Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your shop?I am a fused glass artist, specializing in fused glass jewelry and accessories. I have taught myself the fusing process, using different techniques and creating designs in many different styles. I love color, so you will find lots of bright things in my Shop. Back in 2003, my husband got me a start-up package with kiln included for Christmas and I have not looked back since! My husband is my biggest fan and he loves wearing the more masculine jewelry I design especially for him.
What inspired you to open your shop?
Actually, Etsy inspired me to open my Shop. I had been selling my jewelry at craft fairs, market days and art shows, and that was becoming a little expensive and exhausting and I knew that I needed another way to get my jewelry out there. I happened upon Etsy one day while I was browsing the internet and thought that maybe I had found what I was looking for. My husband, friends and family were very encouraging in my decision to open up my Shop. So Into the Light Creations was born!
Besides designing & creating things, what do you do?
I absolutely love the outdoors. My husband and I live in the Texas Hill Country and we spend a lot of time outside. I love to bird-watch from our side deck that looks out over a wide open field to the hills; we set up tons of bird feeders to attract as many as possible. I also love plants and thankfully have been blessed with a green thumb, so gardening and cultivating plants keeps me extra busy during the Spring. I love to read mysteries when I get the chance and I would like to think that I am a little more than just an amateur photographer – I especially love to take photos of birds.
Where, who or what does your influence come from?
My main influence comes from the love of nature that I share with my husband. Since I spend a lot of time outdoors, the patterns and colors of nature that I see on an everyday basis have a huge effect on the shapes, colors and patterns of my jewelry. For example, the rippling patterns created by a drop of water in a pond will influence me to use swirl-patterned glass in my pieces. You will find butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, birds and lots of patterns featured in my designs.
What inspires you to be creative?I’m inspired by the joy that I get from being able to use my God-given talent to make something beautiful that will ultimately be enjoyed by one individual who feels that one piece of jewelry was made just for them. I am also inspired by the encouragement of my husband and family and I am humbled by the wonderful compliments that I receive from people I have never met who have purchased one of my pieces.
How do you get out of a creative rut?
When I find myself in a rut, I will take a break for at least a day…no glass, period. I’ll spend as much time outdoors as possible, usually with my dog Chloe, walking out in the field and around the property just enjoying the beauty surrounding me. Sometimes it takes a speedy ride on my four-wheeler to blow away all the tension and anxiety I might be feeling! The next day, I’m good to go and ready to create again!
When did you first discover that you were or wanted to be an artist?
For as long as I can remember, I have always been creative—whether coloring a page in a coloring book, trying to create a masterpiece without going out of the lines; making beaded macramé friendship bracelets for my best friends or taking a perfect photograph of a beautiful swallowtail butterfly. I think I was born with the desire to be an artist; my life up to this point would have been very dull if I hadn’t acted on the creative desire.
Can you describe your creative process for us?
My creative process can get a little messy. Glass tends to fly around a lot and land in the strangest places when I’m nipping and cutting. I have hundreds of different types of glass that I work with and I usually never work from a pre-designed pattern. I design each piece as I work…usually after I have cut and placed the first piece of glass, I get an idea for a design in my head and build it from there.
What is your most cherished handmade possession?
My mom crochets as a hobby and she made me a beautiful afghan years ago to go with my Southwest style bedroom. What I like most about it is that some strands of her hair found their way into the knots as she was working on it and I will forever have a piece (or pieces!) of my beloved mother close to me when I cuddle under the afghan.
Where do you see or want your shop to be this time next year?Of course, I would like my Shop to be a success this time next year. I set up my store in August of 2010, but didn’t start selling until November of 2010, so I would like to think that I’ve done well up to this point, but there is always room for improvement. I would like to be able to have an inventory of at least 500 pieces. I would also love to have a men’s line of jewelry and accessories, too.
Where would you like to be in ten years?Honestly, in ten years’ time, I would love to be a recognized fused glass artist; my pieces recognized by the design and style. I would also like to be successful enough that my husband wouldn’t have to work as hard as he does now.
What is your best advice to newbie Etsian’s just opening their shops?Foremost, don’t get discouraged – that first sale will come and others will follow. Take good photographs that capture your audience. Also, do more than just sell your art on Etsy; make friends, communicate through forums, join a Team, make treasuries to promote other Shops…they will return the favor.