Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - Spotlight Melissa Rediger

Welcome to the first post in a new Twisted Tuesdays series spotlighting the work of the bead artists featured in Totally Twisted! I am so excited to be sharing these spotlights with you. It is such a blast getting to play interviewer and I am thrilled to be able to help support these fabulous artist friends.

If you have a copy of Totally Twisted handy and flip through it right now, you'll discover that the artist I am about to spotlight isn't in the pages as she should be. So much of the publishing process is out of the hands of the author, it wasn't until I was looking at the laser proofs of the book that I said "hey, were did the Hula Hoopla earring project go?" and it turned out it had been edited out due to the book already being more than a dozen pages longer than expected. I was totally bummed because Melissa Rediger of Sea Of Glass is a wonderful glass artist that I really wanted to share with everyone.

Thankfully, I was able to convince Step By Step Wire that this project needed to be shared and Melissa's beads are getting their due time to shine. Be sure to check out the August/September 2010 issue for step by step instructions on creating a really unique earring design below. You can pick up the same beads I use in the project here on Melissa's website. And while you are there, besure to browse all her other beautiful beads. (I already spy a few that would be perfect for my second book!) AND, make sure you read through to the bottom of the interview because there is a special code just for you blog readers.

One more thing before the interview, there is an interesting tale to tell about Melissa and me. We were a "first" for each other each in a special way that the other will never forget!! For Melissa, in 2006 when launching her new website, she had set the site live and waited and waited and waited to see what would happen. Feeling a bit silly for thinking an order would come in right away, she took a walk to take her mind of it. When she came home, lo and behold, she had her first order. It was from me!! Who remembers this bracelet and this bracelet? That was the summer I was just learning to make beads and didn't have a torch of my own, let alone a kiln, or I dare say a studio. Fast forward to the 2007 Bead and Button Show and that is where the first for me happened. It sounds a little silly and even a little vain on my part but, Melissa was the first person to ever recognize me in public, LOL. Yep, I was walking the aisles and wandered in Melissa's booth. She said to me "Hey, aren't you Kerry from that blog?" I will never forget that!! It is wild when the cyber world and real world come together like that.

Without further adu, I would like to intoduce you to... Melissa Rediger!!! (insert applause here)

Hey Melissa! Thanks so much for chatting with me today. Of course, I have to ask, how did you get started making beads?
I am so honored to have this opportunity to share my beads with you and a little bit about myself. I got started making beads kind of randomly. I had never seen lampworking before or been into beads. Seems like so many artists I know have fun stories about collecting rocks as kids, rummaging through their Grandma's buttons, beads, etc. I have no such story. I had never been into beads or jewelry. I graduated from the University of Iowa in Elementary Education and substitute taught for a year or so before having our first daughter. I knew I wanted to stay at home with her after she was born. I was surfing online one day looking for "things to make" hoping to find something that would make me RICH ;) I came across lampworking, found a class in Iowa City and it took off from there (after convincing my husband of course) I would make a bead set in the afternoon when my daughter was sleeping, sell it on ebay for $20-$30 and be thrilled! I started making beads about 9 years ago when there wasn't as many listings on ebay.

I love love love color and by the look sof your beads, you do too. Is your favorite color in life also your favorite color in glass? What are a few of your favorite combinations to work with?
My favorite color is green or orange, so I would probably say it is not my favorite glass to work with. That is one of the struggles I find myself in, trying to think out of my box of favorite color combinations and think of what others would like. I am not a pink/purple person, but I know lots of people are. I am always worried that my sets would have the same colors or look alike, but the compliment I hear the most is that I have such a wide range of colors and combinations, so that really helps me to know I am doing what the customers like. I use a lot of glass frits in my beads, I love the way they react with different glass and silver. I would say that my favorite though is working with boro glass. I love the look of the organic swirls and earthy colors. I get bored easily, so it's good for me to be able to switch from soft glass to hard glass (borosilicate).

