A wonderful artist named Donna has featured me in her artist interviews on her blog: DZ Fantasy
She had great questions for me, and is very productive in her own art. She makes some amazing fabric dolls. I especially love her mermaids. I am a follower of her blog. You should see her creations!
Donna featured my necklace "Crocus Blooms" in that interview.
Here is the interview from Donna's blog: What led you to start creating your art/craft?
I have always loved creating. As a little girl I made my own paper people including little pocket beds for them to sleep in. Anytime I was able to draw, make potholders, or even mud houses in the dirt I was happy. My father loved to paint and my mother is not very artistic but really encouraged all four of her children to express themselves through music, art or dance.
I took art classes in elementary school and was selected for a special Saturday program at the Delaware Art Museum. I loved art classes in high school, but was terrified that college art would force me into a mold I didn’t want to be stuck in. I refused to take art classes and was not very happy with the other courses I took. I dropped out and moved to Cambridge. After a year of waitressing in Boston, I ended up returning to the University of Delaware and taking my first art course in my junior year. From then on I crammed all the art I could get into my schedule and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts.
I started substitute teaching after graduation and found out I really liked teaching. So through a series of events I ended up going back and pursuing another degree in Art Education. I love teaching art, but it did not satisfy my need to create. One summer I took a week long workshop at Bennington College with Tory Hughes teaching on polymer clay. I couldn’t get enough! I stayed up every night until about 2 am making stuff. I knew I was an artist at the end of that week. Since then I’ve been perfecting my techniques and exploring bead and jewelry making.
I exhibit in several craft shows and I have had my work in galleries. Becoming a mom later in life has changed my way of working. I have another priority these days. I still create jewelry, but not the quantity that I used to. I am still teaching middle school art which is fun but demanding.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
Once I took the workshop in Bennington, I fell in love with the possibilities of polymer clay. I dabble in quilting, drawing and painting, but I seem to always come back to the world of polymer clay.
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
As a teacher, I am surrounded by children all day long. When I come home I am taking my son to activities, having his friends over and spending time with him. I still have to make dinner, do dishes, and all the other things that we all need to do! When I am working on my jewelry I get into another world and often I am alone. I need the solace and find that just having that quiet time to myself (when I can get it) is a treasure in itself. I really enjoy the process of working with the clay. Making canes and shaping beads is full of new discoveries constantly. Pouring my beads onto a tray and choosing colors is the beginning of a new design for a piece of jewelry. I never know exactly what it will look like until I am finished. Displaying my work and hearing the comments of my customers usually inspires me to make new works.
If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
My work is most like a mixed berry concoction. Lots of sweet color and many individual roundish parts. And how can I resist a berry when it is my last name?
If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your creativity, what would that be, and why?
I am so intrigued by beautiful pastel paintings I’ve seen. I would love to try working in them. I am especially drawn to landscapes in pastel.
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I hope that others see the joy I find in creating beautiful objects. I have been told I have a good sense of color, and I do like to work with bright “happy” colors. I want people who look at my artwork to smile. I want women who wear my jewelry to feel beautiful when they are wearing Moosewinks Jewelry.
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
I’ll give the advice that has been given to me over and over. Make what you love, and someone else will love it too. Barb, I'm so happy to have come upon your very creative, beautiful jewelry, and that you took the time to share your thoughts, ideas, and work with everyone.