Sunday, March 27, 2011

March Blog Carnival: Who has Influenced my Jewelry Work

The question of who has influenced my work is always one that I love to answer. I am so greatful to those who have gone before me and have been so generous in sharing their ideas and design principles.

I knew very early in my bead and jewelry journey that I wanted to work with wire. I couldn't find any classes available locally to teach me this skill but google helped me find the Master Wire Sculptor himself Preston Reuther.  Preston had a website that was so full of knowledge that it encouraged me to try this medium. I purchased several of his DVDs and following his instructions learned to manipulate and be comfortable with wire. Preston has a very down to earth manner of presentation and makes the video seem like he is sitting in the room with you. His "If I can teach myself to do this anyone can learn it" attitude gave me confidence in my abilities.

Google also helped me to find wire artist Eni Oken. Eni has a wonderful way of layering fine gauge wire. I fell in love with her style immediately. The thing that I liked most about her website is the fact that I could buy instructions for a specific project or technique and download them. That kind of instant gratification is hard to pass up when you are absorbed in the development of a new skill.  Eni's instruction has allowed me to make jewelry that tells a story.

The first jewelry instruction book that I bought is bead on a wire by Sharilyn Miller.  It is still in my collection of basics and i won't part with it. Sharilyn's teaching style is fantastic. Her directions are clear and concise. Her advice is deliberate. Do it, do it over and over and over until you can do it right the first time, and you will have developed a lifelong skill. Sharilyn taught me about hammers (I love my hammers) and she taught me about structural integrity in my work.

My most recent influence is Susan Lenart Kazmer. I was gifted with her book Making Connections last year and was so thrilled to find someone that shares my love for rusty  dusty aged patinas. Susans book of cold joinery techniques is beautifully illustrated with her own designs. Those designs convinced me that the direction that I am going on this jewelry journey is the right one for me. Instead of worrying about being outside the box, I am cutting up the box and using it to make jewelry!

This post is part of a Blog Carnival.  Follow the links below to learn who infulenced the work of these Starving Jewelry Artists.

Island Girl





  1. You certainly have broken out of the box, Bonnie! I love your work. I have used Eni's tutorial on the herringbone weave and it was great. Tutorials are a great way to learn.

  2. THere are way too many books being recommended in this months blog posts that I don't own! Love tutorials but for flameworking seeing a video gives you the extra edge that text doesn't!

  3. I have had the fun of taking two classes with Susan Lenart Kazmer...if you get a chance to take one from her, do it! I am sure you will enjoy it.

  4. Your work is inspirational in itself, I love the pieces you create which are truly unique. Its always interesting to read about the thoughts of other artists, especially who inspires them, thank you for sharing yours.

  5. Thank you for sharing!
    You make me think I should try to work with more tutorials. Not enough time.