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The second artist in this series of interviews, Bead Stylin‘ creates delightful, delectable beaded jewelry from exquisite stones.  Read on to learn more…

Would you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am Jeannie, and I live in Wichita, Kansas with my husband, four children, two horribly spoiled kitties, and nine (give or take) toads (yes, toads!). All of us, with the exception of the toads, reside in our never-quite-clean, two-story house in northwest Wichita, while the toads take up their pampered residence in our giant window well outside.

I’ve lived here all my life and can’t imagine living anywhere else. After 40 (ahem) some-odd years, Kansas has become a part of me and I a part of it. I think it’s a great place to live and raise a family.

We have always homeschooled our children. When I’m not homeschooling the kids, maintaining a household and home business, or creating jewelry, you might find me haunting antique malls and thrift stores, metal detecting, camping, fishing, or playing guitar. I also like to garden, although every spring I develop amnesia and forget that I’m really not very good at it. And I always have a book or two going. Right now, I’m glued to the Patricia Cornwell “Scarpetta” series and can’t seem to put those down. I also enjoy a good, dark beer…can’t forget that! 🙂

What is your craft?

I handcraft rosaries and jewelry. I started about 13 years ago with rosaries. And then I realized I was accumulating quite an assortment of beads. One thing led to another, and here I am 13 years later, still going strong. I won’t mention the number of beads I have amassed over the years. I’m begining to think I might need a 12-step program to rid myself of my bead-buying habit!

How would you describe your style?

I think I have a pretty eclectic style. I don’t stay with the same thing for very long. When you look at my jewelry, you will see a wide assortment of styles…from vintage-inspired to metalworked to wirewrapped, higher-end pieces. I also dabble in lampworking and have been experimenting with metalsmithing as well (I mean, really…who doesn’t like playing with fire?). But honestly, I’m beginning to think my jewelry is a bit like me: hard to peg!

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by art all around me…whether it is a Victorian necklace I saw in an old movie or maybe just a combination of pretty colors that I ran across in a magazine or TV ad. A lot of times I get inspiration by just getting in a new batch of beads. I don’t put them away immediately; I like to leave them out and sort of let them “speak” to me. Sometimes designs are planned, but most of the time I start out making something and it morphs into a totally different piece of jewelry than what I had envisioned at the start. I like it when that happens…when you sort of let the design lead you. It seems more natural that way.

What are some of your favorite materials to work with?

My standbys will always be sterling silver, gold-filled, Swarovski crystals, and gemstones. I also like the look of quality Czech glass and vintage lucite. However, here as of late, I am smitten with the more “luxe” beads such as citrine, chalcedony, rainbow moonstone, and tourmalinated quartz.

Where can we find you online?

I am on flickr–barely–but I don’t update it much. I did the Twitter thing for a while but it wasn’t for me. I do have a blog that I update now and then and you can find it here:
beadstylin.blogspot.com/
And, of course, there’s my Etsy shop:
www.etsy.com/shop/beadstylin

How do you feel about being an artist in Wichita/Kansas in general?   What are your thoughts about the arts here?

I think there is great potential in Wichita for the arts. However, I do think that trends trickle in here later than they do on the coasts. Many times, I find my customers are not familiar with the names of stones–not like say, the Etsy community is. However, I have also found some amazing artists right here in Wichita–trendsetters all in their own right. I own some gorgeous original blown glass, pottery, and weavings–all done by talented Kansas artisans.

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