|Double Helix Copper Bracelet by Linda Sinnish|
It gives me enormous pleasure to introduce to you, the work of talented wire jeweller - Linda Sinnish! I recently stumbled across her beautiful work ... as one does, these days ... through her chatty online BLOG and was enchanted by her passion and flair. I'm sure you will enjoy catching up with Linda's work too, by reading her recent interview for the Guild ...
Q. Tell us a little about your background?
I was born on the south side of Baltimore City, Maryland, USA. This is an industrial area with little or no inspiration. Lots of row homes, sidewalks and streets lined with parked cars. Usually, there was a laundry mat on a corner and a mom and pop neighborhood grocery store nearby. Life for most adults was about survival and there was little money or time to encourage children to be creative in the arts. So, it's not surprising for me to say that I didn't have art in my blood, or occupying my time. My imagination however was very active and full of dreams and questions.
Q. What brought you to creating and designing jewellery?
Fast forward to my adult years and I married an artist. Go figure!! Destiny in the arts was not going to be avoided. At first I couldn't understand his passion for putting paint on canvas, or how he could stare endlessly at art in galleries. But, the seed had been planted. I began to look forward to visiting galleries and museums in the Washington, DC, New York and Pennsylvania areas. Little did I know that the creative seed had taken root and it was growing ...
The dull and boring cold months of winter sparked a need in me to get out and do something. I enrolled in many different types of art mediums. The goal was originally just to have fun and meet new people. I explored writing, pottery, oil and acrylic on canvas. These were fun and I enjoyed each project, bu I did not master them. Then it happened! Oh so unexpectedly. I decided to take a basic introductory course in jewelry and learned the almighty crimp to seal those lovely beads and accents to make my first bracelet. I was hooked! It's hard to put into words the extra excitement I felt while making jewelry.
Remember earlier, how I mentioned that I have an inquisitive mind? Well, I wanted to know how to make those accent metal links. I was sure there was a way. Behold! WIRE! How exciting! I couldn't get enough!
Q. Do you have any formal training? Or are you self-taught?
My training came to me in many forms. It started with craft store classes. My mind kept telling me that I could learn to make the spacer beads that snuggled between the crystals, so I read and practiced the techniques in jewelry magazines, books and watched DVD's. One day, I was reading the class schedule for my local community centre and nearly flipped out, when I discovered wire classes being taught by Jeanette Blix Ryan.
Q. What motivates and inspires your designs?
I sometimes ask myself "what would happen if ...". Then I start to twist the wire and let it direct me. I try to let my logical mind take a break and let the intuitive, creative part of my mind go wherever it wants. I must admit that sometimes the final project isn't attractive. I do think that my best pieces allow both my right and left mind to work together to create.
Other motivators are other wire jewelry artists. They are fantastic and I often wonder how they came up with their designs. When I attempt to learn from them by recreating their technique, the final project often takes on a design of its own. It can be magical!.
Q. Have you got a favourite design and if so, why?
Right now I'm focused on pendants that are being wire wrapped. I especially like incorporating twisted wire into the design and a small 'rose' made from wire. The 'rose' is a simple knot of wire that bunches up on itself instead of lying flat to form a spiral. Once the rose is antiqued, it really adds to the dimension and takes on a whole new look.
My all time favorite wire technique is the double helix. It is time intensive and the wire measurements must be exact for the links to form properly. Coils of wire surround a core wire and then it is curled around a mandrel. Two of these components interlace to form a link.
Q. How do you promote and sell your work?
I believe marketing is a large part of the jewelry business. You need to let people know that you exist in order for them to know that you are selling it. So I write a blog:
Plus, I post pictures and comments on Facebook and Pinterest.com. Of course my business card is everywhere.
I belong to a co-operative gallery, WV Highlands Artisan Gallery in Davis, West Virginia. I am very fortunate to have been juried into this co-op. It's located on top of a mountain in a small town that is 1/4 mile long, but located near several ski resorts. One thing lead to another and Mountain Made Gallery accepted my jewelry on consignment in the nearby town of Thomas, West Virginia. I have a lot of fun when I put my tent up at the Elkins Farmers Market during the warmer months, where we jump out of our shoes each time one of the tourist trains whistles blow loudly, very, very loudly!! I also have a shop on Etsy, to enable my lovely tourist customers to continue to buy from me.
Q. Do you teach your craft?
Oh, how I love to teach! It's so much fun! I don't consider it to be work. It's more like a party of people making pretty things. Before I moved from Virginia, I would run regular weekly classes in my studio, as well as teach at the local bead shop. However, since my move to the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, I've been busy getting my jewelry into shops. The future will certainly have classes - I just love the happiness it brings to everyone!
Q. Have you any special advice for others starting out in jewellery making?
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE BORN AN ARTIST, TO BECOME ONE ~ Me.
Enjoy yourself and have fun! Don't be hard on yourself. Those first attempts with the pliers might feel cumbersome, but with each twist and turn, your hands will improve and before you know it, you will have forgotten the beginning 'wonky' pieces of jewelry.
I would suggest that you keep those first pieces of jewelry. Especially those that are 'wonky'. You'll then be able to see just how much you've improved! This is a quote that is on the bottom of my blog:
" YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE! BECAUSE IF YOU WAIT UNTIL EVERYONE THINKS YOU'RE GOOD, YOU'LL NEVER GET STARTED" ~ Me (4/17/11)
Q. What are your future dreams and aspirations?
"DREAMS ARE THE THINGS OUR FUTURE IS MADE OF". ~ Unknown.
I'm always setting goals and taking action to accomplish them. Never stop learning! I want to learn more techniques.
I'd like to get published. It just seems like the next logical step. This might begin with a tutorial in a magazine and then evolve into a book.
I want to develop a website. I currently have a blog, but not everyone understand a blog. Some people need and understand the online brochure of a website.
There is no doubt in my mind, (and I'm certain everyone else will agree having read this feature) that Linda's dreams will all come true, as she emanates true artistic passion and love of her craft!