My first guest of this year is the very talented US bead and jewelry artist Kristi Bowman. She not only creates gorgeous jewelry, but beautiful copper beads and components as well.
I know her beads (yep, I have a few) and jewelry but I don’t know a lot about the person behind the artist. So I hope you are as exited as I am that she agreed in this interview.
Q: Can you tell us a more of the beginning of your career as a jewelry and bead artist? Were you always an artist? If not, what made you decide to change your career?
My mom was artistic and I seem to have gotten the bug from her and took off with it. I've done some drawing and painting and lots of crafts growing up with mom. More recently I dabbled in Jewelry making and I discovered Precious Metal Clay right before I was laid up with surgery so I spent much of my off time on the internet researching. I took a class when I was barely able to be up and around and it took off from there!! I'm so happy to have finally found an artistic outlet that brings me so much joy!
Q: If I understand correctly you were a jewelry artist before making your own beads. Why did you decide to make beads as well? If you were forced to choose between these two, which would you prefer and why?
Yes and no. I started seriously making jewelry about the same time I took up Precious Metal Clay so they went hand in hand. But, yes I did only sell my jewelry the first few years then I decided to try selling my components and that took off. I love them both and continue to do both!
Q: Do you work full time as an artist?
Yes, I would say I do even though I have a full time job as well. I spend the majority of my free time in my studio if I'm able to.
Q: As a bead artist you mainly work with copper. Are you planning to explore other materials as well in the future, like glass, polymer clay or ceramic? Or other precious metal?
I started with Silver and then Bronze and settled on Copper which is definitely my favorite. I've done quite a bit of Polymer Clay and a tiny bit of Ceramic, and some traditional Metalsmithing and I'd love to do more of both. I've also dabbled in Electro-forming and I'd love to play with glass one of these days. But with a full time job I'm already spread pretty thin. In the future I sure hope to be able to explore things more fully.
Q: Are you self-taught?
I have taken classes but I've also watched videos and done quite a bit of experimentation on my own. It's always fun to try new things.
Q: Can you tell a bit about the work involved in making copper beads. I understand you work with precious metal clay?
Yes Precious Metal Clay, I've been working with it for about 6-7 years now and it's still amazes me. Every time I go to unload the kiln I'm excited to see how things turned out, I don't think that will ever go away!
Q: What inspires you in your work?
So many things inspire my work. I'm really big in to texture so just about everything you see out in the world is a potential texture. I often carry 2 part mold around with me in case I see some wonderful Texture I want to grab. My customers are a huge inspiration. When I first started selling my components I wasn't too sure how I'd feel about it but I have the most amazing artistic and creative customers and they blow me away with the beautiful things they make. I'm proud to share my work with them!
Q: You are designing jewelry and components, you write blog posts for your own blog and are a regular contributor to Everyday Earrings. What does a typical day in the life of Kristi looks like?
I'm a morning person so I'm up early and often spend at least a little bit of time first thing in the studio. Then off to work!! When I get home it's back to the studio, not every day probably but most days. Wash, rinse and repeat! I try to work a bit each day and have enough to put a good size load of copper in the kiln on Friday night so I have all weekend to put on finishing touches, photograph and list.
Q: Is there a particular bead and/or jewelry artist you admire or who you consider a role model?
I'm really crazy for glass these days and there are so many amazing glass artists out there I go crazy over! I love combining different glass artists and also combining my copper with their beautiful beads!
Terry of Silverfishdesigns, Leese of Glass by Leese, Raida of Havana Beads, Karin of The Beadfairy and so many more. I'm constantly browsing their websites and FB Auction sites to find them.
All of my partners on the Earrings Everyday blog are very inspiring to me.
Q: If you were not a bead and jewelry artist, what would you be doing?
Good question. I am an animal lover so I'd probably be doing something in that area. I'd love to have more time to volunteer.
Q: Do you have a life motto and if so, would you like to share this with us?
Be kind to one another even if you disagree on stuff!
Q: Do you have tips, tricks or advise you like to share with us?
Just work hard and have fun!!
Thank you so much for this interview Kristi. I'm so happy to get to know the person behind the artist a bit more. You are a great inspiration.
And of course this interview would not be complete without a give-away.
I made these lovely fun earrings with handmade colorful copper charms from Kristi and combined them with vintage brass beadcaps, handmade lampwork glass beads from Angelika Schott, handmade earwires from Lucy Haslam and Swarovski crystal.
How can you enter this give-away?
If you are a regular reader of my interviews you know the drill by now.
If you are here for the first time: entering is very simple, all you have to do is comment on this post, to get a change to win one of these give-aways.
There are lots of ways you can increase your chances of winning too...
Do any of the following and leave an additional comment each time and you will get an extra entry for each one:
· Share this give-away on your own blog
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· Subscribe to my newsletter (see top of page, to the right hand side)
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· Become a follower of my facebook page
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. Join her facebook group
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· Like my Etsy shop
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· Anything else you can think of to spread the word.
Don't forget to leave a separate comment for each method to maximize your chances though!
Don't worry if you don't see your comments appear immediately. I need to approve them first, otherwise spamrobots will be able to enter the give-away as well.
The draw will close at 10am GMT on Sunday January 31, 2016 and I will randomly select and announce the winners later that day.
The next artist in this series of interviews with Bead Artists will be Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati So don't forget to come here often to see who it is going to be.
Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope to see you next time.
Want to read the interviews of 2014? Here is where you go. Next month I will publish all the interviews of 2015 in an E-magazine.