My next guest in my series of interviews with bead artists is the very talented American ceramic bead artist Kylie Parry.
Kylie makes beautiful beads and jewelry. She is well known for her cute hoot beads. I’m thrilled and honored Kylie agreed to do this interview, and I think you are as exited as I am to get to know her a bit.
Q: When did you start your career as a ceramic artist? What did you do before you became a bead artist and what made you decide to become one? Was this transition difficult?
A: I was sleeping on my best friend’s futon during my last year of college, completely broke, after blowing my summer wages on a road trip to Las Vegas. Out of desperation, I found Etsy and opened a shop to sell some of the ceramic pendants I was making on the side in my studio pottery course.
I was working towards an art education degree, but daydreamed about being a professional artist. I made a sale. I MADE A SALE!...it was exhilarating. I was hooked.
Q: Can you tell a bit about the early days of Kylie Parry Studio?
A: I made beads. Lots of beads. I bought an old kiln on Ebay from a maker of casted ceramic cats. It journeyed 8 hours from its home in Michigan, to my apartment, to my parent’s garage, to another rental house, to my current home, over the course of a couple years.
In between kiln locations and life events, I worked random part-time jobs, traveled, and did a smattering of grown-up things. I searched for a “real” job (just hard enough to keep up appearances). One day I received a phone call for an interview (for said “real” job). I cried. That was my ‘aha’ moment. I turned down the interview, burned all my business casual clothes (not really), and made it a goal (and priority) to be my own boss.
Q: Are you self-taught?
A: Somewhat. I took a couple ceramics courses in college, and that gave me a good foundation of basic knowledge. However, I graduated not even knowing how to properly run a kiln. Or start a blog. Or submit an art show application. I learned most of what I know from “google university”...you know, when you don’t know how to do something, so you google it.
Q: Why did you choose the medium ceramic?
A: The ceramic process is magical. Opening the kiln is like Christmas morning. It never gets old. Before clay, I drew and painted. Making jewelry components is the best of both those worlds. I draw/paint/glaze/carve, satisfying the 2-D part of my brain and also, sculpt/build and get my hands messy.
Q: Are you planning to explore other materials as well in the future, like glass or polymer clay?
A: Metals intrigue me. I frittered away an opportunity to learn metals in college. I just wasn’t ‘into’ the class. It just wasn’t relevant. I mean, I wasn’t going to become a professional jewelry maker or anything....*slams forehead*. I would also like to pick up my sketchbook and paintbrush a little more often.
Q: What inspires you in your work?
A: The pieces I create tell a little story about some small, but cherished, part of my life. My family and I are nature-loving, treasure-hunting, adventurous types. Ideas come from nature, the places we’ve been, and the things we found while there. Earthy, weathered, rustic, organic...and all jewelry must be “suitcase packable”- it’s how I roll.
Q: Apart from being a very talented bead artist you are a mother of a gorgeous baby boy. I’m curious: what does a typical day in the life of Kylie Parry looks like?
A: Thanks to coffee, I wake up before the birds and get to work in my studio. I listen to public radio, get sufficiently caffeinated and try to cram a full-days work into a couple hours.
Then, I hang up my artist clothes and become mama. I spend all day with my little guy, doing the sorts of things little guys like to do. I sneak in emails and other small tasks during naps.
When my partner Luke gets home from work... we take walks, we dance in the kitchen, garden, hike, bike, eat good food, eat burnt food, fix our old house, cuss at our old house, plan our weekend adventures and watch bad netflix documentaries (in no particular order).
Q: There are a lot of bead and jewelry artists. Is there a particular artist you admire or who you consider a role model?
A: I admire artists who have a unique voice, and an interesting story to tell. I am always humbled when an artist chooses my beads. Connecting with a customer is connecting with a kindred spirit.
Q: Do you have a next goal you want to accomplish?
A: My goal is to take a step back. I need to work on being OK with doing less. It is hard. I’ve spent the last couple years growing my art and creating a business that I am proud of. But, now I need to slow down, be present, and savor Juniper’s fleeting baby years.
Q: If you were not a bead artist, what would you be doing?
A: Traveling the world. Saving the whales. Making something with my hands.
Q: Do you have tips, tricks or advise you like to share with us?
A: Play in the dirt (or clay). It’s good for the soul.
Thank you so much for this lovely interview Kylie! I love your story, particularly how you started your career.
Regular readers of my interviews know that there will always be some sort of give-away and this interview is no exeption.
Kylie and I have some lovely items for you.
The first give-away
Kylie is so generous and gives away this lovely and cute hoot bead set. I wish I could enter the give-away :)
The second give-away
Of course some of her hoot beads found their way to my stash as well. I've made two necklaces with those cuties for the winner to choose from.
Just let me know in your comment which piece you would like to receive if you win this give-away.
All you have to do to enter is comment on this post, to get a change to win one of these give-aways. yes, it is that easy.
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 (yes you will enhance your changes of winning, so please do):
· Share this give-away on your own blog
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· Subscribe to my newsletter
. Subscribe to my email list for exclusive offers
· Become a follower of my facebook page
· Become a follower of the facebook page of Kylie Parry
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· Like my Etsy shop
· Like Kylie on Etsy
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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! And if you have done one or more of these actions in the past, no worries, just enter the extra comment.
Please don't let the captcha scare you off. It is to prevent the spam robots enter this give-away as well.
The draw will close at 10am GMT on Sunday April 27, 2014 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 Rejetta Sellers, a lovely talented and published bead and jewelry artist.
Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope to see you next time.