Today we’re speaking with Danielle, her jewelry caught my attention because it’s different. There are tons of great artists out there who do different things with their jewelry, and bending and twisting is Danielle’s approach.
Why are you passionate about jewelry and being creative?
I’ve always liked to think outside the box and get creative, but I never thought of myself as an artist until recently. I love making jewelry because it makes people feel good when they wear it and I like being a part of that. Being creative helps me keep my sanity!
What got you started with jewelry and creativity as a hobby/business?
I started with bead weaving about 5 years ago. I loved how intricate the designs looked. For a while I lost myself in that style of jewelry until it no longer seemed challenging to me. I don’t mean to suggest there wasn’t more to learn to remain challenged, but I had lost my desire to learn more. I was ready to move on. Nothing I’d made was for purchase at first. It was only an outlet that was all mine. (I am a stay-at-home mom and homeschool my children so time to myself to do something that is just for me is precious.) I began making simple earrings for friends and family for Christmas and birthdays. I enjoyed working with the wire so I took a class on how to make a very easy ring and matching bracelet from a local bead shop. I was hooked! I loved how the wire flowed and how it looked so professionally made in such a short period of time. One of my beadwork pieces had taken 10 hours to complete by comparison! I showed the pieces off to a friend of mine and she loved it so much she wanted me to make 3 sets for her and her daughter-in-laws and insisted on paying me. It wasn’t until then that I thought about doing anything as a business. Since then I have scoured the net for tutorials and ideas, honed my skills and slowly found my own style. In finding that style, I rediscovered how much I love to braid (I had taught myself how to braid when I was 4). I tried it with wire and loved the results and even created my very own braid that I named the Ariel Braid. I now make bracelets as well as earrings in that style.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve designed?
It seems that each piece I create is my favorite piece until the next one I make! Each one is different and unique and has allowed me the opportunity to expand my knowledge from what I’d made in previous pieces. Having said that, there are a few I am especially proud of! The Sea Turtle Pendant is actually a design by Abby Hook where I really learned how to wire weave. Waves on the Shore Pendant/Necklace I designed in my head when I found the focal stone at a local bead shop. It took a while to get it out of my head and into a finished product, but I love how it came out. The bead reminds me of the ocean and sky meeting on the horizon and I wanted to create ‘waves’ with the wire to embellish that. My all time favorite piece is actually a ring I made for myself. I found the stone at a gem show this summer and couldn’t wait to learn to do prong settings so I could set it and wear it. I was blown away at how beautiful it turned out.
What exciting future plans do you have for your work?
I am venturing out into local craft shows. I am participating in 2 in October and 1 in November. It will be the first time I have done anything like this so I’m very excited about that. I continue my quest to learn more and more about working with wire and will soon venture into soldering as well.
I am also working on putting a standalone website up that will act as a hub to all of the places I can be found on the web. The website http://www.BentNTwistedCreations.com it is not up and running yet, but is in the works (link to follow soon!).
Do you have any tips/inspiration to share?
My biggest inspirations come from ordinary things. Don’t limit yourself to what others think is possible. Try looking at usual things in an unusual way. I always try to have a Can Do attitude. I have had many people ask me to make commission pieces and even though I’d never made what they were asking for, I never said no. They always turned out better than either I or the client had envisioned. I made mistakes along the way but those were just learning opportunities and challenges yet to be overcome by creative thinking outside the box.
Also, I think it’s important for people to be fearless in their creativity and in the sharing of it. It’s very easy to get stuck in fear-based thinking of ‘oh that person is my competition so I must be wary of them encroaching on my turf’. I believe there is plenty to go around and those that are drawn to my work will come to me and those that are drawn to others’ work will go to the others. I have only been on Facebook since February of 2011. I have gone from 80 fans to nearly 2000 in that short period of time. I found other artisans willing to share their knowledge with me. As a gift to them, I freely pay their generosity forward to others seeking knowledge and assistance. I have made some incredible online friendships with people of all creative genres that I would never have had the opportunity or good fortune to meet otherwise. We each have gifts to share. Give freely.
Danielle, thank you so much for sharing! I love your words of inspiration: “give freely.” These are words to live by.