Monday, May 9, 2011

Featured Artist - Jeanne Wagner

Meet Jeanne Wagner of J3Jewelry!

How long have you been working in your medium? I started an interest with jewelry in December 2008. In the beginning it was strictly "stringing" different beaded elements together. Although this is a very basic skill in jewelry design, I still think that it is a challenge to put together a really special piece that stands out.
What drew you to this medium? It was during Christmas break 2008. I decided to finally stop in at the bead shop that I always drove by. I thought to myself, “why not stop in there this time, you have the time, and those beads are just a'sparkling in that window!' I went in, and there on the display case up front was a bracelet and pair of earrings on display in red, green, and crystal AB colored Swarovskis. They were sparkly and they were gorgeous. A sign set up next to them announced simply that if you wanted to, you too, could make these items, and had class dates listed. Of course I could, I thought to myself. Besides, it was risk free. If you didn't want to keep the item at the end of the class, you'd get the money back. Nothing to lose but an hour of time if I hated it. But it hit me like a bolt of lightning! I knew I wouldn't hate it, I knew I would love it. To make a long story short, I did keep the bracelet I made, then I made the earrings and kept them too, and 2 1/2 years later, I'm still playing with Swarovski crystals!
What is your favorite thing about your art? Creating. Creating a design, a smile, a gasp, a compliment. That's what really tickles me and I get great satisfaction from making someone happy. While I work, I lose myself, I feel driven. This is what keeps me coming back for more, to strive to be better, and to constantly expand my horizons.
What's your favorite piece? Even after all this time, and it being my very first piece, that Swarovski crystal bracelet just takes me back in time to that very happy place, because that is when I realized... this is what I'm going to "do." I didn't feel like I had a creative outlet before then. Besides, it's beautiful. Who doesn't love Swarovski?

What's the hardest piece you've ever made? I would have to say that my faux opal viking weave bracelet was the hardest to date. Not in technical skill, but in design. It was one of those projects that I had to reach out for help. In all other cases before then, the beads just "spoke" to me and there was never any issue. With this, there were no whispers of intuitional thought to 'do this next.' Maybe because it was weaved wire, not beads, and a relatively new technique I had learned. With some helpful suggestions from my fellow SJA members, I came up with the perfect design for that bracelet. Now, other than the original Swarovski bracelet, it is my favorite piece.
What’s the one favorite tool you cannot live without? Peace and quiet. If I cannot concentrate, I feel blocked, and cannot create.
What’s your favorite thing about your workspace or studio? Knowing that it will get a whole lot bigger within a couple months! We'll be having a room in the house open up for me to convert into a proper studio. I can't wait. Right now I'm stationed at my computer desk, which is painfully small.
What is your other craft? I also do stamp art which I do every now and then when I want to make a special card for someone. But I have another creative interest - digital photography/digital graphics. I've been learning a lot and it's quickly becoming a passion. Creating and manipulating pictures and graphics is fascinating to me.
Who or what inspires you? I came upon a virtual place called one day and WOW - I could not get enough! Here were millions of people with their handmade, artisan goodness for all to see and buy. I was drinking in the pure essence of creativity that I lacked in my job and my everyday life. One day I was doing a search for "Isabeau" (I had just watched the movie Lady Hawke), and these incredible, juicy ruby earrings came up in my search, right at the top (they still do). I instantly fell in love with them.
The artist is Holly at the shop Bijoux d'Odalisque, and she makes the most luscious, beautiful jewelry I had ever seen. I was awed at her style and her extraordinary, almost supernatural, command of color and composition. Her attention to every detail and the pure eye candy she creates inspires me every day to produce excellent work and to always aspire to improve my skills to the next level.
What's your favorite inspirational saying? There are so many. I'm an inspirational quote junkie! I think it’s really neat how inspiration travels around. I saw this quote on the SJA forums from our own Gayle/gbobmi and it really struck home:
"...whether we are holding a masterpiece or a crude first attempt, the value lies less in the object than in the fact that we made it!"...Tim McCreight
What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do? I would love to do a lot of traveling around European countries. I love walking in faraway lands, experiencing other cultures, customs and food. And the architecture, oh my! I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Madrid, Spain in high school to study for a month. Although there to study, I was able to take many side trips, visiting the Royal Palace, the Valley of the Fallen, the Prado Museum, castles, ancient churches, saw a bull fight, got my caricature drawn, ate a lot of paella, drank a lot of Spanish wine ß oops don’t tell my teachers!it was just the best time ever.
Thank you for allowing me to introduce myself!


Erika Price said...

Lovely to meet you, Jeanne!

mcstoneworks said...

Great interview!

Bonnie said...

Great interview Jeanne. Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better.

Cat said...

Thanks for sharing, Jeanne.
I think I can speak for the others saying we are so glad to have you on the team!

tjrjewellery said...

Fun to read about other artists!

Jeanne/J3Jewelry said...

Hi Ladies! So happy to be here. I just love this group, you are all so warm and welcoming. It's a very nurturing and supportive place to be. :)

AMDesignsbyAngela said...

Thanks for providing this interview, Jeanne. It's good to learn more about you and what inspires you.

galadryl said...

Very nice interview. Great to get to know you better.

DawninCal said...

Wonderful interview, Jeanne!

It's so good to learn about what inspires and motivates you. As Cat said, it's fantastic to have you as a member of the team!



BeadSire said...

Hey Jeanne - great interview, love hearing more about you and thrilled you are on the team :)