Friday, January 31, 2014

JET Artisan Profile:
Nancy Russell of NancysCrystalFantasi

Hello - I'm Nancy Russell. My Etsy shop is named NancysCrystalFantasi, and the shop is where you'll find my latest necklace, bracelet and earring designs.

My handcrafted jewelry features a lot of color, and I design many pieces with a theme or an occasion.

I offer a line of Bridal and Wedding jewelry, featuring pearl and crystal pieces for the Bride and members of her party.

I love making Holiday themed jewelry so there's always something fun to wear in my shop on special occasions!

And my line of School Team Spirit Jewelry has become very popular! Made with school colors, logos and slogans, fans of our local school teams have a fashionable way to show their support!

Stacked Heishi Turquoise Earrings
I've always loved jewelry, always wanted something to match every outfit in my wardrobe but my budget wouldn't allow for that. Ha!

I saw the jewelry that two of my co-workers were making - and selling - and decided maybe I could learn to do that, too.

Another co-worker and I began learning from them when we formed a sort of in-office lunch-time jewelry making class.

I learned the basic skills of stringing, crimping, etc. from them.

Purple Stripe Agate Necklace

After I retired I began expanding into other
areas mostly by watching or reading tutorials on the Internet.

I made my first (good) piece of jewelry about six years ago while I was still working in public school administration.

Once I made my first piece I was hooked.

After I retired, I opened up my Etsy shop in October 2010. My very first sale wasn't in the Etsy shop, it was a local sale--a Christmas necklace and earring set made with all Czech crystal cube beads.

I love being able to work with many different materials including gemstone beads, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver and gold filled wire.

I love color, both bright and pastel, and I love to mix colors and textures.

So I suppose I would have to say that many of my pieces have been inspired by color palettes that have caught my eye. 

But I have a lot of fun making my glass tile pendants, and just discovered how fun it is to work with resin coated digital images that I make in Photoshop Elements.

I love using ice resin in pendant trays to seal my digital images!
Stephenville Yellowjackets Team Spirit Necklace

My team spirit line is becoming one of my favorite group of pieces.

Those are necklaces and bracelets with glass tile pendants of school/team spirit slogans or logos. They have become pretty popular.

And I've really begun to appreciate good tools.

Whatever tool I'm using at the moment becomes my favorite tool. When I tried to imagine having to do without a certain one, I kept thinking about them all.

I suppose I'd have to say all my pliers are my most vital tools, though.

Sterling Silver Treble Clef Necklace
I've been having so much fun learning new jewelry making methods! Each new project I take on teaches me new skills.

My husband wants a paracord woven bracelet with the local high school mascot on it, so I guess that's the next project I'll be learning to create.

But on a more serious note, I really want to learn soldering using my mini-torch so I can do more metal working.

I'm active on these Social Networks:

This is my fun place!
Setting up at a local show!

Here's a look at what's in my shop ...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

JET Artisan Profile -
Laura Stamper of laurastamperdesigns

Hi! I'm Laura Stamper, the owner / artisan of the Etsy shop laurastamperdesigns where you'll find many examples of my one of a kind jewelry creations.

I have always loved art. I was the little kid who drew pictures on the walls and made sculptures out of mud.

I collected and saved everything, took it apart and tried to make something new. I might have been the last one picked on the playground, but I was always the first one picked for any art project!

Asymmetrical Amethyst Earrings
I think the first time I made jewelry I was 11 or 12.

I painted birds on seashells that I had collected on vacation in Florida and turned them into earrings. My art background is painting, but I have experimented with many mediums. I can't really say what inspires me, because I find inspiration in so much. The shape of a stone, paintings by the masters,nature of a fable of story can send me in a new direction.

Modern Cameo Art Brooch of Eve and the Serpent

In the mid 1980's, I started working with porcelain on a potters wheel and hand building sculpture. I made little pieces of jewelry out of the scrap pieces and decorated them in little whimsical designs.

In 1991, I was laid off from my job and decided I wanted to pursue my art as it has always been my passion. I used my severance pay to invest in a small kiln and supplies and enter into art shows. By 1996, I went as far as I could go with just the porcelain pieces so I took a 16 hour crash course with a master goldsmith. I love that I get to incorporate these varied skills into my work.

Many of the techniques I use are unconventional. I love to experiment and try things that "shouldn't work".

Recently, I have begun to teach classes at Quench Jewelry Arts in Minneapolis where I an having fun
Water Cast Sterling Silver Ring with Peridot and 23k Gold
sharing some of these methods.

I would be hard pressed to say what my favorite part of creating is. There are so many steps to what I do and I relish all of them.

By doing the initial sculpture and then seeing the piece come to life through the glazing process allows me to utilize my love for illustration and painting. And who doesn't love playing with fire!! Working with metals and the torch are just too much fun.

My favorite tool might be my flex shaft. I use it in every phase of my work, from the clay to finishing the piece.

As far as what I like to make the most, that would be something I have not made before. I like to push my artistic envelope.

Statement Gold Nugget Ring with Amethyst
My most recent adventure has been in primitive casting. With this technique, I am recycling my scrap while allowing the shapes to add new dimensions to my work. I think next, I would like to try my hand with more advanced casting techniques.

Currently I sell my work on etsy and in select galleries and art shows. I also design for the catalog Uno Alla Volta.

When I'm not creating, I spend time with my husband, grand kids, two cats, a dog and an incredible group of friends.

How lucky can one gal be?

Here are some links to my jewelry shops, my blog and the social networks I'm active on:

And here's a look at what you'll find in my Etsy shop!

My Studio!