Are you motivated by color? Katie Hacker certainly is. In her latest book, Live Wire Jewelry, Katie demonstrates how easy it is to create chic, polished jewelry looks with a combination of colored wire and sparkly beads. The color combos, including copper and green, mint and alabaster, and orange and light sapphire, are unique, unexpected and completely wearable.
Below, Katie shares some insights into her own crafting world:
Q: When did you start crafting? What craft did you start with?
Katie: My parents owned a dollhouse and miniatures distributorship, so I was surrounded by crafting as a kid. I used to love making friendship bracelets and decorating my dollhouse. I got serious about jewelry making when I was a teenager so I could make cool clip earrings for my unpierced ears.
Q: What other crafts do you do besides jewelry design?
K: I have two small kids who don’t know that everybody doesn’t do crafts before breakfast! We paint a lot, make jewelry, do polymer clay and lots of other crafts that involve glue, string and pom-poms.
Q: What made you decide to write Live Wire Jewelry?
K: When I first started designing jewelry, colored shaping wire was really seen as a crafty material for scrapbooking and card-making. With Live Wire Jewelry, I wanted to show how you can create colorful, stylish jewelry with Artistic Wire and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystals.
Q: What is the best part about writing a book?
K: The best part of writing a book is being able to totally dive into the process and focus on one thing for a while. I’m usually juggling a lot of different projects, so I appreciate concentrating on one technique.
Q: How do you get inspired when you’re feeling a lack of creativity?
K: I’m lucky that I have a lot more ideas than I’ll ever have time to make. I try to write them down so I can jog my memory when my batteries are running low. I also like looking at books and magazines. Sometimes, just going for a run helps me clear my mind so I can think of new ideas.
Q: What is the skill or technique that most intimidates you?
K: I took a lampworking class and learned how difficult it is to make a bead that looks the way it does in my mind. Next, I’m thinking about trying my hand at enameling. Barbara Lewis [author of Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry] makes it looks easy.
Q: What’s the best advice you could give to a new jewelry enthusiast?
K: I always tell my students to be as patient with themselves as they are with other people. It’s easy to get down on yourself for not making perfect loops, but it just takes practice. Jewelry-making is supposed to be fun!
Q: What’s your favorite jewelry blog, and why?
K: I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve fallen behind on my blog reading! I always like catching up with Art Bead Scene because they have a great group of writer/artists contributing to the blog.
Q: What tool, notion or material can you not live without?
K: My Italian flush cutters are never far from my hands. A nice, sharp cutter with a comfy, cushioned handle is absolutely essential.
Q: How has jewelry-making changed your life?
K: I’m very fortunate that jewelry-making and beading went from being my hobby to being my livelihood. I can’t imagine doing anything else!
A big thank you to Katie for joining us on the blog today. Be sure to check out Live Wire Jewelry for lots of colorful inspiration!
Katie Hacker is an artist and writer who started designing her own jewelry as a teenager when she couldn’t find fashionable clip earrings for her unpierced ears. She turned her pastime into a business, making jewelry and sharing her ideas. Katie is the host of the public television series Beads, Baubles & Jewels, the top TV source for jewelry-making education and inspiration nationwide. Viewers connect with Katie’s approachable style and “you can do it!” attitude. A prolific author, Katie’s books have sold more than half-a-million copies and cover a variety of techniques from simple stringing to wire wrapping. Katie’s line of Katiedids™ Creative Components manufactured by Beadalon gives beaders the power to completely customize their designs. Read Katie’s popular beading blog at www.KatieHacker.com.