Tuesday, 19 October 2010
ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?
WELL, FASTEN YOUR SEAT-BELTS ...
... BECAUSE YOU'RE OFF
TO AMPANG IN MALAYSIA
to meet our
R I M A U M A N J A
When I first saw Mastura's beautiful designs on her website,
I was particularly enchanted by the mastery of her craftsmanship
and her wonderful dragonfly pieces, so I asked her for an
She very kindly agreed, even though she is currently extremely
busy working on some new pieces for a fashion designer who
will be showcasing her clothes, together with Mastura's
handcrafted jewellery, for the Maylasian International Fashion
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO
I am a graduate in Business Management (transport and logistics).
For 5 years I worked as a PA, but quit to be a stay-home mom and
raise my kids, especially as I needed to help my son who was diagnosed
with delayed development and attention deficit.
I have been crafting since childhood, but for the last 15 years, I have
seriously devoted any available time to crafting whilst being at home
raising my children and for 15 years I did everything, but jewelry making!
However, it was not until late in 2008, when I decided to repair a broken
bracelet for myself, that I began my journey into jewelry making.
One thing led to another and when I discovered wirework jewelry, it
was the beginning of the most interesting crafting journey I have ever
taken! There is nothing I would rather do now, than tinker with my
wires and pliers :)
DO YOU HAVE ANY FORMAL TRAINING?
No. I do not have any formal training where jewelry making is
concerned. I am 100% self-taught in every crafting journey
I have ever undertaken. I learn by reading a lot, as well as doing
WHAT'S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR DESIGNS?
Inspiration comes from my fascination with everything mystical
and ethereal. I have this fantasy-like imagination. My own ethnic
Malay culture also has a huge influence towards some of
the jewelry pieces I design.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGN AND WHY?
I like intricate pieces. My favorite design would be the
filigree components, such as my 'CHARLOTTE'S WEB PENDANT'.
I later combined the pendant components together
to make one piece - the example being: 'AMAZON NECKLACE'.
Another favorite design that you can see on my website:
is the dragonfly babies.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE AND SELL YOUR WORK?
I promote and sell my work through my blog.
I do not have a retail shop nor a workshop.
Everything is sold online.
To help promote my online shop, other than marketing through
social network sites, I also distribute ECO cotton bags with
every sale and workshop.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR TEACHING AND TUTORIALS?
Initially, I started teaching from home on a small scale. It
was more about sharing knowledge, because during that time
I didn't charge any fees at all. It was a way of gaining
confidence and experience and teaching friends at home
provided good practice and training.
I started to make simple tutorials to help assist with my
teaching and now I write Tutorials seriously, to help me
earn some extra income. It is tough when I have to do
everything by myself and I admit that I sometimes find
myself laughing at all the ridiculous angles I have to be
in, just to take one picture shot for a tutorial!
When I write Tutorials, they are not just for creating
earrings, necklaces or bracelets, but more for teaching
others how to make one new component or technique.
This, together with added creativity can become a
unique jewelry piece.
Each tutorial is original, illustrating different
IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU WOULD PASS ON TO
SOMEONE GETTING STARTED?
When making jewelry, never limit yourself, do not be afraid
to make mistakes and be experimental! Only through trial
and error can you improve and find what you're good at and
what you like, or don't like to make.
WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS AND GOALS FOR
My aspiration is to continue to be a freelance instructor
and designer and to write as many jewelry making Tutorials
as I can with each one bearing a different technique, so that
I can continue inspiring and helping others to be better
I do have big dreams and goals that I will one day be able
to get a book published and share all the knowledge that
I have with crafters worldwide.
The most important thing of all, is to be a living example
to my children, that with knowledge, determination and
hard work, ANYTHING is possible when you put your mind to it!
Friday, 15 October 2010
W I R E W O R K
C H A L L E N G E ! !
As the Guild is starting to grow
into a larger group - which by the
way, is fantastic!
... there are lots of you talented,
artistic wireworkers out there, having
fun creating stunning and beautiful
handcrafted pieces and so I was
wondering, if any of you would be
interested in a Wirework Challenge?
