How did you get started?
I started making jewelry in a serious way about four years ago. I needed a creative outlet, and I've always been a kind of a magpie. I was also in a job where I was not being creatively fulfilled in any way, micro-managed within an inch of my life. I felt stunted and anxious all of the time. I knew that I needed to have a job that meant something to me, that brought me joy, one of those things in my life was making jewelry. One day I had enough, and three years ago, I made the leap to full time artisan. It's been tough at times, but I never regret that decision.
Where do you do your creating?
I create in my home studio. I have a separate room where I keep all of my supplies, a big desk, an inspiration board, and an altar space, as creating can at times be a sacred act for me. I've decorated in bright colors-- purple sari curtains edged in gold-- and generally try to keep the vibe as comfortable and conducive to creativity as possible.
What inspires your designs?
As a Pagan, I am deeply inspired by nature. Many of my pieces reflect the changing of the seasons, or the magic of the moon, the stars, the woods. I'm also entranced by faery lore, so many of my pieces also have that as a clear inspiration. I love winged things! I like to create jewelry that is both modern and whimsical-- for the customer who chooses their jewelry to express the magic that is already inside of them.
What music do you like to listen to while crafting?
I tend to have costume dramas on in the background while I work-- looking up periodically helps me to refocus my eyes and combat fatigue. But sometimes I listen to music, as well. It tends to be things where I don't have to pay close attention to the lyrics, so I can just let the music wash over me to create an atmosphere. Loreena McKennitt, Woodland, The Mediaeval Babes, Massive Attack, Gaelic Storm, Great Big Sea, Lisa Gerrard & Dead Can Dance, and of course a lot of bellydance-able music-- Phil Thornton, Solace, Azam Ali & Niyaz, Beats Antique.
How long have you been dancing?
I've been dancing for about five years. I started out in swing and ballroom-- partnered dances where I was always being led. But I was really looking for the joy that comes with collaborative dance, where I could lead and follow, and create something with my fellow dancers. A friend invited me to a bellydance class, and I wasn't so sure about it. But after a class, I was totally sucked in! I fell in love with the movements that helped me to accept and love my own body, and the warm energy and smiles of my classmates-- many of whom I still dance with to this day. My journey began in a sort of tribal fusion, but now is mostly ATS in the Fat Chance Bellydance tradition. I still perform a little bit of fusion, but for the most part, ATS has stolen my heart.