Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Personal Oasis -- Featured Artisan

Our Interview with Personal Oasis

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I used to define myself by my work outside the home. I worked too hard and too much and when I started to burn out, a friend at work got me hooked on jewelry. I know it sounds hokey, but I think it saved me from myself!

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I've been making jewelry since 2008 - so that makes it almost 3 years.

Mossy Green and Black Necklace
Mossy Green and Black Necklace

What are your crafting influences?

I shop for materials that I like first (semi-precious gemstones and pearls especially, but I'm beginning to appreciate crystals now too) Who doesn't love shopping!!! The best part is that I have no idea what I'll do with them when I get them. The designs for my necklaces, bracelets and earrings just come to me as I am looking around at my stash. It's the complete opposite of who I have to be in the traditional workplace - very liberating.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

I come from a large family. We have folks cross stitch, sew, quilt, scrapbook, wood work, and one of my sisters runs her own cake decoration business... but nobody does anything with wire or beads.

Pearl Bracelet - Freshwater Pearls and Sterling Silver
Pearl Bracelet - Freshwater Pearls and Sterling Silver

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I'm the mother to two great kids and wife to a great husband. I also run a technology team for a Fortune 100 company.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

This necklace is probably my favorite. It's hard to pick just one!

Multiple Strand Jasper and Obsidian Necklace
Muliple Strand Japser and Obsidian Necklace

Why did you make that piece?

I was talking with a friend one day and she commented on a sweater I was wearing and how hard it must be to find jewelry to go with it. That night, I was looking at my stash and noticed the kambaba jasper beads. It was the exact green color of that sweater. The basic design for this necklace was born that night. I still wear that necklace. It was so popular when people saw it that I made more for my shop.

What does it take to create pieces like that?

You know what? I don't know. I have taught people I know how to do the basic jewelry techniques that I know. It's so amazing what you can do with basic steps, some creativity and some beads. Each person's creativity takes them to a different place. THAT is what makes crafting special.

Agate Earrings - Blue Lace Agate and Silver
Agate Earrings - Blue Lace Agate and Silver

What is special about your pieces?

I use mostly stones and other natural materials, though they are sometimes dyed, heated etc. The stones are the focal point of my designs. It makes my jewelry earthy with gorgeous colors and subtle tones. Beyond that, I stand behind my work with great customer service and generous return policies.

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

Do you remember how Gandalf describes the Hobbits in the LOTR movies? "Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you." This craft is a little bit like Hobbits to me.

Links to my personaloasis  studio.   

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