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Mary Jane Dodd

While preparing for interviews, I research a little about the artist prior to posting.  There were many points of interest out there about Mary Jane Dodd, but then I came across her blog profile.  I think her words and her creative way of using them are more than what my arrangement could do justice to. 

Who is Mary Jane? 
A Woman...An Artist...

born with a propensity to make things (especially things to give away), life experiences and natural curiosity seem to drive this journey of creativity that i am on... i have a deep love of art from any time period, any place - for how others interpret their world fascinates me... operating from the core belief that life is bittersweet and yet filled with light and beauty, i attempt to channel these ideas into my creations... to be worn as affirmations/ talismans/touch stones, my hope is that you will feel 'more' for having one of my adornments on your person... i am a self-proclaimed jack of all trades and master of none... experimenting with different techniques and media feeds me, i see which ones connect and how i can make them translate my intentions...

How long have you been creating jewelry?

formally? about 10 years... that was when i started focusing upon educating myself about all of it... materials, components, basic techniques, assembly, etc... i was looking through sundance catalogue and thought to myself, ''i'll bet i could do that!"... i have always loved to make things to give away, but this took on a different life... it was only after i started the etsy/blogger/flickr 'thing' that i really started to grow... i feel like i have found a virtual art commune... i have been stretched and expanded in ways i never ever dreamed i could be...

Featured in current issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine
I see that you make many of your pieces such as earrings completely from scratch. I find that fascinating. Could you tell us a little more about your designs?

my designs at this point are all very intentional... there are reasons that i pick each technique and component - to evoke a thought, nature, feelings... by working the metals myself, i am more free to express myself... it is very liberating -

When you include ceramic beads, what qualities does this medium have that works well with your designs?

i absolutely love the earthiness of ceramics... they ground my work... i love using them with fibers - i think the textures play off of each other really well... about 6 years ago, i was lucky enough to learn how to throw pots... my instructor told me that if every one had a lump of clay, there would be no more war... i loved that idea... you can channel so much into clay... i appreciate the choices that the ceramic artists make - which kind of clay, their aesthetic approach, their glaze choices...
i am especially fond of glazing...

Do you do shows as well as sell online?
If not, have you considered doing that in your future?

i do participate in shows - and as stressful as they can be getting ready for, i truly enjoy the interaction with people... i think it is very important that when you do shows that you pick the right kind; it can take time to figure out sometimes,
because your audience will change with the different types...
Piece accepted in the NJ Arts Annual at the Newark Museum...
The exhibition is called 'Make Me Something Beautiful'
Opens on 6/15
What colors are your favorite to work with? What are your least favorite?

truthfully? i don't have a least favorite... i use pastels the least, but only because they don't usually seem to fit in to what i am expressing... earth tones are always a favorite... and neutrals... but one of my favorite projects used crayon colored beads - it all depends...
Featured in current issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine
Are most of your materials such as ceramic beads/pendants purchased online or do you prefer to shop in local bead stores? What about your other materials such as the sterling silver or ice resin that you use?

ice resin and copper/sterling sheet and wire are purchased online... i would love to buy my gemstones in stores more, but it gets expensive to buy whole strands... i have found a few etsy sellers who i trust with stones... now when it comes to ceramics - i can honestly tell you that i have 'relationships' (and some very close) with my ceramic bead making friends! it is really important to me to know where they are coming from
and what their intention is...
Do you have other creative interests that you like to partake in when you are not creating jewelry?

creative interests? somehow, almost everything comes back to that... but i have to say the most challenging one is doing trend color and pattern on my daughter's hair - not kidding! it all started 4 years ago when she wanted pink hair like tonks from the hp series...

What is your favorite part of the process (jewelry designing, selling,etc.) and what is your least favorite part?

my favorite part of the process is when something happens that i didn't plan on, i work around it and end up loving what happens more than the original design idea... making components - headpins, clasps, findings mostly - is my least favorite part because i don't do them ahead of time (and, yes, i know that would be a time saver for me if i planned ahead!) and then i lose my 'flow'...
but it all works out!

Thank-you Mary Jane for such an interesting interview.  If you are intrigued by this, and want to know more, you can keep up-to-date by following Mary Jane's blog and
then stop by to check out her fantastic jewelry art in her Etsy shop.  More creations can be found by visiting MyMomPattie.

Featured ceramic bead artists:  keith o'connor, leann weih,


  1. What a wonderful Sunday morning read! Mary Jane is one of my favorite on line people, and I love her jewelry too :-)

  2. this was a wonderful article on Mary Jane. Her jewelry first caught my eye during bead soup this year..it's amazing work.

  3. Great post MaryAnn. Wonderful photos and write up about a fabulous jewelry designer. Good to know more about her. I have been admiring her work for some time.

  4. I am loving these artist interviews and Mary Jane is a wonderful jewelry designer. Thanks for showcasing her talent!

  5. Yay Mary Jane! You know how much I love your sense of design... The earrings you made that I have in my possession since I had Riley have rarely seen a day without being in my ear. I'm wearing them right now! Keep up the brilliant work!!! I'm so honored to have you making pieces for my mom's Etsy shop...

  6. Thanks for the kudos on artist interviews! I think Mary Jane is an awesome designer with a uniqueness of her own! Love all of her handmade components too!

  7. thank you for this opportunity mary ann... i couldn't work without ceramics in my life!! thank you for the lovely comments...

  8. What a visually beautiful post! The jewelry, the artist, the inspiration ... well done!


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