What gets you super excited, creatively, at the moment?
Right now I am excited about some upcoming publications that will be coming out, or have already come out with some of my beads in it. I am excited to see this issue of step by step wire with the earrings Kerry made. There is an issue called Creative Jewelry that has a couple pieces with some of my beads in it by Jess Italia Lincoln and Trish Italia. I have a necklace with one of my flower focals that will be in the October issue of Bead Trends. I also just got an email that some of my beads were used in a project that will be in an upcoming special issue of Handcrafted Jewelry. I LOVE that and appreciate it so much when people use my beads in publications.

One thing we have in common is kids and I have talked a few times this summer about struggling having the kids home on vacation. How do you balance the titles of both artist and Mom?
I feel very blessed that I have found something that allows me to be at home with my children and help my family financially. Finding the time to balance the two is a struggle for me. Having a business at home, I feel like any spare moments I have I should be working on beads/jewelry. There is so much that goes into owning a small business besides just making the beads. There is the marketing, organizing, advertising, creating, shopping, etc. With 4 children, it is hard to manage it all. That is why I appreciate so much when I have beads/jewelry in magazines and the advertising that comes with it.

Any future plans you have coming up that you would like to share?
This was my second year doing the Bead and Button show and I had a blast!!! (along with selling lots of beads) It's at a good time for me because then I really don't have any shows during the summer and can gear up for my fall and winter shows. Well, here we are, almost half way through the summer and I have not really made any beads. It is really hard to do when the kids are home from school and want to do things and be outside. In the last few days I just realized that my first show is in September and that is going to be here soon. My youngest will start preschool this year (sad face), so I will have a little more time to work on beads. Starting in September I usually do 2 shows a month until December. I do some trunk shows at local beads shops, a local festival where I set up my torch and do demonstrations, and I also have a store at my house and have an open house. I have lots coming up ~ not to mention all 3 of our girls birthday's are in December.

Thanks so much Melissa! You are awesome and I love that you were a part of my twisted book writing experience. Best of luck at your shows this fall!!

And as promised for those of you that made it all the way to the end here...
A Special Offer!! Melissa would like to offer my faithful blog readers a discount on bead orders placed through her website. Enter the coupon code totallytwisted in the code box when checking out and get 15% off your order through Friday. Visit www.mjrbeads.com to place an order!

And if that weren't enough...

A GIVE AWAY TOO!! In honor of that first order of mine, Melissa is giving away a set of the beads I bought that day! Just leave a comment here (say hi or tell me your favorite color, what ever you wanna do!) and I will draw a winner on Friday July 23rd at noon. What are you waiting for, leave a comment and enter!

57 comments:

Kristen said...

Kerry, I am a HUGE fan of Melissa's beads. I use them in so many of my designs. They are a staple in my bead stash, and I always know that if I'm stuck for an idea, I can pull out some of her beads and they completely inspire me. Thanks so much for sharing this interview with Melissa! :)

Peri said...

OOOOH love the beads. I am a huge fan of Kerry's and now of Melissa. Thanks for your inspiring posts which I look forward to reading almost daily.

Cindy said...

Great idea, and interview, Kerry! Melissa is a wonder woman with her beads and somehow managing it all! I have a few sets of her glass beads and agree they are gorgeous...

Sabine said...

This reinforced my longing to get this book and some beads from Melissa! Terrific interview.

Ann
http://www.mycriticaleye.com

jmp said...

I am a fan of Melissa's beads and through her site found this one that I have now bookmarked to keep reading. I absolutely love the colors and styles of Melissa's beads, they work so well into my designs. My faves are the focals but then I like the boro sets so much too. Then there's the jewelry...It is too hard to decide! Great interview, I learned more about her as an artist and look forward to all her goodies at the next trunk show.

sandi m said...

Great review Kerry. Could put these beads to good use!
Will definitely jump over to Melissa's site.
Thanks.

Courtney said...

Oh yes please! Stunning beads.

TesoriTrovati said...

