Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jewelry Designers by Accident - 6th Bead Soup Party

It is that time again, the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party put on the most wonderful Lori Anderson, Pretty Things.

Bead Soup August 2011 - Partner Erin Prais-Hintz

Sign up for the party ends tonight at midnight.  Lori will then match all of us up with partners, we send our partners "Bead Soup", we mix it all into something wonder and then we reveal what each of us had made on the reveal date.

Bead Soup June 2010 - Partner Christine of A Hot Piece of Glass
Lori had a wonderful idea on how to get the Bead Soup Party started - write a blog post about why you became a jewelry artist - though mom and I don't consider ourselves artists.  Mom really hates calling herself an artist.

Bee My Honey
For me, I wasn't really artistic as a kid.  The last art classes I took were in junior high school in 1986, I believe. Of course during high school, I drew a little bit but not much. Of course during my time in the military, I never even thought about art.  Though there are times I would sit down and write poetry, but nothing I would share with anyone except Mom.

February ABS Challenge Piece - Lei it on me
I always knew mom was an artist.  She would always draw and paint things for my Brownies or for my elementary school classes.  Mom would also always paint my face for Halloween and make our costumes too.  I don't ever not remember mom doing something cool for me or my brother.

My first jewelry ever - OMG!!!
I remember exactly when I got hooked - June 2004.  I was taking a management class at Ivy Tech and we had to interview a small business owner.  I remember my grandpa giving me a newspaper clipping about a glass store that opened in 2003.  So, I called up the store and asked if I could interview the owner - Sharon Owens of Inspired Fire.  I had a wonderful talk with Sharon and my group and I did a great presentation, which we got an A on.  I remember talking about the store a lot with mom - she went ahead and bought me a beginning class on flameworking.  In the class we learned how to make several different beads, make a sculpture piece, blow a glass ornament and make a marble.  I HAD A BLAST!!!

My flame beads with orange, yellow and dark red

For about six months I just made beads - though mom and Sharon kept telling me I had to make something out of those beads instead of hoarding them.

One of my first necklaces
As you can tell I had no clue what I was doing - just making it up as I went along, both in jewelry making and photography.  Until I found out that Purdue University offered a Jewelry and Metalsmithing class.  I started taking classes spring of 2005.

One of my first major projects - lampwork beads, Sterling
Silver Celtic cut outs - enameled pendant - all handmade
measurements done by mom
During my time in class and making beads at Inspired Fire, mom would help me by cleaning beads or measuring necklaces (I hate measuring!!).  Mom would also help me with my design ideas.  She also put up with a lot from me when I was in my Two-D design and drawing classes - I HATE DRAWING WITH A PASSION.  The Two-D design class I was living with mom at the time and I think she was ready to kill me by the time the class was over with.  It is a good thing I was living in my own house when I took the drawing class because I think she would have really killed me then.

First enameled bowl ever - my Color in Metal class Fall 2006
In 2006, I brought mom into the madness of sawing, flameworking and enameling.  That is the year my grandma died, and I think mom was ready for a change.  That summer I bought mom a beginning lampworking class; then I started teaching her how to saw and enamel (though I usually don't let her enamel because she goes a little crazy with the enamels).

African Mask - mom sawed and me enamel
I think it was the summer of 2007 that mom and I started going to craft shows.  We teamed up with another mother/daughter team and did our first show at the Brookston Apple/Popcorn festival.  I think we only did one other show at the Harrison High School.

One of our first pieces - together
Because mom and I work full time, and at the time I was going to school part time, there was not a whole lot of shows we could do.  We only had, at most, four or five bowls for sale at the time and not a whole lot of inventory. 

Jan 2012 ABS Challenge - Tra-La-La
I started the blog on December 12, 2008.  I really didn't start doing a lot of blogging until early 2010. I don't think we got our first comment until February 10, 2010 and it was by our one and only Lori, Pretty Things.

January 2010 ABS Challenge
So, a lot has happened since we started this trip in 2006.  Mom and I have bought lampworking torches, a bead kiln and an enameling kiln, a drill and a metal cutter and lots of glass for making beads and a lot of different components to make jewelry.

Warrior Woman 1 - Donated Necklace
Mom and I have had several our pieces published in magazines, donated pieces to a cancer benefit, participated in three other Bead Soup Blog parties (June 2010, February 2011, and September 2011) participated in numerous Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenges, Erin Prais-Hintz The Challenge of ColorChallenge of Music and Challenge of Literature

Art on the Wabash 2011

We have moved from craft shows to juried art shows.  We have started to have a following of loyal customers both on Etsy and at the art shows.  At the Sleepy Creek, Salt Fork River Festival, we have one customer who comes each year to buy one of our bowls.  She packs up all her other bowls, lays them out on the table so she can figure out what new bowl will go with her collection. At our Delphi Art Show, we have customers asking weeks in advance to make sure we are going to participate - so that makes us feel like a million bucks - that someone likes us even though we are soooo not mainstream.

PeaTalk - ABS Challenge Piece
So, that is our story of how we got started on this mad ride.  I had a lot of fun writing this post because it gave me a chance to go back and look at photos I have taken.  Oh my goodness, just in the last two years the pictures have improved substantially, and, of course, the jewelry has evolved.  It is so cool to see where you started and where you are currently.  It will be fun to come back in a year to see what ways we have changed again.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our journey.


  1. What an amazing journey about you, your mom and your "artist career"! Thanks for taking me along. I love that necklace with the Celtic cutouts and the light blue beads.

  2. I loved reading about your amazing go ladies...awesome journey. I love all the pieces but I especially like the African Mask...beautiful work you guys.


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