Interview with Roxan O’Brien

Purple Passion ©Roxan O'Brien

I’ve decided to change things up a bit in 2011.  I will no longer have the Artist of the Month feature.  Instead, I plan on interviewing an artist each month.  In fact, I actually have the first two artist interviews.  How’s that for getting ahead?!

My first interview is with Roxan O’Brien.  I met her at my first craft show (Mt Gretna) where we had the good fortune to be booth neighbors.  Here beaded collars are stunning and I wanted to share them with you.  Here is her interview:

Starfish and Barnacles collar ©Roxan O'Brien

1. How did you get started in your craft?

This is hard to answer since I have always been creative in some way, but my beadwork started when I went through a very depressing time in my life. I threw myself into my creative forces and started to bead which allowed me to rise above my circumstances. At the time no one was doing beadwork and it was difficult even get beads to work with let alone finding someone to teach me how to bead, so I am totally self taught. I think this has allowed me to totally develop my own style not influenced by other’s work. I am so proud to be part of the Pa. Guild of Craftsmen where I got state jury status this year.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

I have recently built my own studio which allows me to work more on my metal work. Also I have a great support system of artsy friends who are always inspiring me through shared interests.

Blue Nile ©Roxan O'Brien

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

There are so many great bead artists now that it is hard to choice just a few, but I love Miriam Cielo Shimon of Cielo Design her work is so creative and original. Sherry Serafini who is one the best bead artists in the U.S. Laura McCabe, Marcia DeCoster, and Lisa Kan just to name a few.

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

The first question I am always asked is how long does it take me to make one of my collars? The one thing that many customer tell me is that when they wear one of my creations, they are stopped by strangers asking where they got their jewelry.

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

When I bought my house many years ago, I purchased a beautiful piece of stained glass from a church that now graces my window. I never get tired of this glass. Good art is timeless and never goes out of fashion.

To find out more about Roxan and to see more of her work, visit her blog – Designs by Roxan, or her Roxan O’Brien website.

Next month’s interview will be with Margaret Almon, mosaic artist.

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