Lovely readers, I’m thrilled and exited that bead and jewelry artist Kimberly Rogers agreed to do the interview for this month.
Kimberly is well known for her enameled numi-sticks, her lampwork beads as well as her jewelry.
I don’t know about you, but I’m dying to know more about her and her work.
Q: Can you tell us a bit of the beginning of your career as a glass/bead/jewelry artist?
A: I have always had a bit of a crafty side and did play with beads during my high school years along with weaving and embroidery. I didn’t work with hot glass until after the mid 90s. I was in Alaska and had a lot of exposure to the native seed beadwork on smoke-tanned moose hide. I had a friend that showed me the seed beading technique. I began with making key chains and amulet bags. I needed beads to hang off of the fringes and began seriously collection beads for that purpose. Soon I had enough to start making jewelry.
A friend of mine that had gone to a glass art school mentioned that he had taken a class in glass bead making and I was intrigued.
Eventually I discovered a beginner class in my town and had my first try at lampworking using a hothead torch.
I admit I wasn’t sold on it until I met another glass bead artist that was using a more sophisticated torch set up with oxygen and propane. She assured me that I would enjoy it more so I took a one-day class with her and decided to take the plunge and invest in a full studio set up.
Q: Do you work full time as an artist?
A: I work full-time as an artist now but when I started out I was a heavy equipment operator with a full-time job on the state road crew plowing and patching roads. And then doing building maintenance work primarily doing landscaping at government buildings.
I retired from that job early so that I could pursue my art full time and also because I was getting married and moving away from my job.
Q: You work with glass, metal and polymer clay. Is there a medium you like working with the most?
A: I really like working with glass and trying to come up with new effects and components to share.
The polymer clay was kind of experiment just to try out Ginger Davis Allmans (Blue Bottle Tree) rustic beads tutorial and I was pleased with the result. It doesn’t take the same sort of focus as the torch work so it was fun for me.
Q: Are you self-taught?
A: I have taken lampwork classes with just a few teachers but being rather isolated in Alaska much of my learning was on my own.
I got some tips on torch fired enameling from Barbara Lewis s book Painting with Fire but the combinations and effects I have created with my Numi-stick matchsticks and now my torch fired vintage tin charms tintinnabulations are my own developments. I enjoy coming up with distinctive names form my components, I have fun with it.
Q: What inspires you in your work?
A: I’m inspired by other artists’ work and also the raw wildness around me in both Alaska and Arizona. I’m fascinated by decay and distressed textures and where nature meets the rubble and the rust and I suppose you can see that reflected in my jewelry and components.
Q: I understand you have two studios, one in Arizona and one in Alaska, which is quite a distance away from each other. Can I ask why you have two studio’s and when do you spend at which studio?
A: I have lived in Alaska for over 35 years and there comes a time for many of us that has spent so many winters that a person can’t help but have a yearning for a milder climate. My husband and I combine our favorite seasons of both Alaska and Arizona with our snow birding lifestyle. We spend over 6 months in Alaska, which is spring/summer/fall with a touch of winter added before we head south to our Southern Arizona home. I can see mountains from both of my studios, The Granite Mountains in Alaska and the San Pedro Mountains in Mexico as we live so close to the border just 8 miles away (about 14 k)
Q: Your facebook business page is called Numinosity. According to the free dictionary numinous means: 1. denoting, being, or relating to a numen; divine 2. arousing spiritual or religious emotions 3. mysterious or awe-inspiring
Could you tell us a bit more why you choose that name?
A: I chose the name Numinosity shortly after I began making jewelry and beads. Originally I had named the business Bingabeads after a name my little sister used to call me. Once my organic style began to emerge the whimsical name didn’t seem to fit anymore. I had run into my Jungian dream analysis teacher and suddenly the name numinosity popped into my head. The word numinous as you have defined here is used frequently in Jungian dream analysis.
Q: What does a typical day in the life of Kimberly looks like?
A: A typical day for me when I’m in Arizona is an hour or 2 of internet noodling while I’m drinking my tea in bed. Sometimes I catch up with friends via internet chat. I don’t have that luxury in Alaska because we have satellite internet rather than wifi and I have to actually sit at a computer for which I have less patience.
I package any orders ready that I need to ship as I cant stand having any hanging over me. I never really seem to get going on any studio time until closer to noon and then put in 2 or 3 hours at the torch with half hour to an hour break between torching, checking back with my shop and facebook. I try to take a walk at some point. I think its good for my eyes to get a vista after all of that concentrated and close torch work.
If I’m in Alaska I have to drive into town to the PO to send out packages. Its easier here in Arizona, I just plop them into the mailbox right outside the door of our house.
In Alaska I drive 100 miles each way every Saturday to the farmers market to get a little social time and hopefully make some sales.
Q: Is there a particular bead and/or jewelry artist you admire or whom you consider a role model?
A: I would have to say that Karen Ovington has had the biggest influence on e a far as making crusty and unusual shapes. Just a couple of years ago I was finally able to meet her and procure one of her beads at the Tucson Gem Show.
Q: If you were not a bead/jewelry artist, what would you be doing?
A: If I were not a bead and jewelry artist I think I would be exercising more and doing more yoga. We do quite a bit of international and domestic travel so perhaps I would be doing more of that and exploring mixed media and painting
Q: Do you have a life motto and if so, would you like to share this with us?
A: I don’t think I have any particular motto and haven’t ever given it much thought except for this sort of motto and prayer that befits my life which is what next?
Q: Do you have tips, tricks or advise you like to share with us?
A: My advice would be to trust your own voice when you are creating and strive to be your most authentic self and enjoy the adventure.
Thank you so much Kimberly for this wonderful and interesting interview. Amazing what you did in your previous career. I'm sure I'm not only speaking for my self if I say I'm happy you are now a full-time artist, making all those gorgeous beads and jewelry.
More information can be found on her blog.
And of course this interview would not be complete without a give-away.
The winner will have a choice between these two bracelets I made with some of Kimberly's beads and other beads from my stash.
Bracelet with Lampwork glass beads from Numinosity Beads, combined with glass beads, wood, brass, jasper, blue tiger eye and lava stone.
Lampwork glass beads from Numinosity Beads and Grace lampwork, combined with wood, vintage lucite, old prayer bead from Mali, pyrite and Czech glass.
Now you of course are wondering: how can I win one of these bracelets?
Well, it is very easy. All you have to do to enter is comment on this post, to get a change to win one of these bracelets. 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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· 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!
Please don't worry if you don't see the comment right away. I need to approve it first to prevent spam robots enter the give-away.
The draw will close at 10am GMT on Sunday December 28, 2014 and I will randomly select and announce the winner later that day.
Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope to see you next time, when the lovely Leah Curtis of Beady eyed Bunny will be my guest.
Wishing you all a wonderful, merry Christmas.
Note: I am not getting paid by the artists I interview in my series, nor do I pay them. My purpose it to promote the bead artists, whose work I admire as well as promote my own work. All the beads used in my give-aways are paid for by myself and are part of my own stash. The guests in the monthly series are not obliged to contribute to a give-away.