Spotlight: Beadiful World (orig. posted 5/27/08)

Name:  Debbie Bruce
Etsy shop name:
Location:  Aiken, South Carolina

1. What kind of materials do you use in your creations? 
 I originally started out primarily focusing on stringing with lampwork beads.  The details that a lampwork bead artist puts into a gorgeous bead really speaks to me.  I am in awe of their talent.  When I was just starting out, I couldn’t afford expensive semi-precious beads, so I would string lampwork beads with inexpensive glass beads.  As I began selling my jewelry, I was able to expand my inventory to include semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, etc.  When I’m designing a piece, I love to mix all kinds of materials together for a more eclectic look.

2. How did you get into this form of art? 
I was having a lot of back trouble which prevented me from sitting for long periods, so in the evening after work I needed something to do that I could do standing up at my kitchen counter.  I tried several things, but found that jewelry was really where my passion was.  I’ve always been the type of person that had to have jewelry to match each outfit, so making my own jewelry just seemed the natural thing to do.  I found that I had a natural talent for it, and other than a couple of specific techniques, I am primarily self-taught.

3. What inspires you? Do you have a plan before you make a piece, or do the materials “speak” to you? 
If I’m making a piece for myself or a customer, then usually the outfit is the inspiration. If I’m designing a piece which has a focal lampwork bead, then the colors in the lampwork bead are the inspiration.  I also try to keep up with the colors forecasted for the upcoming seasons.

4. Do you have a certain design style? 
 My style tends to be more eclectic.  I especially like to make multiple strand necklaces with various styles, colors and shapes of beads.  I also enjoy making eyeglass leashes that don’t look like what your mother wore – I like them funky and fun.

5. What is your favorite technique? 
I love hammering on metal — it really lets you get out your frustrations.  And I love the fact that it isn’t intended to be perfect, it’s meant to have a rough look.

6. Other than Etsy, where could someone find your creations? 
On my website,  I’ve done some wholesale selling, and also I consign in a local art gallery, Aiken Center for the Arts.  I also participate in as many craft shows as my work schedule allows.

7. What is your favorite part of being a member of EtsyBEAD? 
The members in this team are a wonderful support group.  They are great about giving you a pat on the back when you need it, and they are all SO talented.  I feel privileged to be included in a group with so many talented artisans.



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