This would entail designing and creating
a piece from scratch under a given theme
and then emailing an image (JPEG) to
be published on this blog newsletter,
together with few descriptive words
about the piece.
This is not a competition in the conventional
sense - no one will judge. There will be no
winner. Just everyone who wishes to take
part will have the opportunity of showing
off their work and having it published on
the Guild blog. So you will in effect, all be
*** R U L E S ***
*Theme: Flowing Streams
*Deadline for entries: 1st December 2010
*Maximum of 2 Jpeg images are allowed to
*Wire has to be the MAIN material, but any
other materials can be incorporated within
*The entry can be a piece of jewellery,
or an accessory ...
*A description is encouraged, but not
essential with 100 words being maximum.
*All entries should be emailed direct to:
with the subject heading:
I also was recently involved in a BEADING
CHALLENGE, whereby, I was sent a pack
of mystery beads and findings by:
and challenged to design anything I wished
with them. You can see the results on their blog,
together with two other designers, who
were also sent the same pack of mystery
beads ... take a look on their website blog, and see
how the three designers have used the same
bead pack in such different ways:
just scroll down to see the results on:
(...and below are some of the pieces I created, just
in case, you don't get a chance to see the Beads Direct
blog ... )
Bracelet design, using black iron wire, dyed pearls, rose quartz beads and
black 'rosebud' glass beads. (Beads Direct Challenge by L. Jones)
Handbag Charm, created with black iron wire, rose quartz, pink glass
crystals, black 'rosebud' bead and pink faux suede
(Beads Direct challenge by L.Jones)
Necklace and Earrings - same black iron wire, etc...
(Beads Direct challenge by L. Jones)
The mystery pack contained, 2 small
diamante heart buckles - I struggled
to think what to do ... and then came
up with this idea of threading them
with satin ribbons and turning the
buckles into chokers - perfect for
bridesmaid/flower girl or prom jewellery.
Not only were there diamante buckles in the
mystery pack but shiny silver rings. So I used
the last of the beads to make this more
contemporary jewellery set of long necklace
chain and matching earrings.
(Beads Direct Challenge by L. Jones)
So I hope you are now ready for the WireWork Challenge - you wont be sent a mystery pack due to the postal global difficulties, so you can use whatever's in your stash, as long as WIRE is the main ingredient and you keep the theme of FLOWING STREAMS in your mind - as your piece will be labelled with that title. Please don't be put off or discouraged to enter if you're just a beginner - nothing is too small, too simple, etc... just taking part if ENOUGH!
So get your creative "thinking caps" on
and I very much look forward to seeing
your entries and publishing them ...
BEST WISHES & HAPPY WIREWORKING!
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
K E L L E Y
P O U N D S
Introducing ... (drum roll)
Wonderful wire creations, all the way from
New Mexico, designed and
created by the artistic imagination of:
A multi-talented, mixed media artist who
designs and creates jewellery with a variety
of materials, including, silver, gold and copper
wire, metal and polymer clay, gemstones and
Kelley not only creates stunning, bespoke jewellery
pieces, but her designs also grace clothing and
gifts. She is also an author and gifted painter of
Read on, to hear my recent interview with
(Above: SECRET GARDEN ring)
HOW DID YOU GET INTO JEWELLERY MAKING?
Completely by accident! I have never worn much jewelry
and I still don't wear much, but there is one type of jewelry
that I have always liked and that is, wire jewelry! I've always
been creative, with multiple interests, so here's the backstory
of how I stumbled into making my wire creations...
For years I wrote fiction and after years of rejection, I had one
novel published. I decided to make a genre switch, but the
spark for fiction writing was gone, so I chose to take the
correspondence course offered by Art Instruction Schools,
based in Minneapolis, something I had wanted to do since
high school. After graduating from Arts Instruction Schools,
I was taking some classes in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and
'digital prepress' with the intention of selling prints of my work
and pursuing the possibility of licensing my art, when I discovered
a course on basic wire jewelry while thumbing through the catalog
for University of New Mexico's continuing education division. The price
was reasonable, so I followed my whim and enrolled. Despite spending
the first fifteen or twenty minutes of my first class in the restroom
trying to stop the bleeding after an accident with the wire ... I was
hooked! ... no pun intended!!
