I got my first lesson just before my 44th birthday in 2014. At this writing, about 3 years. But, I grew up in the jewelry business thanks to my mom, a bench jeweler, my grandmother Lalah, a jewelry salesperson and creator extraordinaire, my great grandfather Sid, an engraver and watch maker, and his father, my great great grandfather, an engraver. I never wanted to follow mom into the pouring of gold and setting of diamonds, but with larger stones in a whole rainbow of colors, I am IN! Also, it bears noting that my bench is absolutely as messy as hers was.
I’m always open to new bead sources. If I’m traveling, that’s one of the steps in planning — where are the local bead stores?!? That said, the best wholesale options I’ve discovered so far are Cherry Tree Beads in Asheville, NC (isn’t it terrible that I sometimes need to go see what they have in person?), and the many bead purveyors I find at the (I kid you not) Intergalactic Bead Show three times per year in Atlanta. My favorite there is Dragonfly Wings out of Woodstock, GA. I’ve recently discovered a company called Intrinsic Trading out of Texas that comes to some of the North Carolina G&LW bead shows. If I were creating my own beads from raw stone, I’d do pieces similar to what I find at Intrinsic Trading, that I find exciting.
I do. Some folks ask if I shape and drill the beads myself, and the answer to that is no. I buy beautiful beads, drilled or undrilled, and weave them into designs for my own purposes. All of the wirework is mine, as are my designs.
I am an introvert by wiring, which simply means I am easily overstimulated and need time alone or with intimate others to recharge. (Being an introvert has nothing to do with social skills – that’s a different thing altogether.) I am fascinated by all things related to self-growth, and offer coaching under the name Introvert’s Coach to help other introverts honor and love all that they are. When making jewelry exploded into my life, retreating to the jewelry bench became a time during which I could process daily events as well as meander along inner paths uninterrupted. Extraversions became the sister company to The Introvert’s Coach, because the pieces were the external manifestations of my inner wandering, my way of “extroverting” my thoughts.