Thursday, May 28, 2009

Q&A: Jessica Stewart

Today is all about big, glorious rings (and a few pairs of earrings I couldn't resist sharing). Jessica Stewart has a delightful Etsy shop where she sells her lovely jewelry that, if you're anything like me, will become much more irresistable once you read a bit about her and how she learned her craft.

Where do you live?
I live in Paso Robles, CA (Central California). I was born and raised in the Bay Area (on the Peninsula) and have spent my whole life around every aspect of the jewelry business.
Tell me a little bit about what you make.
I handcraft and design every earring and ring I sell. I use only the finest quality metal, all natural color freshwater pearls and gem quality semi precious stones. Each piece of jewelry is one of a kind, meticulously handcrafted from top-quality materials including the highest quality stones and metals, to ensure superior wear ability at an affordable price.

How did you decide to start the line?
My mom started the wire rings in the early 80s and evolved with them, taking them to the next level quality and design wise. I have been making jewelry for as long as I can remember, focusing mainly on rings and earrings with my own special twist!

Did you have any teachers who became mentors along the way?
My teachers and mentors hands down are both my parents. I am so fortunate to have two amazingly creative and highly motivated parents who have been making and selling jewelry since before I was born. As you can imagine my appreciation for and love of fine handcrafted jewelry came at an early age. I remember being a baby taking naps under my parents display on Fisherman’s Wharf in the early 80s. Both my parents are self taught and amazing artists. My mom in particular was a teacher in showing me "the ropes" year and years ago.

Why do you enjoy making jewelry?
Creating and designing jewelry is a love of mine. I want to make gorgeous wearable art that is of the highest quality yet affordable. I enjoy designing and making jewelry that help make women feel beautiful. When women feel beautiful, they feel powerful and have more confidence. My style is modern, unique, classy, feminine.

How does your creative process work?
My creation process is looking at colors, textures, shapes. Some days creativity flows easier than others. Such as life right!

Where do you find your inspiration?
My parents inspire me when I think of how far they have come from their humble beginnings at street festivals to now doing high quality museum shows. Always changing styles, going above and beyond, growing. I can say I learned from the best! I would have to say my other inspiration comes from the stones and materials I use.

Is this your full time work?
I hope to make this my full time work! I also work full time at a local middle school as a director of an after school program. I feel by finally getting a website up and pursuing my love more intensely will be the next chapter in my life.

What's the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is sitting down and creating new designs. My jewelry is every changing. Every piece I come out with is a step forward. Also I have to say just being with my husband (who is my best friend) at the end of a busy day.

What do you like to do when you're not making jewelry?
When I am not making jewelry I am always keeping busy. I am a sports nut (baseball in particular), love exercising, going to the beach, shopping, hanging out with my family and friends and I can't forget COOKING! I love food!

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