Friday, November 9, 2007

Designer Interview: AJ Reardon

"Lady Aerelin's Prize-Winning Flower Garden" Lampworkedfaerie by Mavis Smith of Small Wonders, lampworked leaves by Joan"Mothwoman" Eckard

1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?My name is AJ Reardon. My business is Erthe Fae Designs, . I'm located in the awesome city of Tucson, AZ.

2. What kind of jewelry do you make? What types of materials do you prefer? What kinds of art beads do you use?
I create woven and strung jewelry with strong fantasy and gothic elements. Each piece is truly unique and one-of-a-kind. I use almost everything except for plastic, though I really love vintage beads! Oh,and leaves. I'm absolutely addicted to pressed glass leaves, carved stone leaves, lampworked leaves, polymer leaves, natural leaves dipped in metal, well, you get the idea.When it comes to art beads, I mainly collect and use lampwork. There area few artists who I buy from regularly, and then I pick up other random beads that catch my eye. I also use pewter from Green Girl Studio, carved shells from Lillypilly Designs, and the occasional polymer piece.

"Snow Angel" Lampworked spirals by Robert Jennik

3. How did you get into jewelry design? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
I remember making my first Goth necklace when I was a little kid; I took apart a couple of necklaces, and made this double-strand piece with black and white plastic, with a red plastic "crystal" and brass station at the center. I've been in love with beads ever since! I started ErtheFae Designs when I was 16, because I didn't want to work in fast food.I think that the most important thing that I do for my business is to stay true to my own voice, while still keeping an eye on the trends. I like to have fantasy-themed jewelry that goes just as well with a blouse from Target as with my favorite Rennaissance Faire costume; I'm sure I can't be the only one who feels that way.

4. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?
If you figure out what a typical day is like, please let me know!Although I try to be organized, my life is pretty chaotic, and moreso now that my husband is at home starting his own business! About the only constants are checking my e-mail, forums, and blogs. I love to stay in touch with other like-minded creative people. I try to bead a little bit every day, and when I'm really inspired, I'll put in several hours of beadwork. Mondays are photography and website update days.My studio is an extra bedroom in my too-small apartment. It's currently so cluttered that I have to work at the kitchen table, which suits my cats fine. They like to "supervise." Silly me, I thought I was my own boss!

"Almost Ready" Polymer focal by Loco Lobo

5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?
My bead collection keeps me pretty inspired, as does my over-active imagination. I'm always thinking about new ideas. This blog is a greats ource of inspiration too! The monthly challenges have me using more art beads than ever. My main source of motivation is to not let all these gorgeous beads go to waste.

6. What kinds of art beads do you look for? Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?
I look for art beads that appeal to my love for faeries, fantasy, and the macabre. I love figurals, skulls, leafy beads, magically sparkly beads, and beads with rich, earthy colors, especially greens and browns.I also look for affordable beads, but I've been known to splurge quite abit on special beads for my private collection!There are a lot of beads that I'd love to have artists make for me. I'd like to have a lampworked medusa. I'd like to see someone do a naga bead-- not the classical type with the snake body and human head, but the Xanth type with the snake body and human torso. And if someone did a series of beads based on the Great Old Ones from Lovecraft's Mythos, I would have to pledge my undying love to them!

"Dragonfly Pond" Lampworked beads by Lois Oster of WolfsongDesigns

7. What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
Well, I'm looking forward to playing with some ceramic art beads in the near future. And I hope to write up some of my designs for a magazine or two! Writing is my other love, so if I can combine the two, I will be one happy woman.

"Forest Singers" Lampworked beads by Lois Oster of WolfsongDesigns

From now until December 15th, all orders over $50 can receive a free 30mm beaded holiday ornament by saying "Ornament me!" in the comments section of my shopping cart. US Art Bead Scene readers can also mention this interview to have their shipping upgraded to Priority for no extra cost.

"Night Shift" Pewter bat by Green Girl Studios


Jean said...

Great interview--beautiful work!


AJ said...

Thank you, Jean :)

Melissa said...

Beautiful work, AJ - I love these pieces! What a nice interview.

Lora said...

Terrific interview, AJ! All of your work is beautiful, but I really like the Snow Angel lariat and the Dragonfly Pond necklace!