I recently interviewed a fabulous friend and fellow ceramic beadmaker named Jennifer Heynen. Her business name is Jangles and her website is http://www.jangles.net/. She is based in in Athens, GA and makes some of the most colorful and innovative bead items I have seen! I especially love her designs for much sought after, interesting components such as clasps, headpins, and toggles, all fashioned in her own creative, funky, color filled style. Enjoy our interview:
What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use? What is your favorite beadmaking technique?
I make brightly colored fun ceramic beads. I use a earthenware clay, underglazes, and overglazes to give my beads a loose and hand painted look.
How did you get into beadmaking? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
I first discovered beadmaking when I received a lampworking kit as a gift. After making glass beads for a year, I realized I should be making ceramic beads. I had my BFA in ceramics and it was and still is my favorite medium to work in. People fell in love with them and Jangles was born.
I am always open to changes in my business. I pay attention to markets, fashion, etc. I try to experiment with a new show or market every year. This year I exhibited at a folk art show.
What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?
I have two studios. I have a clay studio which is housed within a bigger pottery studio. There are classes and potters working all of the time. Its is great camaraderie. My beading, assembling jewelry, and shipping is all done at a studio in my home. I try to spend everyday at the clay studio making and glazing beads. Shipping and everything else is crammed in when I can fit it in.
How do you stay inspired and motivated?
I absolutely love what I do. I have notebook upon notebook of ideas to keep me busy for years. I still attend other artfairs and show openings. I like to be around other artists to talk business and fun.
What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment your art beads? Do you design your own jewelry too?
In the jewelry I design I use a lot of glass and silver. I like beads that are matte to help show off the shiny glaze on my beads.
What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
As for future plans. I have a book coming out in June. The tentative title is "Creative Ceramic Bead Making". It is being published by Lark books. It was a really fun process and i hope to write more for them.
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Make sure to visit Jennifer's website, Jangles at http://www.jangles.net/ to see all the great colorful items she has to offer.