Fairy Bower Moonlight Blue Ear Cuff Vine Wrap
Tell us about yourself:
I often refer to myself as a Daughter of the Southwind, which is my way of embracing the fact that I was born and raised in the heartland of the USA, Kansas. (People of the Southwind is the Native American meaning of the word Kansas). I spent much of my childhood wishing myself to far away places- real and imagined-and most of my heroes were fanciful characters from books like Lord of the Rings, Peter Pan, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
My husband Ian hails from Edinburgh Scotland and has recently joined me in my artistic ventures- he is the official Circlet Wizard at Thyme2dream. Ian and I also have a Celtic Folk-Rock band that plays local pubs and coffee houses.
Tell us about your shop.
Our main focus currently is creating “unusual jewelry for discerning fae and elven folk” . I am expanding my Elven Forest collection to include different themes and colours and have been focusing on adding more hair and headdress pieces to the groupings. Ear cuffs, ear vines and ear wraps continue to be a mainstay of my work, and I plan to continue adding new designs in those categories as well. Medieval, Renaissance and Fantasy Wedding jewelry is also a specialty of ours and we love doing custom and bespoke jewelry for all occasions.
How did you get started?
I have always been surrounded by creative people, but until recently I was mostly just an onlooker. My mum was a fiber artist, and when I was a teenager I spent summers traveling with her to craft and music festivals selling her work. My first husband was an illustrator, and I often worked for an artisan t-shirt company selling his and other artists’ shirts at fairs and festivals. When my three sons were small, most of my creativity was focused on being the best mother I could be.
I believe that the root of my artistic career really came about as a result of a restless need to do something with all the creative energy I was no longer using as my kids became more independent. I just suddenly had this consuming passion to make things…I played with polymer clay for awhile, got into beading, and then I discovered wire working and was totally hooked! I first started making sun catchers and trying my hand at wind chimes, etc but then one day 89 year old gran asked me if I could make a pair of ear cuffs for her. This appealed to me as well, I had never had pierced ears and loved dangly earrings. Basically, I started making the sort of jewelry that I loved, but could never find anywhere else and the results of that effort have evolved into a full time jewelry business.
What is your favorite item in your shop
Oh my goodness- they are all my babies I cant have one favorite!!
What’s your favourite _____________ that you have ever made
I love a challenge, and we have had some FUN with custom designs…last summer we were asked to create accessories for a costume to be used in a minature horse show – including a unicorn horn for the horse!! Blog post here:
Around the same time a bunch of Wholigans- fans of The Who- asked us to create some special jewelry for them to wear to the VH1 concert taping in LA:
While I prefer some of my fairy and elven themed jewelry in terms of design,these were certainly two of the most memorable projects we have worked on!!
Whats your most memorable sale.
I love selling internationally and am always delighted to add a new country to the list of places my jewelry has traveled, its one of the things my dad loves to brag about when he talks to people about my shop too. Most of my sales come from the US, Canada, UK and Australia, but I have lost count of the actual number of countries I have sold to.. this year I added some more remote places like Armenia and Slovenia to my list!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
When I make jewelry I sometimes start with a story I want to tell, and other times the beads & wire just make themselves into something I love and the story comes later! I delight in fanciful stories from literature, theater, music and I am fascinated by the process of trying to convey the enchantment from one genre (ie books or music) to another (jewelry). I am also fascinated by the ‘personalities’ that different cultures and traditions have given gemstones through the ages. In my more earthy pieces, I often create by combining crystals with specific meanings in mind. Sort of a blessing recipe for the person who will eventually wear them.
Artists who inspire me: Alphonse Mucha~ his artistic love affair with the actress Sarah Bernhardt, the jewelry he adorned his portrait models with, as well as the designs he actually had made into jewelry pieces in collaboration with French jeweler Georges Fouquet. I like to think I might be related to him somewhere back there- my maternal grandparents are from the same region of the Czech Republic where he was born.
I also love the work of Arthur Rackham (See blog post here: http://www.artfire.com/users/thyme2dream/blog/queen-mab-peter-pan-arthur-rackham-s-faery-world ) Maxfield Parrish, Rick Griffin and N C Wyeth.
Tell us about a favorite designer.
Alphonse Mucha was pure magic as an illustrator AND as a designer. On my first trip to Scotland I was delighted to find that there was a Mucha exhibit at the Edinburgh City Museum. I spent an entire afternoon in heaven wandering around the exhibit seeing his work live and in person!
What’s your favorite color .
Rainbow Very Happy
What’s your favorite room at home? Why is it your favorite?
My studio, which used to be called the schoolroom when I was still home schooling my boys. It is also known as the treehouse, since it is a second story sunroom- all windows with trees all around- I love being “outside” while Im inside working!
Do you have a tip you’d like to share with readers?
Just a very general tip that applies to everything- try to find something you love about everything you do and put your heart into it (basically Mary Poppins Spoonful of Sugar puts this philosophy in a musical nutshell Wink )
What are your (upto 5) favorite magazine(s), and or book(s).
Step by Step Wire (mag)
Bead Unique (mag)
Exquisite Beaded Jewelry by Linda Musante
The Stars:A New Way to See Them by H.A.Rey (YES he is the Curious George guy;-)
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J M Barrie with Arthur Rackham’s illustrations
What do you do to relax and unwind?
Huh? Lol, okay I suppose sometimes I do actually take a bit of time off work…I baby-sit my adorable 8 month old grandson 2-3 days a week and we hang out and have a great time. I have a personal blog where I explore my spirituality, I play mandolin, guitar and Bouzouki (its like a big mandolin with a Celtic twist;-), I watch football (soccer) with my husband, I like to learn new things- I love all the earth sciences, astronomy, geology, weather, etc. There’s always something going on to pique my curiosity- Im definitely NEVER bored!!
Read Full Post »