Thank you so much for introducing us to Melissa! I love to find new artists. I am so disappointed that I hadn't seen this before Bead & Button becuase I totally would have introduced myself.
I love that comment about being 'recognized'...I had that happen quite a few times this year at Bead & Button, people coming up to me in the aisles. Must be because I have my picture as my avatar...

I am off to check out Melissa's work, RIGHT NOW!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Carlene said...

Kerry,
I love your Twisted Tuesdays and always get excited to find a new artist. Melissa's beads are awesome! I think I need some for my stash :) (And I'm loving your book!)

Elisabeth said...

Kerry - thanks for the info on Melissa's great beads - I am relatively new at making jewelry and am THIRSTY for knowledge about others out there making a buisness of it - it's become a dream/goal of mine! Would love to win the beads, and am looki9ng forward to your class at ArtBliss :-)

yogavq said...

Those beads are so gorgeous.
My favorite color is GREEN, the walls of my house are green, carpet green, clothes green and on and on. Oh and most of my beads are green. I just speaks to me.
Vikki

Lorelei said...

Melissa's beads are gorgeous! I have to head over and check out her website, but just wanted to say, GREAT INTERVIEW!! Can't wait to see these upcoming publications as well!

Amy B. said...

Really great interview! Its so nice to get to know the story behind the artist & their work.
Melissa's beads are really awesome!

Linda Landig Contemporary Artisan Jewelry said...

Such fabulous beads! It would be so inspiring to design with them!
Loved the interview.

Wiley said...

Those beads are stunning! Yet another artist to add to my favorites list ;-)

Michelle Mach said...

I love the earring project--so glad you were able to "rescue" it!

Judging by my bead collection, I'd say anything in the blue/green family is my favorite color.

Anne Betenson said...

Dear Kerry,
I just love these beads.They would look really good in any color.Very inspiring.Thanks for sharing this with us.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

New artist to me but ooooh! How gorgeous!!!!

Ellen said...

These beads are beautiful - thanks for introducing me to Melissa. The colors are wonderful!

Alice said...

What a great interview. I love hearing how artist get started in their biz.

Melissa's beads are gorgeous. I'm a sucker for lampwork beads, and I'd love to win these!

Alice
thepetersons13@mchsi.com

Kathy said...

Hi Kerry,
Your Cosmic dates bracelet you have posted there is the one I bought from you. WHen I wear it I get compliments on it it lays on the wrist so comfortably.
Great interview and thanks for introducing us to Melissa.
kathy

Anonymous said...

Very nice beads, and very nice interview! Kerry, you seem to enjoy showing people in their best light. Nice job!

Ann H.

Christina Dauenhauer said...

Beautiful work and great interview. Thank you!

Gail said...

beautiful beads!
they would look lovely in a necklace/bracelet for a wedding i have later this year, it would be lovely to win them

sundownbeaddesigns said...

Love the beads you used in your earring project and I would love to put this set of beads to good use! Thanks for sharing about Melissa, I'm always inquisitive about other artist. Now off to check out her website.

Linda said...

Gorgeous beads!! Interesting interview thanks!

janice50 said...

Great interview, I have always loved Milissa's beads

GailW. said...

I love Melissa's beads.I lost my address book-along with passwords,and couldn't find her.I've looked so much,just about to quit,and this was first in my email.So HAPPY!She is great,love her boro,and need it now.So,Melissa,see ya soon.

raysgirl said...

I have been a follower of Melissa's for some time. She is wonderful. I love her beads and have used them.

mary me said...

Thanks so much for sharing about Melissa's work. I really enjoyed reading about her and the "story" behind the artist!

Mary
http://www.etsy.com/shop/stellasblossoms

Debby said...

Thank you Kerry!! I love Melissa's beads and have used many of them in my best pieces of jewellery (the ones I hate to sell to anyone else). She has also helped me out making custom beads/sets. Everyone should check out Sea of Glass.

RockerJewlz said...

Aw, what a sweet giveaway. I have some of Mel's beads and I love 'em. Pinks & purples are my faves.

amyburl said...

Hi all,
Love this blog and now a new artist to learn from. thank you!

LisaKD said...

