5 Questions with SOLSTICE winner Susan Cologne

0117_Winner2_1200x628
birdnecklace
Typical of Susan's style, this simply-strung seed bead necklace features a fabulous focal piece.

Artist Susan Cologne of Richmond, Virginia, was our reader's choice winner in the SOLSTICE design challenge with her "Under the Solstice Moon" necklace, shown above. We asked her to tell us about herself:

I am an artist and have expressed my creativity through many and varied mediums and venues. I've been a painter, a ceramist, fabric artist, costume designer, actor, and vocalist. I've dabbled in photography, graphic arts, fine arts, and performing arts and have worked in theaters, on movie and television sets, and in artist studios.

Many of my creative forays came together during the 20 years I spent as a costume designer for dance. I became locally known as an expert in dyeing, fabric painting, and fabric manipulation. When I had the opportunity to create classical tutus, one of the things I enjoyed the most was the embellishment with beads, crystals, and sequins. I loved making intricate crowns and headpieces. I would take them home, ensconce myself on the sofa, and bead, bejewel, and applique into the wee hours of the morning. This led me to my current passion to create beautiful jewelry.

HOW DID YOU LEARN JEWELRY-MAKING?

I am primarily self-taught. As I said, the jewelry came out of my years as a professional costume designer. I do refer to books, magazines, videos, or tutorials from time to time if I am stumped or frustrated over a particular project I am doing, but I never have copied another's project. But, if I am inspired by another's project, I always give credit for the inspiration.    

rosenecklace
Wire, lampwork flowers, and seed beads come together to create this stunning neckpiece.
beadcrochetnecklace
Less intricate but equally beautiful, this crochet necklace features clean lines and a simple focal piece.

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN ESTHETIC?

I really don't know. I mostly make necklaces so I am usually using a focal piece of a sort and I just let that piece speak to me. My tendency is toward detail or elaborate work so I love when I work with something that demands simplicity. It forces me out of my comfort zone. I do beadwork, wire weaving, some polymer, and some metal working and I love to try new styles and mediums.

flowernecklace
Susan is equally at home with bead stitching as with many other techniques.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MATERIALS TO USE IN YOUR WORK?

Seed beads, lampwork beads, wire, gemstones (when I can afford them), and unusual items like minerals in crystal form.

frognecklace
Susan's love of nature is evident in many of her pieces.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK?

All over! Nature is a great one, but I may see a photo of something, someone might say something, dreams, or something may just pop out of that soupy mess in my head and land in my lap.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON?

I have no idea! It depends on how well my current online show does. I have a few custom orders I have to do and I will be doing a piece to be auctioned off for charity. I have several organizations I support and often do pieces to help raise money for them. 

The best place to see my work is my Facebook business page, where I have photos divided into albums by year created. I also maintain an Etsy shop, Oh Suzie Q, but there's rarely more than a dozen or so pieces there.

FIND MORE: bead weaving , crochet , wirework

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of FacetJewelry.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
PRODUCTS YOU MIGHT LIKE
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
$3.95
SPECIAL ISSUE
$9.95
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Get awesome news, tips, & free stuff!