Spotlight: StonZ (orig. posted 4/22/08)

Name: Susan
Etsy shop name: SToNZ
Talent Database:
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

1. What kind of materials do you use in your creations?
I mainly work with beach stones, sea glass, sterling silver and freshwater

2. How did you get into this form of art?

I have been making art as long as I can remember. My art passion led me to
art school where I followed the path of commercial graphic arts. This in
turn, led me to illustrating greeting cards for a huge corporation for many
years and eventually running a graphic design/illustration business from my
home studio while I raised my twins.

I took many jewelry classes when I was younger and have always enjoyed
creating jewelry. One summer I was walking on a beach collecting smooth
beach pebbles and seaglass and was wishing I could ³wear it² somehow.
It dawned on me that I could turn it into high quality jewelry. I bought a
drill and experimented until I found my own style.

I have also always been a beach girl, collecting sea glass, shells and beach
stones from every beach I visit in my travels. When I discovered I could
actually combine my two loves: making creative and fun stuff with hanging
out on beautiful beaches collecting natural treasures, I knew I¹d found my

3. What inspires you? Do you have a plan before you make a piece, or do the materials ³speak² to you?
It¹s all the materials. I have bowls all over my studio full of pebbles and
other found objects. Sometimes when I discover a new style of chain or
finding, I look through my bowls for the right little stone to go with it. I
just try different combinations until something fits just right. Often the
final piece turns out much different than what I first imagined it would
look like.

4. Do you have a certain design style?
Well, now that depends. I am also a graphic designer/illustrator and my
³style² on those areas has always been rather whimsical and cute. (And
juvenile! I have also done a lot of designing for children¹s products) With
my jewelry, I am much more serious. I think the seaglass and wrapped wire
adds a touch of whimsy, but my StoNZ jewelry is far from cute. I am not into
bling and sparkle. It¹s casual, natural, organic, tactile, textural,
dimensional, and modern all at the same time. My homage to Mother Nature.

5. What is your favorite technique?
Well, I know it¹s frequently overused these days, but I am completely hooked
on sulphur oxidization. I just love the way it adds depth to silver. I do
feel it¹s important to buff the silver after darkening it so it¹s not just
all black. The point for me is to add dimension to a piece and have a
delicious contrast between the bright silver surface and the darkened inner
crevasses. I love what it does to silver chains as well. My family hates the
smell when I do it in the kitchen, though!

6. Other than Etsy, where could someone find your creations?
There is an adorable interiors shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio on Main St.
called three.home that carries StoNZ jewelry. I am thinking about more
venues, but that¹s it for now.
The owner found me on etsy and I couldn¹t say no when I saw how cool her
store was!

7. What is your favorite part of being a member of EtsyBEAD?
I have learned so much from the team about beading techniques, marketing
ideas, and supply resources. And it¹s inspiring to see what they are doing
and how they do it!
Creative people need to share ideas and encouragement to keep the energy
flowing. Sometimes connecting with like minded folks is the only way to stay
inspired when things, forgive the pun, get rocky!

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