- Where are you from?
I've lived all over the United States and also lived in Cairo, Egypt for a time. I currently reside in California.
- Are your creations limited editions or unique?
Most of my pieces are one-of-kind, I also have some very limited edition designs. I've never liked mass produced jewelry, and get bored too easily to keep making the same design over and over.
- How long have you been doing it?
I've been crafting in one form or fashion since I was 10 years old. I've been creating jewelry for more than 20 years now.
- Are you a professional artist or is this a hobby?
This is my passion and has become my profession.
- What inspires you?
My best inspirations always come from nature whether it's a walk through the woods, or a visit to the beach, I always come back to my workshop refreshed and full of new ideas. I also find inspiration in the materials I work with. Sometimes all I need to do is spread out some gemstones and I start to envision new designs, it's as if some pieces actually design themselves.
- What is your favorite piece and why?
Hmmm. That's a hard one. Each new design usually becomes my favorite for a while. It's hard to see some of them go, but I know they will bring beauty and happiness to their new owner so I send them happily on their way. Currently I still really like the "Tree of Life Pendant".
The tree was drawn free form and has a large spiral taproot. I used Precious Metal Clay from a syringe to create the tree. The background has a wonderful starry night type texture, and the tiny dichroic glass cabochon reminds me of the full moon peeking through the branches. The whole piece was kiln fired, leaving behind pure fine silver (.999 FS). I added a patina to the piece to accentuate the tree and background texture.
- How do you promote your work?
Word of mouth
participation in local guilds and organizations
Through Social networking sites like: myspace, facebook, flickr, Indiepublic, etc.
Participation in online communities
I always wear my designs in public and carry my business cards with me at all times. I've made a lot of sales this way.
- Where are you showing your work?
My work is currently only in my online store www.cryztalvisions.com and now on Etsy. I also show at San Francisco Bay Area Arts & Crafts fairs
- What is your favorite material?
I'm always exploring new techniques and materials. Currently I'm passionate about precious metal clay and all the fabulous things I can do with it.
- What advice you wish someone had told you when you started?
No matter what you do or how skilled you are at your craft, there will be people who are attracted to it and people who are repelled by it. In any case, don't take it too personally. Stay true to yourself and follow your passion. When you do, everything else falls into alignment.
- Do you have any advice for fellow artists?
Resist the urge to under price your work in order to make a sale or "compete" with others. There is great value in your knowledge, skill, time, and creativity. There are plenty of people out there who value quality, original, handmade items and will pay fair value for them. It can take time to build your customer base, but once you do you will have loyal return customers who truly appreciate what you do. If you are just starting out try to find things you can create in a range of prices, this can help get your sales going and will eventually lead to the sale of your larger ticket items.
- Anything else you'd like to add?
I'm very happy to have found the wonderful community of people that have been drawn to Etsy. I've made so many new friends there the past few weeks. Etsy offers a vast, deep pool of creativity; it really is remarkable. Spend some time exploring all the wonderful handmade treasures, you'll be glad you did and I bet you won't leave without purchasing something wonderful.