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5 questions with Design Challenge winner Suzanne Stimac

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Suzanne Stimac, the winner of the July Design Challenge in the Stitching category, has been creating jewelry for 20-plus years. Since moving to Wisconsin six years ago, her skills have really advanced. Her business name, Garnet Gal, comes from a garnet gemstone that her dad gave her; he has since passed so garnet gemstones always make Suzanne think of him. We caught up with her to find out more about her passion for jewelry making.

HOW DID YOU LEARN JEWELRY MAKING? 

I remember years ago making this wide bracelet out of safety pins and turquoise blue seed beads. It was my first piece that sold. There were not a lot of books on jewelry back then. Now with the internet, books, classes, and social media, it is really easy to create and learn about all kinds of jewelry. And my best advice comes from my husband! He always encourages me. He says: “Your jewelry looks just as good if not better than what I’ve seen.”

WHAT STYLE OF JEWELRY DO YOU MAKE? 

My jewelry style progresses and evolves each year. Over the years, I’ve worked with lost wax casting, PMC, wirework, bead crochet, soutache, glass bead making, metal fabrication, stringing, kumihimo, and bead weaving. After learning all these techniques, I keep going back to bead weaving.

I love to work with metallic beads and shiny objects. I also tend to choose peacock colors and love to keep current with all the new bead shapes.

suzanne stimac desk

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO BEAD? 

My craft room is my favorite place to bead. Everything I need to create is close by. My room is always a work in progress. Sometimes it seems that I like to organize my beads in containers rather than beading, though!

WHAT IS IN YOUR STUDIO THAT YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT? 

I have a bright pink flamingo writing pen that always makes me smile. And I cannot work without Wisconsin Public Radio and my leopard print bead board.

 

WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?

My goal is to constantly create jewelry that is easy to mix and match with everyday outfits. I find inspiration everywhere, but spiral ironwork and glasswork really inspires me at the moment!

See more of Suzanne's work on Instagram under the handle @GarnetGal, and l
earn more about the other winners of the July Design challenge in the Stringing, Fiber & Cord category and the Metals, Wire, Clays & Resins categories here!

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