When you click the “About the Designer” link on my website, you’ll read that first and foremost, I am a Stay-At-Home Mom of three. And it was being home with my kids that got me started in what I do today.
(one of my first)
I have always been a “creative” person. In high school, I took every art class I could get into. Then eventually went to college on a scholarship for a painting I did of John Solan (early American Impressionist painter). I studied “Visual Communications and Graphic Design”, which was all well and good.
It was while home with my daughter as an infant (now 4) that I was bored out of my skull and needed an outlet. For some strange and forgotten reason, I wanted to write her name with wire for a necklace. I went to Michael’s craft store, got some beads and by the end of the night I had 22 pairs of earrings. I was hooked. It wasn’t until the spring of 2005 that I discovered lampwork glass. Before I knew what lampwork really was, all I knew was the mass produced stuff (aka crap) you see in large wholesale catalogs. I thought, who would ever use that junk… it is big bulky grossness rolled in ugly. Then one day I was on the Bead&Button Community Forum and was introduced to the work of Cassie Donlen. Hold your horses people… you can make your own lampwork beads?!? They aren’t all like the ones in the catalogs? I asked loads of questions, took a short intro class with a local artist, and have been making beads almost daily since September of 2005. I consider myself “self-taught” thanks to the help of loads of glass bead books and lampworking forums like Wetcanvas and Lampwork Etc.
My design background has molded my art today and I think my way of thinking too. I think there are two kinds of artistic people in the world, “designers” and “artists”. And I have always thought of it this way… artists see a blank canvas and can easily fill it, designers see and blank canvas and have no idea what to do with it. But then on the other hand, give a designer a spring board (like make something red about yea big) and they can do amazing things… you give an artist limitations and the visions disappear. I have for the most part always considered myself a designer. Without spring boards (aka things that inspire me) I have no idea what I want to make and I am totally idea-less. But I am pushing more and more to pull the artist in me out. Which is one of the things I am hoping to gain from being part of Watch Me Create.
I have two kinds of “work”… my lampwork glass beads and my jewelry. For my beads, my favorite thing to do is “Art Inspired Art”. I love interpreting other art work into glass form. I also love really bold, graphic designs as well. I am drawn to the patterns of retro fabrics too. For my jewelry, I tend to use simpler beads with the focus on my use of color and wirework. I think my designs can be split easily into two categories, Fun/Funky or Earthy/Sophisticated. I think a creative person needs figure out what they know best and use it to their advantage… and I think I know color. I have always had an “eye” for it. I know what works together… I know when something is just “off” with color. I like taking risks with color and finding something that works that you would think doesn’t.
I am a published designer, which I find thrilling. I have had projects in Step By Step Wire Jewelry magazine, BeadStyle magazine, and Bead&Button magazine. I have projects slated for publications in Step By Step Beads as well. I am also working with editors at Interweave Press on the new WireStyle book coming out next summer. I love writing and I love teaching so my tutorials are a wonderful outlet for that part of my personality. And watch out… you may want to get a snack when I post… I tend to write A LOT once I get going (and I like making up new descriptive words and color names too).
Finally… a little about my “process” I am a perfectionist!! But who isn’t? (Or is it only a perfectionist that thinks everything should be perfect?) I don’t tend to make much “practice” stuff. I do most of my thinking in my head. I will have an idea and mold it for weeks if I have to before actually making it. I go through making a bead (or piece of jewelry) step by step, how I will lay down each color and in which order. When it comes time to actually make the thing I am thinking of, more often than not it comes out close to what I was envisioning. I think that is another thing I hope to gain from putting my creation process out for others to see… different ways of actually creating… more experimentation and less precision. (Who am I kidding, I’ll still try and make it perfect, but maybe I will get more play beads for my daughter along the way, lol.)
Kerry Bogert is blogging about her glass art beads and jewelry from her home studio in Ontario NY. Check her work at www.kabsconcepts.com.