I would not be where I am today without the support and inspiration of many people. In particular, I have relied on these folks for instruction, inspiration, honest criticism; for help in working out new ideas, and the occasional sympathetic ear.
Carolyn Greene has been my bead buddy and mentor for nearly six years. A couple of years ago she started encouraging me to take the next step and start making jewelry for sale. She has been incredibly generous in sharing lessons learned from her startup days, and is a ton of fun to go to market with. Not to mention doing absolutely gorgeous work, which you will see when you go to her website.
Bob Weaver is an art jeweler and teacher par excellence. He's had his teaching studio in Austin since the mid 1980's and it is a stroke of good luck to be able to be one of his students. He is a very understanding and supportive coach, and he will teach you at whatever level you want -- whether it is just how to put a piece together, or deeper into how the art and mechanical aspects of jewelry contribute to the finished result. If I sound like a groupie, I'm guilty as charged. His website is currently under construction, but check it out anyway.
Joan Tucker of Off-Center Productions just amazes me. She has more energy and enthusiasm (not to mention creativity and stamina) than just about anyone I have ever seen. She helps me get out of the doldrums, makes porcelain pendants that are great fun to use in designs (I especially like her choice of glazes), and has been very kind to show my pieces on her blog/website.
Sherry Serafini was a huge inspiration to me when I attended one of her classes at the Bead & Button Show in 2005. Her innovative use of beaded embroidery opened a new vista for me and, perhaps even more important, she enabled me to become comfortable with the idea of myself as an artist. Check her website. Her work is awesome.
Fay Katherine does wonderful and FUN work with the torch, and her lampwork and murrini is top notch. She made the face used in my "High Dollar Hair Day" pendant, and it was great fun to see her reaction to it when we met up in Tucson a couple years ago. Fay is another one of those generous and helpful people, and I am indebted to her for the time she took out of her busy schedule to coach me about web hosting with Pappashop, among other things. You can find her work on her website and on e-Bay.
The Every-Other-Tuesday Breakfast Crew are three friends in Austin -- Jane Chambers, Rosemary Taylor, and Catherine Wildermuth -- who give me honest feedback, marketing ideas, and ideas for new pieces. Our regular get-togethers are something I look forward to, and they are an important source of moral support!
And it goes without saying, of course, that the support and encouragement of my husband Mike, my son Sean, and my daughter Shelley means the world to me.