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A PEEK INTO THE CREATIVE MINDS OF JEWELRY ARTISTS...
Are you ever looking for that piece of jewelry that has a different flare? Undoubtedly, you will find that here. Jennifer Ledford, a.k.a. Tocadora Leather, not only creates these totally cool leather and cloth cuffs, but while doing that, she is raising 4 boys! And, how about this little bit of Hollywood Gossip ;o) .... She has just done her first commercial for Merle Norman Spas. Simply click right HERE to listen to the voice of Jennifer. Careful....you might find yourself planning a trip to southern part of the states to pamper yourself at one of these five Merele Norman Spas!! Equally, I think that you will find Jennifer's designs unique and her interview very interesting! I certainly did.
How long have you been creating jewelry?
Let’s see… I first started making simple necklaces with bamboo tile pendants back in 2004. I was inspired by an article in a scrapbooking magazine, of all places. I dimly remember scrapbooking…
You have a very unique jewelry design.
What inspired you to combined beads with leather?
*blush!* Thank you!! I’ve always loved pottery. Someday I want to make it myself, but in the meantime, I satisfy my craving for clay with the beautiful handiwork of others. When I was focused on beaded jewelry I frequently used pottery pendants - especially those from Red Crow Arts. When I started on leather cuffs, it was a natural transition to using Judy’s buttons as well. Then I started sampling the wonderful wares of many other artists. At this point, I’ve featured buttons and/or beads from at least seven clay geniuses!
What qualities do ceramic beads have that work well with your leather designs?
Oh wow. More than anything, I think the earthy, organic quality of the clay compliments the variegations of the leather. I also love the solidity of it. Leather has its own heft…ceramics go well with that. And the stunning variety of styles - from gleaming magical metallic raku to speckled stoneware to funky flowers to mod geometrics… I can do so many different styles with these mini masterpieces! Much of the time, it’s the focals that dictate my design process… ...they’re all so lovely.
Do you do shows as well as sell online?
If not, have you considered doing that in your future?
I have not done shows yet. But this is my year to jump in. I’m already booked to do a show in July with my mom (she sews lovely purses). The Marine Base where I will be moving next month has two BIG craft shows. I plan to be in the November one.
What colors are your favorite to work with? What are your least favorite?
Oh my…. I really just love color. But I do find myself frequently migrating to the turquoise and lime combo more often than others. I love black and silver. That and brown are the bulk of my wardrobe…so I spend a lot of time there. I find myself more drawn to red lately than I’ve ever been. The only colors I have to really force myself to use are yellow and orange. I don’t dislike them…but they aren’t natural choices for me.
Are most of your materials such as ceramic beads/pendants purchased online or do you prefer to shop in local bead stores?
My ceramics are bought exclusively online. I have eyed some raku in the local bead shop…but I’d feel like I was cheating on all my online vendors. ;) Besides, to be brutally honest, the works available here just can’t compete. I also buy most of my gemstone beads online as I have a wholesale dealer whose prices and quality are extremely trustworthy. But I do indulge in some local bead purchases from time to time because I like to support local, and because there is something so viscerally satisfying about choosing the strands in person.. Touching the beads…. Gazing on the beads…wait. What were we talking about?
Do you have other creative interests that you like to partake in when you are not creating jewelry?
Ohhhhh my, yes! I sing. I write. I play percussion and a little on the piano and the drumkit. I love to cook. And I just began a new career as a budding voice over actress.
My first commercial just aired! I’m so excited!!
What is your favorite part of the process (jewelry designing, selling,etc.)?
What is your least favorite part?
My favorite part is the designing when the mojo is really flowing and I’m making pieces that wow ME…where I feel like I’ve gone beyond myself and found a new place creatively. (which sounds a bit more esoteric than I like to get…but I think you probably know what I mean) My least favorite is putting on the snaps. I do my cuffs in batches …. I’ll gleefully design 4 or 7 or 10 in a session…I stack ‘em as I go. Then I have to put the snaps on. I don’t know why it irks me…but it does. It’s like the last 30 mins of a road trip - - just seems to take forever when you want to GET THERE. ;)
I don’t sell anywhere else online. But I can be found on facebook, twitter and I am now a blogger as well. ;) My work is currently available in shops in El Paso, TX, Athens, GA, and Greenville, SC.
Note: Jennifer is wearing a necklace with ceramic beads from Lisa Peters Art and earrings with beads from Kristie Roeder, Artisan Clay in the featured picture.