DO YOU HAVE ANY FORMAL TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE FROM
A PREVIOUS BACKGROUND?
I worked for several years in a flower shop and I loved to do weddings
and proms, which included wired bouquets, headpieces and corsages.
So I think that has translated a great deal into my wire work. Unlike
when I was writing, or when I am sketching or painting, my wire
creations often emerge with little planning. I do draw the occasional
jewelry design, but for the most part, the design just evolves as I work.
(Above: Jade Hoop Earrings)
WHAT FUELS OR INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNING?
I think I find nature most inspirational. I'm inspired by
artists of the Art Nouveau period: so that stylised nature
often finds its way into my work. I rarely use perfect
looking stones because I love interesting textures and
colors: there's a certain beauty in natural imperfection.
I like the texture and contrast of mixing the 'bling' of crystals
and cubic zirconia with the earthiness of copper or simple
(Above: Art Nouveau inspired earrings)
YOU ARE A MULTI-MEDIA ARTIST - TELL US
WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM TO WORK IN?
All of my jewelry has some element of wire wrapping, whether
I am working with polymer clay, natural stones, or some kind
of metal clay. Therefore, in jewelry, I would say my favorite
medium is WIRE. In other artwork, I love watercolor painting,
and drawing with colored pencil, as well as plain ol' graphite
(Above: Red Shell Necklace)
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE AND SELL YOUR WORK?
Beyond business cards and simple flyers, I haven't yet done
much official advertising, but I do have a website and a blog:
and I enjoy interacting with people on my Kell's Creations
Facebook page at:
I have submitted pictures of some of my designs to the
magazines: 'Step by Step Wire Jewelry' and 'Bead Trends'
which has been promotional for my work. I sell my work at
craft fairs throughout New Mexico, where I live, and I also
sell in a couple of local shops and a Gallery. I've been teaching
classes for about a year now and I find that very satisfying as well.
(Above: Secret Garden ring)
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGN?
What often happens is that I have a favorite design for a
little while, until the next favorite design comes along!
Right now, one of my favorite designs is a polymer clay
seahorse collar, featuring sea glass wrapped in sterling
silver, pearls and abalone shell.
(Above: Seahorse Necklace)
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE LOOKING
TO START A JEWELRY BUSINESS?
I'm still fairly new to the jewelry business, but one thing I do
know is that there is lots of competition. Making jewelry is a
hobby for many and craft shows and fairs are often inundated
with jewelry artists who want to sell their wares. So, work on
developing a unique style or a "look' that is all of your own.
People will try and copy you and people will also dismiss you
as "just another jewelry maker", so you have to constantly be
willing to grow and offer your customers that extra value that
only comes through your vision and personality. I'm building
slowly, buying new equipment as I can afford it, learning new
techniques as I can and I have found this approach has worked
very well for me.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
It's great fun seeing my work published in magazines such as
'Step by Step Wire Jewelry' and 'Bead Trends', but so far:
winning the silver medal in the 2010 Fire Mountains Gems
Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework & Chain contest in the
necklace category, has really been a fantastic experience
because I hadn't been working with metal clay for very long.
Actually, I've only been making jewelry for a little over three
years, so each new milestone is a highlight. I really love hearing
people tell me how unique my jewelry is. That makes me feel great!
(Above: Faerie Carnival Necklace)
CAN YOU LET US IN ON ANY OF YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
I want to continue teaching, adding some intermediate and
possibly advanced classes in 2011. One of these days, I would
also love to teach on a cruise ship or in an exciting foreign
locale. I've also toyed with the idea of someday translating
my writing experience to a book, or books about mixed
Above: "Mariposa" Necklace by Kelley Pounds