Monday, January 10, 2011

Interview with the artist - Elegance and Sparkles

By N Valentine Studio

Featured artist - Elegance and Sparkles, Newport News

You'll find a variety of gorgeous and unique pieces in this shop. Some unique use of stones and wirework! My favorite piece is this Charoite bracelet. I'm always drawn to unique wirework and charoite is one of my favorite stones!

What's the hardest piece you ever made?
Lisa Barth's Wrapped Attention in Feb 2008 Bead and Button. I had not really worked with wire before, but I loved the necklace and it looked absolutely do-able. I bought the beads and jumped right in. Not having manipulated wire apart from a few wrapped loops, I had a rough time even understanding some of the terminology. I persevered and finished it, but it looked terrible. I have not returned to tackle it, though now I have a lot more experience in wire working.

What's the one favorite tool you cannot live without?
This is a trick question! I am a tool junkie and have been known to raid my husband's toolbox to get what I want. The one I use the most would be chain nose pliers, followed by round nose pliers.

What's your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?
I work at my computer desk and nearly everything I need is within easy reach. The computer is right there, my beads, wire, tools, and findings are in a storage cart next to me, some more beads, findings and tools are around me, and my photo setup is right behind me. I sit by a window and can look outside and I appreciate all the light and ability to see the birds and squirrels on the trees.

What is your other craft?
I sew though that is increasingly been sideline by the jewelry.

Who or what inspires you?
Mostly the material I work with inspires me. I love the color and/or texture in beads and that can bring out a whole lot to work with. Other jewelry artists who do intricate and complicated work also inspire me. I aspire to reach their levels of expertise while the pieces my own expression.

What's your favorite inspirational saying?
Never give up, you can make it through.

What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do?
I have never soldered. I have gathered the materials and done a bit of reading and video watching, but I have not yet taken the plunge.

What's your favorite item?
My latest favorite piece is this Blue Topaz necklace I made from a tutorial by Nancy Wickman which does not look like what was taught in the tut because I adapted it for myself.

The SATeam blog features artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at


mcstoneworks said...

Great interview. Love that bracelet - gorgeous.

Cat said...

Thank you for sharing, I loved to learn more about you.

The picks are perfect, great pieces.

Bonnie said...

Thanks for introducing us to more of Wambui's style. Great article.

Nicole Valentine-Rimmer said...

Still love the charoite piece!

Erika Price said...

Fascinating interview - thanks for sharing! I find Wambui's work so inspirational :)