Welcome to Part 1 of a series of blogs made specifically for the 2015 Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop! We joined this fabulous event very recently, and would like to start off showing y'all what we do in Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry. In this blog, we'll be talking a little bit about us and how we got started, and then we'll showcase some of the jewelry we create. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
1. Why or how did you get started making jewelry?
Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry is a family-owned business having three generations of women designing and creating beautiful jewelry to be worn casually, professionally and formally. We are Deborah (Grandma), Jennifer (Mama), Catherine and Gianna (Cat and Bean - Granddaughters). Not only have we had a “brick & mortar” store located in Joplin, MO. for the past 10 years, but we also have a retail/wholesale website with clients and customers from around the world. We carry a large selection of crystals, beads, findings, chain and tools etc. and our finished jewelry is also sold in several boutiques. We also create torch-fired lampwork beads, hand-cut and stamped metal, painted and enameled components and many other custom pieces. We have a love of “vintage” and often incorporate that into much of our jewelry. We are a “work in progress”.
|(left to top to right to bottom) Gianna, Jennifer, Dave, Deborah, Catherine|
2. What style(s) of jewelry do you like to make?
Because there are four of us, our jewelry has a really big range of styles! We create earrings, necklaces and bracelets, and occasional odds and ends like bookmarks and key-chains. We love vintage and antique styles and often reuse vintage jewelry components in our works. We also love mixed media, and incorporate leather, wire, metalsmithing, paper, paint/enamel and fibers in our work. Deborah's works tend to be bohemian in style, Jennifer loves to break down and re-imagine vintage jewelry, Gianna creates intricate Victorian-inspired works and I (Cat) enjoy metalsmithing and playing with leather.
|Mixed media Faith Bird Trio necklace by Deborah|
3. What materials do you prefer to use (and which ones do you avoid)?
We don't really shy away from odd materials! The older the materials the better, and hand-fabricating from start to finish like in metal-smithing is a challenge we love tackling.
|Seed bead earrings by Gianna|
4. What techniques do you prefer (and are there any you don't like)?
We love all techniques! We enjoy metalsmithing, leather working, lampworking, crocheting, and seed beading. One of the things we really haven't tried is polymer clay, but we will remedy that soon!
|Mixed media necklace by Jennifer|
5. What colors do you use most, and which do you run screaming from?
Also the same answer as #4, we don't shy away from any color in particular. While we tend towards the vintage styles, which includes colors like pastels and neutrals, we also love to break out of the box and create with colorful and bright palettes too!
|Leather message bracelets by Catherine and Deborah|