This week's featured shop is A Thousand Dreams Designs.
1) Tell us about your work & what drew you to it!
My artistry has evolved over the years, beginning in the 1980's with textiles & basket weaving. While learning about the history of basketry, I became interested in beading, and learned the traditional Native American bead weaving stitches. I have since branched out to working with many kinds of beads & metal clays. I often combine several materials & techniques in one piece.
When my work is going well, I'm filled with a sense of harmony. I want to leave a small imprint on earth. I seek out natural materials & use metals from recycled sources & only use non-toxic chemicals & processes. I am happy if a piece finds a person it speaks to. If someone were to dig up a piece of my work in the future, I would only hope it might make them smile & perhaps speak a message of human unity & peace.
My favorite materials include silver-lined delica beads, pearls, crystals, silver & all metals. I love adding a patina to metal to make it look like an ancient find. One of my favorite pieces right now is a nut pod from a tree that grows in Peru in the rainforest, electroplated with copper, & with a patina added as I talked about above. The stones are turquoise. (shown below)
Each year I also make a limited edition series of free-form peyote stitch (mostly!) bracelets, one for each season. The current bracelet is also always one of my favorites. I just finished the Autumn, 2009 bracelet. I was getting into a rut, I thought, with my favorite color palettes of reds & purples (my favorite colors) & decided to break out of that with this bracelet. (shown below)
2) What is most enjoyable about your work?
I love to touch the beads! And the colors! I could never work on an assembly line & I like the fact that I can always be doing something different. When I say that no two of my items are ever alike, that is so true!
3) What is your biggest challenge?
Finding enough time to create, while working full time & maintaining relationships with family & friends.
4) How are you inspired?
I am inspired when I think of beadwork that has survived for centuries or more, & when I imagine the life of the person who placed each bead. To get new inspiration, I might just take a walk. I notice the pine trees swaying in the wind & listen for the bird symphony that echoes through the woods. I check out the mood of the river, & look for patterns in the clouds. I sometimes think of one of my favorite childhood books, The Secret Garden, & I look for secretplaces that I can go back to later in my mind.
5) Apart from creating, what do you enjoy?
Running, biking, reading, camping & hiking, geocaching - the list coud go on. Again, it comes back to finding time...
6) What is your most cherished handmade item?
I knitted a teddy bear sweater for my son, Ryan, when he was about two years old. I loved it & it looked so cute. My second son, Corey, also wore it. I've kept it & Itreasure it for the wonderful memories.
7) Is there a rule you can't help but break?
I don't really know what the rules are- that's probably breaking a rule right there.
8) Name one thing you could never live without!
Family & loved ones goes without saying. I love a glass of red wine with dinner, but I could live without it.... only if I had to. : ) Books, though. I'd have a tough time living without books.
9) Tell us your top five books, movies, songs/books, &/or websites.
My favorite book is often the book I'm reading. Right now, it's Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie, a stunningly written novel of Biafra's struggle for independence in the 1960's. The book is sad, but hopeful, funny, & serious, with wonderful characters. I love seeing musicians in small, intimate venues where I can sit right up close. Some I really enjoy are Jonny Lang, Alice Peacock, Becky Schlegal, Bruce Cockburn, & Brandi Carlisle.
10) Besides Etsy, where can your work be found?
I have a blog & a Facebook Page. I haven't yet done art fairs or shows, but I do hope to do one this fall before the Christmas season.
Enter to win this georgeous silver focal bead pendant at A Thousand Dreams Design's Blog.
Click here for more details.
Click here for more details.