Okay. Maybe not quite. However over the last year, my creative process has undergone a dramatic shift. While I am not necessarily designing differently, I am using different materials. A lot of them.
Back in the beginning, I used a lot of Czech glass and crystal from Michael’s and other craft stores. Acquiring the materials was (relatively) cheap and easy. If I broke something (which I often did) then it was no big deal. I could just spend a few more dollars and go buy more.
Eventually, I moved into resin work, along with hand-cut copper, mixed media and a whole host of other things. Just like when I was in television, I still believe that expanding my skill set makes me better at my job – and as a person. If I don’t try new things, I don’t grow as an artist.
Eventually, after a few trips to BeadFest, the semi-precious stones began catching my eye. As I felt the need to keep testing my skills, I also felt the need to keep pushing my boundaries with materials. So? I started small. I picked up a few pricier strands and played around with them. While I was well beyond the point of breaking things, my finishing skills weren’t quite what I wanted (or needed) them to be.
Peruvian Pink Opal on 14K gold
Fast forward to May of 2017. While attending a gem show in Virginia, I had the opportunity to purchase some gorgeous Herkimer “diamond.” While not true diamonds, the Herkimers are water- clear quartz found only in upstate New York and sparkle much like a diamond would. And per strand? They are expensive! So what is a growing jewelry designer to do?
Actually, I’m not really certain. What I ended up doing was taking a deep breath, spending the money on 100% sterling silver findings, including the beading wire (Thanks, Beadalon!) and adding wire guardians for a polished look. Then I closed my eyes, made a wish, and hoped for the best.
I labored over the piece for an entire day, but when I was finished? I had produced what (in my humble opinion) is one of my finest pieces to date.
Diamonds Are Forever
Emboldened, I moved on to that ancient Roman glass I had been saving, as well as the natural, untreated Citrine from Morocco. And I, as an artist, feel as if I’m moving on as well.
I’ll never forget my “glass” roots, but now? Well, as they say, once you go “diamonds,” you never go back! Or something like that, anyway.