Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Profile: MsBelle

I am so excited to feature Ginger Wagner as my first artist interview. Ginger possesses the nimble fingers behind the Etsy shop MsBelle. I have always been pretty proud of my wire wrapping skills, but Ginger's wire wrapping floors me. Every wrap is perfection. Her jewelry is feminine without being to froufy (did I make that word up?) The colors she uses are subtle and flattering. In addition, Ginger is one of the nicest sellers I have yet to meet and was my first real Etsy friend.

First things first: coffee or tea?

Coffee, iced or hot, as long as it's loaded with creamer!

What inspired you to start making jewelry?

My gemstone collection. I began collecting in the mid-1980s and have just a small collection. I found a way to set stones easily and began making 14K gemstone jewelry for myself, my friends and family. Then gold became more expensive than I could afford (that happens when you have a little one) and I needed a different avenue of creating jewelry.

I got a part-time job at a jewelry store that specialized in custom work on site and that fed my need for jewelry. Since they created their own pieces, I would watch as he carved the wax and soldered the gold for the pieces to be made. But in this store is where I discovered my first pair of handmade, wire wrapped gemstone briolette earrings. I was amazed at the beauty, craftsmanship, texture, composition and colors. I loved everything about it. I thought, "I want to make something like that." So I did research and found a ton of information on line regarding how to wire wrap. I've been hooked since.

What are your favorite materials?

Wire, metal, pearls and gemstone beads.

Where do you get design inspiration?

Everywhere. Inspiration abounds for me in nature. But I also find it in books, magazines, music, architecture, and believe it or not, my son! He's a great source for inspiration!

What is your favorite part of jewelry making?

The wire wrapping. It's a zen thing. I can get lost in it for hours. It's great to get going and see the piece start coming together. That's my favorite part.

If you could hire an employee, what would you delegate first?


Are there other crafts that you would like to learn?

Well, metal for one. But besides that I would like to learn to paint. It's very relaxing and fun to sit down with my son to color and draw. I know that's not much of a comparison but I imagine it must be even more fun and satisfying to paint a beautiful picture with real paint!

What is your favorite Etsy category to browse?

The metal jewelry category. I just devour it.

List three things you enjoy doing when not working on your business.

1. My son. I'm a mom first and foremost, and my son is a character! I've learned a lot from him.

2. Spending time outdoors in the mountains of North Carolina where I'm from originally. My family is still there and I try to visit as often as possible. It's where my heart is.

3. Canoeing, camping, bluegrass music and writing (I couldn't decide!)

Check out Ginger's blog and Etsy Shop.


msbelle said...

Thank you, Stephanie, for the kind words and for giving me the honor of being your first featured artist. I'm very proud to be your friend. You're an inspiration. :)

made in lowell said...

Great interview, and beautiful jewelry! Excellent choice for a feature.


Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thanks for introducing us to another beautiful shop!

eva said...

Oh, I love those blogs who introduce new artists and nice stuff to buy. And interviews too.
You are pretty productive!

JustaGirl said...

I agree, MsBelle makes so fabulous pieces... I actually havn't seen her ETSY site, but will have to check it out now! (I see her beautiful images through Flickr!)

Great interview!

SylviaV said...

Wonderful interview, and a really interesting read =)

urban bloom said...

what a great concept for a blog. great first interview, too.

Katie said...

Great interview! I know Ginger from the EG 101 group. She's a wonderful person with a lot of talent and heart.

sara.wears.skirts said...

supergreat interview! i love the colors in her work!

Happy House Quilts said...

I love the interview concept!!! Great blog!!!