Welcome to Our Blog


My name is Penny Cheng, Chainmaille Artist and the Owner/Designer Of Jewelry by Saniki Creations. I am lucky enough to work on my designs at home while taking care of my three girls. Life is hectic, but fun...

This Blog is about my life, my business, and my creations plus I enjoy promoting my fellow Artists.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Interview with Me... Penny Cheng of Jewelry by Saniki Creations

Taking a break from featuring my fellow artists, I thought I would do something a little different today and interview myself so you can get to know me a little better.

So today I would like you to meet Me... Penny Cheng of Jewelry by Saniki Creations, a Member of The Artisan Group, Artists in the Boro and Self Representing Artist-Jewelry Designer.
How and when did you discover your love for your craft/art?
As far as I remember, I've always loved arts and crafts. I loved being creative but I was never able to put what I had in my head out into a medium for others to see.  I tend to get bored fairly quickly so my little runs with writing, painting, drawing, knitting never lasted for very long let alone nice enough to show off to others.
"Midnight Flight"
I started making jewelry by chance. My first intentions was only to fix the jewelry my daughters had purchased from those mall outlet stores where you can buy ten earrings for $5.00.  Really cheap quality  worthy of dollar store junk jewelry.  After a fixing a few earrings, necklaces and bracelets, I started to put my own spin on them, adding extra charms or beads or deconstructing it entirely to make something new. I found it rather fun and relaxing so I started taking apart any jewelry items I can find and remade them.  Then one day I wandered into a craft store and saw the jewelry making aisle and I was in heaven.

Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
I made a few pieces for myself and my daughters in the past, but I would say the first piece I made would have been for my Nana (from my Hubby's side).  It was a beaded necklace with different Swarovski Crystals representing her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Back then I thought it was the most beautiful thing I've ever made.. but now that I think about it.. I could have done a lot better.  I actually got a picture of it, my photo taking skills were just as amateur back then too as you can see from the picture below.

Nana's Necklace, Christmas 2008
I have since made Nana another necklace, a Chainmaille one made with Jeweler's Brass and Amethyst Swarovski Crystals.  She still wears this at all the family functions.

Nana's Necklace, Christmas 2010
Every Artist has a creative process, can you explain yours?
I've heard about how other artists have a creative process.  I honestly don't really have a set plan/process.  Most of my ideas come to me when I'm lying down before I fall asleep.  About 75% of the time I can remember what my idea was in the morning so I work on it right away and it seems to be fine that way.  I'm terrible about writing ideas out, though I have a notebook and pen on my nightstand, I've never used it for ideas.

When people start doing their craft/art, they tend to try a lot of different things before settling down to something that resonates with them. How has your work changed since you began?
I officially started my business on January 2009 doing beaded jewelry (strung pieces, wirewrapped pieces) made with Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, and semiprecious stones.

I started doing Chainmaille jewelry back in the beginning of 2010 as I needed something different to what everyone else in my area was doing.  Once I learned a few chainmaille weaves, I haven't stopped.  Now all I ever do is chainmaille and sometimes I would do a beaded piece on commission basis.  Why Chainmaille as a specialty.. I think it's my personality type. That's what I tell people. I love how metal rings put together can form such strong, intricate yet feminine pieces.  Chainmailling is addictive and soothing for me.
Papillon I
What inspires you creatively?
I think just life in general inspires me.  There's so much going on in the world that it's easy to pick something to get inspired by, if that made sense at all.  I suppose there's really no set thing that does it for me, it could be a sunny day where I'm in a good mood or lousy mood, or daydreaming about winning the lottery and planning my mega work studio.  I'm rather odd that way.

Can you tell us about some important goals you have achieved with your work?
I think that would be finding my own niche.  Creating my own design that others haven't really thought of.  To be referred to as an Artist.
Who are some of your favorite artists/crafters and why?
There are so many great Artists out there.  It's hard for me to pinpoint specific people.  I've been lucky enough to get to know others and seeing their work. Out of everyone I've ever met in person or online, I always have a favorite in something they have done.

Any goals for the future you would like to share?
Besides winning the lottery?  I would say being able to get more of my work out into the world.  Possibly have my creations in boutiques would be awesome.
"Shield1" Wall Art
What do you do in your spare time?
Wow.. what is spare time?  So far it's housework. If I'm lucky, I watch a couple of television shows that's not consisting of cartoons or puppets.  Napping is always a plus for me too.

If you are displaying or selling your craft/art? Where?
I do sell at craft fairs every once in a while or at home parties that friends have set up.

Through my membership with Artists in the Boro, I have had my creations on display during the BC Cultural Crawl, Queensborough Days and at the Queensborough Community Centre.  Last Christmas I was selling my Creations at the Treasure Room located at the Arts Council of New Westminster.

In June of this year I am participating at the MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge presented by GBK Productions through my membership with The Artisan Group.  I will have a display piece at the event with other artists in the group, plus 100 Chainmaille Creations will be distributed out into swag bags for the celebrities that attend the Gift Lounge.

And of course I have my Website that's been with me since the beginning. I have an open door policy, so if someone wants to come over to my place to see my creations, just give me a call and I'll have a pot of coffee ready.
Commissioned Piece
If you sell online or at physical store. How many hours per week to you spend in the creative side versus the business side?
I wish I could spend more time on the creative side.  Unfortunately since I'm not in any retail places, I need to spend more time promoting my site.  Ideally I would love to spend 75% creating and 25% dealing with the business stuff.

What advice would you give to someone who want to start out or start a business in their craft/art?
Plan it out and do it.  Be open minded, learn as much as possible and network like crazy.  Get to know other people in the same business as you.  They can be your best allies in the end.  There's a lot of hard work involved and at times you would feel like you want to quit, that you are not good enough... those feelings are normal and keeps us humble.  You'll never know unless you try.

Well that's my interview to myself.  Hope you all enjoyed learning more about me.  Be sure to visit my Website, follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook Page.

Before I say goodbye:  Through my membership with The Artisan Group.  I will be giving a special Chainmaille Gift to actor Tom Cruise and his family (his wife, Katie Holmes and daughter, Suri Cruise)!  This gift will be sent to Mr. Cruise in a special gift bag containing other great handmade goodies from my fellow members.  More details to follow. Stay tuned!

Penny Cheng


  1. Oh my gosh, Penny! The few pieces I had seen so far I already thought were beautiful and amazing. I am just blown away by the pics you have here! No need to doubt your talents -- you ARE an artist! :)

  2. Thank you so much Heidi, That really means a lot to me!

  3. Great self-interview!!! I love your writing style thru your blog and your posts in the Artisan Group. You are so easily accessible and down to earth. Never doubt your talent....your jewelry is AMAZING!!! Now I am off to finish your interview of me.... ;-)

    1. Thank you :) I am pretty easy going, I think it's the caffeine. I got your email and have put it in the schedule to do yours soon.


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