As Amy picked up the phone to speak with me she had to put down a jewelry project she was working on. Later in the conversation as we talked about old friends and styles of jewelry she told me she picked her project back up and worked on it while chatted. Amy told me her favorite stones were Lapis and Opals but just as she likes to shop locally and support small business (and opts to ride the bus instead of drive) she also likes to find local stones to incorporate into her jewelry. Since there isn't much in the way of either Lapis or Opal (other than the Bacon opal) here in Utah she has found love among Tiffany Stone, Coprolite, and Septarian Nodules all found with in a few hours of her home.
Amy works at a vetrinarian clinic and loves the fact that she get's to work at one of the only clinics in Utah that accepts rare species and reptiles "I also get to work with my sister and that's a bonus.".
When or how did you get your start making jewelry?
"I had a friend who did hemp jewelry, sort of a new age style thing. He got me going to bead stores with him which was fun." Amy said she never got into beading with her friend but she loved going with him. The stores often had fun crystals, and little trinkets that caught her eye.
"About two years ago I found a piece he made me before he passed away and the hemp had started deteriorating so I took it and re-did it as a token to him." The beading never stopped after that. Shortly afterwards Amy started working at the Blue Cockatoo on 15th and 15th and there she learned the 'meanings' and properties of all the stones, which struck yet another interest.
Did you start with wire wrapping?
"No I really just started by re-stringing that one piece from my friend" Amy said that wire wrapping came much later, and she was completely self taught at first. "One day I looked at my collection of trinkets mostly from the blue Cockatoo and thought, well I should make these into jewelry." that was the start of Amy's wire wrapping. "After my first piece I realized I needed to find another place in Salt Lake to get rocks. The Vug didn't sell rocks anymore, and there wasn't anywhere else really around." Amy said she went on a hunt to find a rock and trinket shop she could continue to collect stones from.
"Rockpick was the only place I found and i just showed up there one day and thought I'm in heaven." Amy continued. "Rockpick is just and adventure! The first time I cam in I just spent hours looking at petrified wood." While in the store Amy said she learned we offered wire wrapping classes, and having been completely self taught she signed up to take a class from Regis. "it really helped my precision. Before I would get lost, taking the class I learned to control the wire." Amy said.
How do you deal with artist block?
"Keep learning." Amy says. "Even if you think you are doing something completely by the book it is still going to end up being completely you..."
Amy says she just let's art happen, even if she is suppose to be practicing base guitar to play with her sister and her soon to be band. "My sister writes country music and I am relearning the base guitar to help her." Amy said. "But sometimes when you're suppose to be doing one thing is the best time to be creative about something else." Amy said it goes the other way too, she will set aside time to work on jewelry and end up playing guitar, or off on a completely different tangent.
About Amy's Jewelry:
"I just started doing steam punk jewelry because I'm fascinated with layers" Amy said, and she has a great sense of humor to go with it! "I made my boss a coprolite piece he's a veterinarian figured he would get the reference" Amy said laughing.
All in all Amy works with a number of materials, including glass, stone, metal, and leather. She loves layering, and creating pieces that appear to move. Getting started in jewelry was fun and relaxing she told us "It is very zen like repetitive and at the same time artistic." Amy says she loved being self taught because it didn't limit the way she looked at jewelry but is so glad she eventually took a class that allowed her to refine her own ideas. Besides being a little off the wall and a wonderful woman to be around, it is nice to know other people procrastinate by creating...