca Tenace is very innovative.  Chelsea Stevens does some really nice work.

Do you have a Coupon Code?
If you visit my website and look under products you will find, "discount voucher" and "gift certificate". On these I offer 10% discount on any item in my store.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Interview of DianaShyeJewelry

I am an Israeli jewelry artist living and working in Jerusalem, Israel.  I was born in the U.S. and moved to Israel in 1968.  

What is your art/craft and how long have you been doing it? 

My training in jewelry-making has been an organic, eclectic process of formal and informal study and self-teaching that that began in childhood (see below) and continues to this day.  Even while raising my family and pursuing an academic career in health care research, crafting of many sorts has always been my avocation.  In the later years of my academic career, I began to concentrate my artistic efforts on jewelry-making and decided that I would make it my post-retirement second career.   Upon my retirement in 2004, I began the full-time pursuit of jewelry-making.  I formally launched my own jewelry-making business in early 2006.  

What got you started?
My development as a jewelry artist began in childhood as I watched my parents at work on their own handicraft projects.  My father, an avionics engineer by profession and an expert carpenter by avocation, designed and built many pieces of furniture for our home.  My mother, a talented dress designer and seamstress who could whip up anything from Halloween costumes to evening gowns, was also skilled at many other handicrafts.  Both were always at work on one creative project or another and many of my earliest memories are of observing their work process, skills and tools with fascination and begging to try my hand at them.  They were willing teachers, so at a young age I learned to knit, embroider, design and sew clothing and help my father in his basement carpentry shop.  I also made my first forays into jewelry-making as a child, starting with designing and weaving seed bead jewelry and later moving on to wire working. 

My parents also taught me the enjoyment of the work process itself and the importance of attention to fine detail and high quality workmanship.  As a result, I had early experience of the satisfaction of mastering new skills, of the excitement of the creative process and of the pleasure of beholding a creation of my own.  These experiences laid the foundation for my sense of myself as an artist and as an artisan with the drive and confidence to tackle the mastery of new skills as they became relevant to my artistic self-expression.  Creativity in arts and crafts, including jewelry-making, has remained an avocation and passion since those days.
Are there any other arts and crafts that you would like to try your hand at? If so, why?
I am skilled at and enjoy many different arts and crafts, but these days I focus almost exclusively on jewelry-making.   One art/craft I have always wanted to try is quilting; perhaps one day I will have time for it.  Within the field of jewelry-making, so far I have taken only tentative steps into the area of chain maille and I would like very much to devote serious effort to mastering this technique.

What are your favorite materials to use?
Sterling silver and fine silver wire and sheet, 14-karat gold-filled wire, semi-precious stones, pearls, crystals.  I recently also started working with copper sheet and am experimenting with designs that combine sterling silver and copper.

What and/or who inspires you?
I am fascinated by the decorative arts and crafts of ancient and classic cultures, and in particular, by the wire-working techniques used in their jewelry.  Motifs, elements and techniques of the jewelry of ancient cultures frequently spark my imagination toward a new design idea, concept or theme that I can translate into a modern idiom.  Many of my designs involve variations on age-old wire-working techniques such as Egyptian spirals, Viking knit, wire-coiling, and wire crochet, which I often integrate with semi-precious stones, pearls or crystals. 

I am also inspired by metalsmithing artists who push the limits of the materials and the techniques that they use, either through highly original designs, successful experimentation with innovative techniques (e.g., fold-forming) or simply very high quality use of classic techniques.  Here are a few of the Etsy artists whose work is a source of inspiration for me:

Here is another Etsy artist whose work I love because of the fantastic possibilities she sees in very prosaic, unlikely materials:

Another source of inspiration for me may be a stone or cabochon that is provocative because of it special color, shape, size, etc., which challenges me to create a design that will set off its unique qualities.
Do you have a Coupon Code?
Currently, the following coupon codes are active in my Etsy store:
TWITFOLL (10% discount for my Twitter followers)
FBFAN10 (10% discount for my Facebook page fans)
LINKEDIN10 (10% discount for my LinkedIn contacts)
SETDISCOUNT (10% discount for 2+ jewelry items that are part of a set)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Interview of Avalon Myst Creations

"Hello Myria!
Delightful to connect with you.  Here are the answers to your questions:"

What is your art/craft and how long have you been doing it? 
1./ Portraiture in chalk, graphite, and oils started since I was 11.
2./ Jewelry design professionally since 2008 after studying lampworking, and metalsmithing with several independent craftspeople.

What got you started? 
My maternal grandparents were Austrian crystal merchants and my father was a technical illustrator in Alsace, where I was born so I had access to materials at a very early age. After working twenty years in the film industry, I wanted to create jewelry and art that would make everyone feel as special as the celebrities with whom I worked.

Are there any other arts and crafts that you would like to try your hand at? If so, why? 
My aunt and grandmother taught me to knit and I'd like to revisit that in greater detail to create lacework for family and friends.

What are your favorite materials to use? 
I love watching molten glass take shape under the flame, and weaving Swarovski crystals into my jewelry with Japanese seed beads brings sparkle in my customer's eyes !

What and/or who inspires you? (you can use people's Etsy shops and/or websites as examples) 
Nature, mythology, the stones themselves each have a song, my customers inspire me to create very personal signature pieces with their energy blueprints in mind.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Interview of Nancy Helmer Designs

Today I am pleased to interview Nancy with Nancy Helmer Designs.  Here is what she had to say:

I started designing jewelry in 1995 quite by accident. I went with a  friend to a wholesale jewelry supply company and found some turquoise beads I liked. Next thing I knew, having asked how to make a necklace, the salesperson was helping me select more beads, beading supplies, and tools. So, one day, while wearing the turquoise necklace, someone asked to buy it. And the rest is history. I took several jewelry and design related classes as well as becoming a silversmith. My background includes several geology courses which have been invaluable to me when buying stones.

For several years, I was active selling in juried art shows, but tired of the long hours. Now I sell on Etsy, and through word of         mouth. Many of my clients have me design pieces to go with their new outfits, for special occasions, such as a charity gala or wedding, or … just because.
My other artistic passion of many years is photography. Recently, I switched from film to digital photography and am developing my style in digital art. So watch for that to surface in the future.
My favorite materials for jewelry are silver –both sterling and fine, semi-precious gems, minerals, fossils, and vintage elements.
Nature inspires my designs. How a stone speaks to me influences the final composition.
The Facebook page and blog are under construction. So for today, you can find me at:
Coupon code MM810 entitles my readers to 10% off until May 1, 2012!

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more awesome artists and crafts people!
<3 Myria

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Craft Room

As many of you may already know I've been struggling to get my craft space organized. Well, it's finally coming together!!! I'm so excited. Here are some photos:

Some little antique odds and ends, most of which used to belong to my grandma Sally. The pair of rusty old broken scissors I found at the ruins at La Junta, in Guadalupe County.

My sewing desk and the dresser where I store my fabric. I used a curtain rod to organize my spools of ribbon.

My fancy dress form that I bought on Etsy that is actually my size

A couple of my Tokidoki figures next to some awesome framed prints that I bought at Salvation Army for $10 each

And more of my favorite little storage boxes and vases that I've collected over the years.
I can't tell you how relieved I am to finally have my studio set up in a way that makes me feel at home and inspired! Not overwhelmed and stifled...
Thanks for reading! Hope this inspires you to find your creative space, whether it be in your home or outside of your home. We all need a creative sanctuary!