I'm very happy to have Caroline and her Etsy shop NEW HOPE BEADING as a featured shop here on DZFANTASY. Be sure to pay a visit to NEW HOPE BEADING to see all of Caroline's beautiful pieces of jewelry.
What led you to start creating your art/craft?
I started making jewelry after my daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy. At first, I made medic alert bracelets for her, but soon found that, because I needed to concentrate on what I was doing, making jewelry kept me from worrying about her having a seizure at school. When she had more bracelets than any 8 year old could possibly wear and I had run out of people to make gifts for, my husband encouraged me to start a business.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I have always been fascinated with gemstone. When I was about 6 years old, Santa brought me a rock tumbler. I remember waiting for it to be done…because it takes a couple of weeks, you know. When it was finally done I would roll the stones over and over in my hands and take in every detail and feature. I haven’t changed much. Today I received a shipment of gemstones from a supplier. I could hardly contain myself to get the envelope opened. I have been moving them around on trays all day in different combinations with different things I own already. First I think they want to be a necklace, no a bracelet. I should probably start work on some of the pieces, but I won’t. I need to look at them for a few days and “play” some more. When it is the right combination I will know.
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
I love the planning. I am never at a loss for ideas. Last night my 6 year old woke up with a bad dream. I got him back to sleep, but instead of going back to sleep I crept down to my studio at 3:00 am because I had just decided how I wanted to lay out a certain necklace and had to quickly sketch it before I forgot.
If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
Yeah don’t think I can think of one and I really tried LOL. I don’t think of my craft as a noun but rather as a verb. It would be more like creating a meal for dinner. You have to decide what to serve and how you are going to prepare it. So I guess making fruit salad is the best thing I can come up with for fruits. What are you going to include? How are you going to present it?
If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
I used to write. In fact my Masters is in teaching writing. As I’ve gotten older, however, I find writing drains me. I am not sure why this is, but it is probably the reason I do not have a blog of my own. Making jewelry has just the opposite effect on me. It energizes me.
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I don’t know that I necessarily want to convey a message, but rather it is a form of duty. I feel a respect for the materials and feel obliged to mold them. I used to laugh when I would hear the old adage about the sculptor who saw the block of stone and knew where the sculpture lay within it. “Yeah right?” I hear myself say. But if I have to be honest, and I know it sounds silly and I fear a bit pretentious, but I’ve had that feeling. I do try to use my shop I as a way to be an Epilepsy Advocate. Even today, epilepsy is a topic that people shy away from. This stigma keeps people from seeking treatment and makes them feel alone. They are not alone. Epilepsy affects 3 million Americans and 50 million people worldwide. That is more than MS, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease combined! To hear their stories, visithttp://www.epilepsyadvocate.com/ and click “Meet the Advocates.”I keep this link in my shop announcements as a resource for people. From time to time, I have items where 100% of the sale price is donated to The Epilepsy Foundation of NJ. Right now I have 2 such items. These items can be found under my shop section “Benefit EFNJ”. In addition, I donate 5% of all sales to The Epilepsy Foundation of NJ.
Coral, Turquoise, and Bali Silver Earrings
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
For me, I always say don’t let all of the promoting and pressure to do more eclipse what you love to do.
If you'd like to learn more about Caroline and her jewelry, be sure to visit her links below.