The Artisan

I’ve been primarily a self-taught Jewelry Designer/Photographer since 2007 thanks to my niece, Simone. At that time she invited me to take an introductory jewelry making class with her at a [now defunct] local jewelry making studio. Since I’d always enjoyed hand-crafting (and “BLING”) I went with her – and I’m SO glad that I did! I enjoyed that first class so much that I went back there on my own to take another basic class (pearl knotting), and I’ve been totally smitten with jewelry designing ever since. Slowly but steadily I began to build my book and video resource library along with my tool and jewelry component inventory so that I could continue to study, practice and improve my skills.

Despite the intensity with which I dove into my new “hobby”, my initial plan was to just develop enough skills to enable me to make “nice” jewelry for myself, family and friends “for fun” [translation: FREE]. However, since the beginning of my journey I got (and continue to get) so much positive feedback and encouragement regarding my designs that I eventually decided to give serious consideration to the idea of selling them.  Finally, in 2015 I opened my Etsy shop, Happy Eyeballz Designs.

However, for the first couple of years I experimented with many different types and methods of jewelry making and for awhile my interests led me everywhere & nowhere. Still, the experience was very beneficial. The most valuable lesson that I learned was the importance of [1] narrowing down my multiple areas of interest to a realistic and manageable level, and then [2] focusing on developing proficiency/mastery in those chosen areas. Before consciously doing that, my creative energy was terribly scattered and my ability to focus and be productive was severely hindered.

As a result of fine tuning my myriad interests, I discovered that I most enjoy bead, pearl and gemstone stringing and knotting; wire & bead crochet; bead/stone wire-wrapping; chainmaille weaving, jewelry repair & up-cycling. I’m especially thrilled when I can create something new and beautiful by applying my favorite methods using components that have been discarded. I’ve always loved the challenge of “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. (Today this practice is referred to as “recycling”, up-cycling” and “re-purposing”.) Regardless of what it’s called, I feel deeply satisfied when I’m able to create beautiful, useful objects using components that have outlived their usefulness to someone else. I believe that just like people, inanimate objects also possess some measure of beauty, and can therefore serve more than one purpose in life. 

I invite you to come along with me on my jewelry crafting adventures.