Nico Alexander Designs
Posted by Ivonnardona on 03/04/2008
Please help me in welcoming a very talented jewelry designer and photographer. Pam with Nico Alexander Designs not only can create beautiful works of art, she also has a talent for photographing them. But I’ll be quiet now and let her tell you about herself…
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am a married 41 year old stay-at-home mom to a 2 ½ year old son. I’ve lived in Maryland all of my life except for when I attended The University of South Carolina where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I’ve worked full-time in the office environment all of my life until I had my son. It took me a while to find my niche as a stay-at-home mom but now I love it.
2. Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.
All of my life I’ve been a creative/artistic person but never really applied myself until I became a stay-at-home mom 2 years ago. I’ve dabbled into many different types of crafts but once I started making jewelry about 6 months ago, all of my other crafts were kicked to the curb.
3. What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
The first piece of jewelry that I made was a mommy bracelet for myself. I loved the look of the mommy bracelets and was so proud to finally be a mom. But the cost of buying one online seemed really high to me, so I set out to make my own. I went to the local bead store and asked the lady at the counter what materials I needed in order to make one. She directed me to what I needed and the rest is history.
4. What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I buy any beads that catch my eye. Then I decide later on what I’m going to make out of them. I lean toward the larger, chunkier styles. Right now I’m concentrating on bracelets and earrings but I’d like to eventually make necklaces.
5. What are your favorite materials?
I love the Swarovski crystals because of the variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that are available. I also love the earthy colored stones in the flat oval and nugget shapes. I really like the round stones and am now incorporating them into my designs. Bead caps are also really becoming a favorite of mine. They change the whole look of the bead. I prefer to use sterling silver for any findings and when wire wrapping. I also really love lampwork beads.
6. What is your favorite color? What colors are you drawn to?
My favorite color is blue. But I also love blacks, browns, and purples.
7. If someone were looking to take up a craft, what advice would you give them?
I would say to start out by looking online for free tutorials that are simple to make. Try different types of crafts until you can narrow down what really grabs your interest and utilizes your talents. Then go to a book store and look through some of the craft books. I like the ‘Dummies’ books. They tend to cover a little bit of everything on the particular subject that you’re interested in. Start out small and if you find that you really enjoy doing it and can do it well, go for it!
8. What is your area of interest in crafting? What do you specialize in?
Jewelry making. Beadwork and wire wrapping.
9. What would be your top 5 tips for a beginner?
1. Be patient and persistent. Practice makes perfect. 2. Browse online for design inspiration. 3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. The more you do, the better you’ll get. 4. Reach out to other people who do the same thing you are aspiring to do. You can get some great advice this way. 5. Start out with free online tutorials and then once you get the basic techniques down, get more adventurous with your designs.
10. What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?
1. A well-lit working space. 2. A good quality set of basic jewelry making tools. Don’t waste your money on the cheap stuff. 3. A good size organizer box to hold your various beads and a bead board. 4. A good jewelry makers catalog, such as one from Fire Mountain Gems & Beads. You can browse through this catalog to acquaint yourself with the different types of materials used to make your creations. 5. A good digital camera – after making your designs, you’ll want to take pictures of them
11. Can you recommend a technique or ‘tips’ book ideal for a beginner?
1. Jewelry Making & Beading For Dummies. 2. Easy Beading by BeadStyle Magazine (nice selection of fairly easy projects)
12. Can you recommend any brands to look out for, when buying equipment or kit?
I don’t know of any particular brands but you should only order supplies from reputable websites such as Fire Mountain Gems & Beads. Also, when buying gemstones, always look for the quality or grade of the stone.
13. Do you sell your work, or is it purely for pleasure?
It started out as being purely for pleasure and it still is very pleasurable. However, I opened an Etsy shop in January and am hoping to start selling some of my designs. I just had my first official sale this week!
14. What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?