My name is Lorelei Eurto (pronounced Lora-lie Ur-toe). My business name is informally Designs by Lorelei. I sell my jewelry on Etsy. I live in upstate NY, in New Hartford which is about half way between Syracuse and Albany.
What kind of jewelry do you make? What types of materials do you prefer? What kind of art beads do you use?
I try to make beaded jewelry that is earthy and organic, and I use anything I can get my hands on! I typically use glass (vintage and new), gemstones, ceramic beads and pendants, wood, metals such as brass, and silver, chain, wire, textiles, and art beads! I use a lot of handmade lamp work glass beads and pendants, polymer clay beads and pendants, collage pendants, and ceramic pendants and beads. I like mixing many different elements together for visual interest. I try to keep my designs simple, and unfussy.
Pendant: Marsha Neal Studios (http://www.marshanealstudio.com/)
How did you get into jewelry design? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
I have always had artistic and creative tendencies since I was quite young. As a child I loved making greeting cards for my friends and family. I would sign them on the back “HillMark” (My maiden name is Hill)! I’ve always loved paper crafts, drawing and painting and even music. I had dabbled in several art classes to try to find a creative outlet as an adult, and nothing really sparked my interest. (Pottery, Watercolor, Silversmithing) Right before Christmas (2006) I decided that I wanted my gifts to my friends and family to be handmade. I went to the craft store, and bought some beads. I think I bought Stringing magazine too, studied the instructions for basic techniques and have slowly evolved into more intermediate techniques such as wire-wrapping and chain work. I have always been a very visual learner and have been able to replicate designs just by looking at photographs of the jewelry in the magazine. After stock-piling a ton of necklaces and bracelets, my husband said I should think about selling my wares so that I could start putting the money back into my new hobby. Then I found Etsy. The most important thing I’ve done for my business is that I started my Etsy Shop. I try to keep the inventory stocked and I try to keep my designs fresh and new. I try to take the best photographs possible of my work. I have been attempting to get my name out there, because I think word-of-mouth is one of the most successful ways to sell anything.
What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is your typical day like?
I have set up the smallest bedroom in my house as my “studio”. I bought a couple 6 foot folding tables, and work there. Once we re-finish the room (ugly wallpaper has to come down) I want to finish the walls with hanging hooks to hang finished pieces on. I’d also like to have a large corkboard area to hang inspirational pictures, and fellow artisan’s business cards. A typical day is spent at my day job for the first 8 hours. I am the Assistant Registrar at an art museum. I manage the art collection. Eat dinner. And then make jewelry until I go to bed. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have kids yet!
Pendant: Green Girl Studios (http://www.greengirlstudios.com/)
How do you stay inspired and motivated?
Easy, I take a half hour and flip through the jewelry section of Etsy! Or buy the latest Stringing magazine. There are so many wonderfully talented designers out there. I have many, many favorites!
What kinds of art beads do you look for? Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?
I like to buy art beads that are typically inspired by nature. I love the outdoors, birds, animals, plants, trees, and insects. I love working these types of elements into my jewelry. One of my all time favorite art bead designers is Green Girl Studios. I haven’t seen a bead or pendant that I DIDN’T absolutely LOVE.
Pendant: Red Crow Arts (http://www.redcrowarts.etsy.com/)
What kind of beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas that you will be exploring soon?
I am just going to try to keep making jewelry that people are interested in. I would like to try my hand at collage, and jewelry designs that center around collage, or pendants of some sort. I’ve always loved antiques. I like the idea of mixing old with new. I’d like to use more antique elements in my pieces, such as skeleton keys and buttons.
Beads & Charms: Earthenwood Studio (http://www.earthenwoodstudio.com/)