My name is Sue and I'm in Santa Rosa, California, about an hour north of San Francisco. I've been working in the jewelry industry since 1992, first making other peoples stuff and at the moment my job is designing for a small manufacturer. I rediscovered my passion for making personal jewelry after taking a Precious Metal Clay workshop 1.5 years ago.
two little peas in a pod necklace - $68
Apart from creating art, what do you do?
Up until this year, my all consuming hobby was racing motorcycles! I did it for 7 years, against men on paved, twisty race tracks. I even have a few trophies and second place overall season finish to my name. Once my Etsy business started growing, I decided to focus on that instead, so no racing this year. Once upon a time (before racing) I traveled a lot. I hope to be able to do that again someday.
tiny little bird earrings - $32
What first made you want to become an artist?
I've loved art since I was little, the desire to create something has always been there. My mom is very crafty, so we were always making things.Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.I'm trained as a traditional silversmith, but now I work entirely in Precious Metal Clay (PMC) which is silver in a clay like form. It was developed in Japan as a way to use silver reclaimed from manufacturing, and it's a green product. After I form a piece in the clay, it's fired in a kiln at 1650 degrees for two hours and the particles fuse, forming a pure silver object. It's kind of like magic! My jeweler's bench and kiln are right in my living room, it's very clean, unlike traditional silversmithing.
lemon slice necklace - $78
Right now I work 32 hours a week at my day job, and 40+ on my own work. I really like to work late at night, but this is causing me to be quite sleep deprived lately! There are so many things I want to try and experiment with, I never have a lack of things to work on. I usually have a list of developed ideas that I want to try, and sketchbooks filled with doodles and thoughts that I look through frequently.
What artists have influenced you and inspire you to create?
There isn't any one artist that stands out - I'm always looking at art, and when I see something that I like, I try to determine exactly what quality it is that I find appealing, and then think about how I might incorporate that into what I do. My main inspiration is nature, so I'm always looking around me. The possibilities are endless! I've been riding my bicycle to my day job lately, and find it's the best time to dream up new things to make. What looks like a bunch of dry weeds when zooming by in a car actually turns out to be beautiful shapes and forms when you're going by at bicycle speed. Just slowing down and taking a look around outside every day keeps the ideas flowing. There is beauty to be found everywhere, if you just look at things a bit differently. I try to express that in my jewelry.
bunny rabbit necklace - $36
Where else can people find your work?
All images are by and copyright of LuLu Bug Jewelry, 2009.