I've dabbled in most techniques, took a course here or there, but my love is still Chainmaille... Nothing beats getting what seems to be miles of wire, coiling it with a power drill and cutting them up to make those itty bitty rings, then connecting them one at a time. People have told me it's amazing how patient I am to do this... Yes, I have patience for it. People have asked since I play with wire why not do some Wire Wrapped Jewelry. With that.. I look at them straight in the eye and say... I have absolutely no patience to do that.. my wire wrapping looks like a complete mess.
So with all that being said.. I am thrilled to introduce you to Carolyn Moran, Wire Wrapped Jewelry Artist extraordinaire! Carolyn is the owner of Care More Creations and fellow member of The Artisan Group. Carolyn's work in Wire Wrapped Natural Gemstone Jewelry is breathtaking. Now here's a person with patience!
How and when did you discover your love for your craft/art?
I never realized my love for creating jewelry until I discovered a cute little bead shop about 4 years ago. The owner was creating a pendant using a jasper stone and wire. I was in awe and decided to give it a try. I bought my supplies that day from her and experimented for a few weeks making pendants for me, my family and friends. I really haven't stopped making them since.
Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
I remember that first piece I made...I still have it in my jewelry box to remind me where I started! The reason I never attempted to sell it is because it is a special piece of coral that I found while on my honeymoon while walking on a beach in Belize. Many times I have picked it up, thinking I should re-wrap it to my current style, but every time I end up putting it back in it's resting place. It is more symbolic to me than just any piece of jewelry.
|Pendant - Peach Snakeskin Jasper|
The entire process is so much fun. The first step is the hunt for the perfect gemstones via two of my favorite pastimes...shopping and nature walks! I enjoy supporting various local and online bead and rock shops and have so much fun browsing. It is also very rewarding to discover Mother Nature's beautiful natural jewels, whether along a walk while home in Alaska or on the beaches of Belize where I spend some time in the winter. Each individual gemstone then inspires my design. The color of the wire, the curves and swirls of the wire setting and the little baubles I add enhance each stone's personality. The stone "talks" to me. My creative process guarantees that the customer will have truly unique, one-of-a kind jewelry.
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?
When I started creating wire wrapped pendants, I followed instructions from a couple tutorials that I found online. I bought a few books as well. As time went on I discovered ways to individualize each piece, instead of the same cookie-cutter style that I did my first few months. I started to let the stone determine everything. That is what makes my pendants so much fun to create. I don't know how each one is going to turn out until I am finally satisfied with it. I have always been attracted to calming swirls and blending of colors in a natural balance and rhythm. Bringing this softness to the hard element of stones, along with the shiny element of wire brings a passion out in my personality where I can create truly unique jewelry that are feminine, yet dramatic.
|Mabe Pearl Shell Pendant|
I live in Alaska, and my natural setting really inspires me. I love nature! I live in a log cabin along the Kenai River and it is an everyday occurance to see wandering moose, soaring eagles, splashing salmon, humbling mountains and even an occasional bear and her cubs. Also my love of fashion inspires me. I am not particularly a "bling" girl. I love natural stones and sometimes it is difficult to find just the right jewelry to wear with my simple wardrobe. As a business owner, I try to create natural jewelry to appeal to different tastes, in different colors, sizes and styles. My family also inspires me. Their constant support and love keeps my life in check and balance.
Can you tell us about some important goals you have achieved with your work?
I never had big goals when I first started. My business definitely started out as a hobbie, but when my family and friends nudged me into selling them, it became more of a challenge. Taking that initial leap into the Etsy world was exciting, and since then I haven't looked back. I find it very motivating to be self-employed and successful. To actually be considered an artisan on a national level, and not just to family and friends is also rewarding. When Valerie Guerrero, founder of The Artisan Group asked me to join, I was incredibly honored. Becoming part of this fabulous team of fellow, like-minded artisans and business owners is probably the most rewarding achievement of all. I have learned so much, not only about my craft and business, but also myself. Being a member of The Artisan Group has definitely given me the confidence to take my shop to a whole new level, and having a team that cheers each other on is truly amazing.
|Gold Filigree Wire Necklace|
I have so many favorite artists...too many to mention. But my absolute favorite artists are those who truly have talent, whether God-given or trained in their skill. They are an inspiration. I admire those who can create unique item from scratch, and not just assemble a product with store-bought supplies. I also admire those crafters with a keen eye for color, balance and what is trending at the moment.
Any goals for the future you would like to share?
In the future I would love the notariety on a more national level and get more exposure for my jewelry. I am so excited to be included in The MTV Movie Awards gift lounge presented by GBK Productions. As a member of The Artisan Group my wire wrapped pendants will be included in 100 swag bags distributed to celebrities, along with a couple pendants on display during the event It is going to be an amazing journey. I also would like to branch out into the wholesale market.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family and friends. My husband and I enjoy fishing and the great outdoors. My daughter and granddaughter are my pride and joy, and any time I can spend watching them succeed and grow and be happy...well, it doesn't get any better! I also enjoy the quiet moments of lone time when I can read, reflect or just relax.
|Black Agate Onyx Earrings|
I currently have online shops in both Etsy (http://www.caremore.etsy.com) and Artfire (http://www.caremore.artfire.com) Right now I also exclusively sell by jewelry in the legendary Rojo Lounge in Belize. I have occasionally sold at craft shows, which I find a lot of fun.
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 am sure we can all agree...way too much time on the business side! Making is so much more fun than selling. I would say that it is roughly 50/50 because I am presently taking some extra time to learn the marketing end of it. It is very overwhelming, but hopefully soon I will be able to grasp it all, and utilize it to gain enough popularity so that the jewelry starts to sell itself. Then I can spend less time marketing and more time creating.
What advice would you give to someone who want to start out or start a business in their craft/art?
There is so much that I have learned over the past 4 years. I would say my best advice is to create a business plan, learn as much as you can about marketing and make sure you are up for the challenge. Because being an artist is a passion, but selling your work is a whole different ballgame, especially if you are on your own with no marketing help. Also, brand yourself from the beginning with a cohesive "feel" throughout your business labels. I wish I would have....the hundreds and hundreds of old "ugly" business cards I have stored in my closet are proof!
*****Thank you so much Carolyn for letting us get to know you a little better. Be sure to visit Carolyn's sites: