NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Creative Hands Newsletter for September 2006
IN THIS ISSUE:
- SHOP SPOTLIGHT: Soli Creations Jewelry by Kristine Buchanan
- JEWELRY ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: Julie Duffin-Rawlings of Blind Wolf Spirit
- Ruby Lane September Jewelry Artisan SHOP SAMPLER
- SEPTEMBER FINE ART and ARTISAN SHOWS
- Share Creative Hands With A Friend
SHOP SPOTLIGHT: SOLI CREATIONS JEWELRY BY KRISTINE BUCHANAN
Soli Creations Jewelry began six years ago when I picked up beading as a hobby. What I didn't know then, was, I would fall in love with beading, and ultimately, jewelry designing would become a full-time career.
Trained as a painter and printmaker, I received my Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Chicago, in 1991. After devoting 10 years to teaching full time, I found myself widowed, with a daughter, a house payment, and no job. However, I did have a fairly large stock of beautiful beads! So, after pursuing auction-style selling for a while, I decided to try Ruby Lane, and lucky for me I did.
Like some other designers who have written in this column, I find inspiration in the beads themselves. When I was a painter, there came a time when I was challenged and felt out of my element. I was a landscape painter, who moved to Chicago for graduate school, and found there was no landscape to paint. One of my mentors asked what it was that inspired me about landscape painting, and I told him, it was the feeling of being connected to it, the feeling of being a part of everything that moved and lived outdoors. He challenged me to find that same inspiration in the paint itself, in its colors, viscosity, brush strokes, etc. It opened up a new world for me; and I approach jewelry making in the same manner.
Certain beads inspire me, especially some of the lamp-work beads, by other artists, that I purchase and include in my designs. I look at the colors first and determine a scheme I will like; then I combine different textures, transparencies, sizes, and shapes, with either a definite pattern or a random pattern. Lucky for me I live so close to the location of the big Bead and Button show each summer! It's funny how things will happen without planning them. That's the creative edge, I guess. Having lived and worked in Turkey, Cyprus, the U.A.E., and different states here in the U.S., I find myself remembering colors of places I've lived or visited. The sunsets in Cyprus were fantastic, as was the sea, the mountains, and all of the archaeology. Turkey is full of history, and it brings to mind the Ottoman style seen in the bits of metal work and tiles they left behind. And often, while sitting at my worktable, I am inspired by my 8-year-old daughter...Miranda! Her enthusiasm for life, her spontaneity, and her drawings grab hold of me and say, "be spontaneous, go with your intuition." It seems when I work this way, the pieces turn out the best!
I'm never satisfied doing one type of design for very long, and I am always wanting to learn new techniques. I've learned a lot since beginning this business, and I constantly strive to improve in all areas. As soon as finances allow, I would like to pursue more metal work in my jewelry, and perhaps later, glass bead making.
As you all know, marketing is a killer. Beaded jewelry is available in abundance at most galleries, boutiques, and craft fairs. I am currently trying to find wholesale venues for my work, and would appreciate hearing from anyone else out there who has experience in selling wholesale, or an interest in buying wholesale.
To wrap it all up, I want to say thank you to all of my former and future customers. Without you, I wouldn't be here! Kristine Buchanan
We invite you to visit Kristine Buchanan shop: Soli Creations Unique Beaded Jewelry
JEWELRY ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: JULIE DUFFIN-RAWLINGS OF BLIND WOLF SPIRIT
Growing up in the American West I developed a fondness for nature. A good part of my youth was spent wandering around the region with my parents because my Dad is a herpetologist, a zoologist who studies reptiles and amphibians; so we spent a lot of time out in the wild, particularly in the desert, looking for snakes. The outdoors, horses, and anything wild fascinated me. My love for the American West and Native American art had a tremendous influence on me; and as a result, I began to paint, carve and work with beads in the native style at a young age. There is nothing quite like the colors and textures of the southwest, and the cool mountains to the north, to inspire creativity. I carved beads from shed antlers I found in the mountains, and then stitched them together with leather and beads to make jewelry. I have always had the desire to create my own unique designs, and I have been doing so most of my life. Blind Wolf Spirit reflects my love of Native American jewelry and art, and the American west.
The inspiration for my jewelry comes from many places. Often I will see a stone or focal bead that gives me an idea for a necklace or bracelet; and sometimes, ideas come out of nowhere. I am most inspired when I am in the mountains near my home in northern Utah, or on the beaches of Washington near where my mother lives. As I walk along picking up rocks and shells, I find myself thinking, "I wonder if I could make something out of this?" I have no formal art or jewelry training, and what I know about stones, I learned from books and from experience. I have been collecting Turquoise and Jade artifacts for many years. The silver work of the southwest has always interested me and I hope to someday be able to commit the time and money to becoming a silversmith. Some of the beading techniques I use come from experimentation and some from instruction books. I love to experiment with different types of beadwork and stones to see what kind of design I come up with.
I have recently learned to work with polymer clay and Precious Metal Clay. These mediums have almost endless creative applications in jewelry making. There are many good instruction books available for polymer clay and metal clay. I have recently been inspired to try carving and creating my own pendants again. I have found that I can carve an image out of polymer clay that very closely resembles the old antler carvings I used to make; and polymer clay is much lighter, more available and easier to work with. PMC is also very easy to mold and carve, and working with it does not require a large cash investment or huge chunks of time. I am just beginning to create with PMC silver, and I have many ideas for pendant designs that I would like to try.
My goal with Blind Wolf Spirit is to make unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry items that I can sell for a reasonable price. I am very fond of looking through galleries that have beautiful artisan jewelry, but their prices are usually beyond what I can afford to spend. My shop is committed to the idea of having beautiful, artful jewelry, that the average person, like me, can afford to purchase. I also want my customers to have a piece of jewelry that no one else has, so I rarely duplicate the same design. I do not consider myself to be a jewelry designer but rather an artisan. I take care to create high-quality jewelry items that are well constructed and durable. Many of my items have a rustic look. This reflects my taste and my reverence for natural things. I realize that my taste in jewelry will not appeal to everyone, which is the great thing about having a shop on Ruby Lane; there are so many talented artisans and jewelry designers on Ruby Lane that there is something for everyone's taste. I am happy to have had the chance to have my shop on this wonderful venue for the last five years and I hope to be here for many more.
Please stop by and visit Julie's shop: Blind Wolf Spirit
SHARE CREATIVE HANDS WITH A FRIEND
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