I LOVE Melissa's beads! I found her in a bead magazine (sorry, can't remember which one now) and have used many of her beads in the jewelry I make and sell, as well as a few pieces I ended up keeping for myself!

Alice Howe said...

I am having so much fun with wire wrapping from your book. I bought lots of copper wire and I am practicing away.

Thanks for these great new ideas.

Alice

Janet said...

Melissa's beads are beautiful!
I found them used in a necklace project in a bead magazine.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful beads. I always love the artists you highlight in your blog. Thanks for making my day brighter with your blog!

Marcia B.

Kirsten said...

I am a huge fan of Melissa's beads. I have not purchased any, but an in the market to as I am preparing to make some sea glass necklasses. Her boro beads are beautiful and would work really well with the sea glass!

nikole said...

I love Melissa's stuff. I discovered her almost three years ago in a magazine and now everytime I want to treat myself to some great beads I order from her. Now, I got introduced to Kerry and I will continue to read.

Nikole

Rebecca said...

I'm a massive fan of both of your beads! Thanks for this great interview - so nice to go a bit more in depth than the usual blog interviews do. I am also a massive fan of colour - particularly turquoises, blues, greens, teals and also orange and pinks together...yum! I'd love to win these gorgeous beadies so please put my name in the hat!

Janice Judge said...

Love the beads and the interview is wonderful. I am a huge fan of Melissa's. In fact, most of my jewelry is designed using all of her beads !! She has a huge talent. Good going Melissa !!

Jessica said...

I absolutely LOVE Melissa's beads! I think I might be addicted to using them in my jewelry. I'm going to have to get Kerry's book just to see how she used Melissa's beads.

R said...

I stumbled across Melissa's beads not long ago and treated myself to Totally Twisted a couple of months ago. I think I may now have sone motivation to hey busy with my pliers again. THANKS!

Kell said...

Hi Kerry,
I'd love to be included in the giveaway!

Kell

WhimsybyMari said...

Kerry, What a great article the beads are beautiful. Look forward to reading your blog and getting new books by you.

Becky Kenlein said...

Wow, I love you work! It's so original and so nice!

Barbara Briggs said...

I love Melissa's beads. She offers a great color range that should appeal to anyone. In fact, I'm placing an order today!

kristen said...

I absoultly love Melissa's Beads they are so colorful and fun. I ezpecially love the boro beads and here flower focals. Its always fun to read an interview with a designer it makes the person buying something online feel connected to the artist and gives that personal connection we all like

Debra said...

LOVE your book and Melissa's beads! Can't wait to get the issue with the earring project, they are gorgeous!
Take care and thanks for sharing. :)

Deb Cox said...

Love the hoopla earrings! Your beads are lovely, Melissa!

Lizbeth said...

Your work is gorgeous!

Pam in Santa Rosa said...

Melissa's beads are so yummy -- I just bought my first, but not my last, set, thanks to the coupon code! Thanks for the great interview, too!

Linda B said...

Great interview! I love Melissa's beads and have several!

Angela W said...

I LOVE those earrings that were on the blog. I will have to get me some maybe at the Fall Festival!

Linda B said...

Great interview! I love Melissa's beads and have several!

PatradasharyPosts said...

Hi Kerry, Loved your article! I have dreamed of getting to visit Bead and Button for classes for many years now, although it is a 15 hour drive from my home in North Carolina. However, 2010 was my year! I 'quit' my day job May 31 and headed to Milwaukee. I met many artist I'd seen on the magazine covers and learned so much from them in a short amount of time. WHAT I DIDN"T EXPECT was to meet MELISSA REDIGER and SEA OF GLASS....her work is needless to say, beautiful! Her story is inspiring to all of us. I came home with many of her beads and courage to begin anew fertilizing the roots of my company, Patradashary.

Melissa said...

Oh my goodness you guys. THANK YOU so much for all the kind words. It totally brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate each and every comment!!! Thank you also to Kerry for the fun interview. Can't wait to meet the other artists from the book. Still looking for the magazine ~ can't wait to check it out!