This weeks Jewelry Artist Mini Interview is with Jill Lawrence of Twisted Sisters Art. She creates some of the most amazing, jaw dropping, intricate and drop dead gorgeous wire work I have ever seen.
How did you start doing jewelry (or bead making) as a business?
I had a booth at the local Farmers Market, selling silk scarves that I had dyed, and needed scarf rings. I had wire that I had at work, and designed scarf rings with buttons, beads and wire. They were rudimentary, but they sold. After a year, I found smaller and higher quality wire, and started making designs with it.
Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you ever made?
I took jewelry classes my junior year in high school, I learned how to enamel copper. I remember a series of 1/2 inch squares that I kept, but didn’t do anything with…but I do have under the couch, a bag of those tacky scarf rings. I keep them to keep me humble. There are other beginners out there.
You are stuck on a desert island for a year and can only take 5 things to make jewelry with-what would you take?
Oh, the 5 things I would take if on an island? Easy, my needlenose pliers, my blunt cutter and my flat nose pliers. I’d need 20 gauge and 28 gauge wire. With that I could find pebbles, glass, metal, seeds, anything small could be fashioned into jewelry. What color wire, would be the hard part.
What material would you like to work with/or what skill would you like to learn that you haven’t yet?
I have two things I want to do. One, I’m really wanting to upgrade my wire into silver and gold fill. I love using the parawire I’m using now, I buy it by the designer bolt. The cost is what keeps me from doing it. The retail price would have to go up to cover my expenses, and I’m not sure the customer will pay it. This summer will tell me, because I’ll have more feedback.
The second thing I want to do, is to use brass filigree, cubic zirconia and wire, and create corsages in metal. I have a floral background, and I can see an approach in designing a piece like a corsage.
What do you do when you aren’t making jewelry?
My day job is a buyer for a large floral shop chain in the Midwest US. I buy all the blooming and green plants, and work with flowers and plants all day. At night, I spin wire, and spend time on my etsy website and I just started a blog. My dream is to become proficient enough in this to support myself to quit my day job.
Thanks Jill for your interview!