This is my first time participating in the Bead Soup Blog Hop and I was paired with Lora Bright of LABweorc. Each of us answered some questions about ourselves to get to know each other and our motivation and work inspiration. Here's her answers.
What are some of the highlights of your life? (college major, job path, children, winning the lottery, etc.)
I got my BA/MA in English from a small liberal arts college in the South, and then ended up teaching English in Hawaii. I spent a good deal of time "in my head" and disconnected from a lot of things (though I hid it well on the surface) until I discovered belly dancing. I threw myself into that fully for five years. During that time, I became fascinated with the jewelry we wore and wanted to make pieces. I'm also an amateur medievalist (I'm not fond of much post-18th century literature other than sci-fi/fantasy), so chain maille seemed to work with both the dance and the literature teaching. Right before I moved back South, I had moved into a cave (literally-a small room in the side of a hill built under a mansion near Waikiki). A small bead store resided at the bottom of the hill, so I walked down one day, bought a chain maille book and TINY jump rings to make my first byzantine weave bracelet.
I ended up moving from Hawaii when my mom discovered she had Hep-C and needed treatment/possible liver transplant. Soon after the move, friends introduced me to a man I chose to marry (an elopement); he ended up being a diagnosed sociopath with a host of addictions. Before I discovered the depths of his problems, I got pregnant. I had a really sick pregnancy, so my then-husband bought me a bunch of wire, a jeweler's saw, and some pliers and encouraged the chain maille. I spent most of 3rd trimester making badly-done piles of jump rings and very amateur necklaces. Five months after my son's birth, everything blew up, and I had to file for divorce and move in with my sister. The abruptness of the separation as well as the recovery from an abusive relationship stunned me: I started to chain maille reflexively, spending hours a day "working" while my mom babysat. When I came out of the shock, I had several hundred dollars in orders, a fairly decent skill set, and a host of connections in the art community. I'm currently tutoring, teaching in homeschool co-ops, the lead instructor at a brand new belly dance studio, and saving to open my own business.
Other than jewelry making, what are you passionate about currently and why?
I am passionate about belly dance and teaching through projects/arts. I have a hard time focusing, so belly dance gets me moving, provides drills and multiple "distractions" (music, moves, color), and opens up new areas of exploration (costuming, styles, jewelry!, workshops, etc.). I learn through doing, so I like to teach that way, and I'm working on creating mini-camps that focus on eras and their arts as a way to immerse students in a time/culture.
How do you characterize your creative process? (messy, inspired, thoughtful, etc.) How do you inspire yourself/seek inspiration?
I'm mostly messy and unplanned/spontaneous; however, I look at a lot of pictures, so I know that seeps into my subconscious.
What is your jewelry style? How has it evolved? My style is mostly abstract bling. It has become more intricate and delicate as I have explored different sizes of rings.
How do you deal with creative blocks?
Tutorials as well! I'm still new at chain maille, so I have many weaves to even attempt much less master, so creative blocks are usually more a matter of laziness or lack of rings.
What new styles/materials would you like to explore?
I want to do copper sheets (pounding/stamping/etc.), leather, and sterling silver. I also want to develop a distinctive line of cabaret costumes and tribal/fusion costumes that use the chain maille and jewelry making. I also want to learn woodworking to make small boxes and do silver inlays.
How did you become involved with the Bead Soup Blog Hop? What positive things did you learn from your last hop?
I think I heard about it through my mom. I definitely enjoyed having an array of beads to work with, and I learned not to get stuck in one idea (I ended up making 3-4 pieces out of my soup instead of one like I originally thought I should).
What other interesting thing(s) should the reader know?
I'm teaching my 23-month old how to bead/maille, and I'm setting up a small part of my business as The Laughing Falcon (his name is Falcon) to teach him young how to do business. My mom is doing much better, so she and I are beginning to collaborate with her polymer clay and my chain maille.
Amy's Soup was mailed off to her last week and, it is supposed to arrive tomorrow!. Here's a sneak peak of what I sent her....
I got the soup Amy sent me yesterday, but you'll all just have to wait until tomorrow to see it. ;)