Our interview with:
Come on in and get to know the talent behind the designs at AndreaTJewelry!
When and how did you first become interested in crafting?
I used to sew clothing and home décor items, then silk flower arrangements, country decor, needlepoint, quilting, stained glass, mosaics, and finally jewelry. I started with stringing beads, primarily earrings for myself, then a very artistic friend found a design for a memory wire bracelet and the question became, what do I do with it?
What kinds of places have you displayed your craft?
The tiny village where I lived had an art show twice a year, and another friend was in charge. I started with a small table and only about 30-40 pieces, but luckily for me no other jewelers participated at that show, and I nearly sold out! I exhibited at that show and one in another, bigger town, giving me four shows a year, built around the holiday times when the towns were filled with tourists and part-time residents.
How long have you been creating your chosen craft?
I started an Etsy shop during that time, but sold nothing. When I heard about Artfire, I started this shop in February 2009. We moved to our current town in the high desert of Central Oregon in October 2009 and I spent some time looking at the different craft show possibilities here. For now, I've settled on two shows in November that were successful for me last year. I like selling jewelry in person and have still not mastered either photography (although that was another hobby before the digital age) or SEO.
What else do you do besides create these beautiful piece?
We retired to a beautiful area of Oregon, the mecca for many outdoors activities, and I find those activities pull me away from crafting. I intended to work on jewelry full-time, but our location and the inability to work with the wire and metal for longer than a few hours at a time limit me. I'm also involved in a couple of volunteer projects with regular time commitments.
What are your crafting influences?
I've been mostly self-taught, so learning new skills keeps me moving in new directions. I don't like to make the same kind of jewelry for too long. Almost everything is one of a kind for that reason. I do repeat with variations of sterling silver hoop earrings, since those are the kind of earrings I wear every day.
What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?
I like mixed metals:
Natural stones and rocks:
Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?
No one in my family does similar crafts. One cousin is a photographer; another has written one novel and is continuing to write.
What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?
I came from a newspaper family, so writing was what I always worked on, but making jewelry is so much more appealing than writing and much prettier to look at. Putting colors and textures together in pleasing ways is what feeds my need for creative work.
Where can you be found:
I can be found at AndreaTJewelry.artfire.com
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know the talent behind Andrea T Jewelry. In addition to the lovely pieces that are the artisan's favorites, we pulled together an eclectic collection of items that caught our interest.