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STYLIN' SUNDAY

Kelly Morgan
A PEEK INTO THE CREATIVE MINDS OF JEWELRY ARTISTS...


This week's artist is Kelly Morgan.  Kelly's work is very diverse and she has just recently begun making her own resin beads which is the new craze sweeping across the bead lovers world.  I happen to think that resin beads have a nice look when combined with ceramic due to the unique look of both.   Well, enough of my opinion because this isn't about me....or is it?  Of course not!  And with the said, I am going to let you in on a little secret that Kelly told me...hopefully, it was okay to make this public! 

Kelly confessed, "When I am not making beads and jewelry, I am working as a Victoria’s Secret supermodel/international secret agent/rock star. I could tell you my other name, but then I’d have to…well, you know how that line goes. It’s best we keep my cover identity as a middle-aged soccer mom intact."

Gotcha wondering, huh?  On to the interview...

Your Etsy Shop has an interesting name...What inspiration is behind that?

I’ve always kept birds and had as many as three parrots at one time. One little gray cockatiel girl, Jimmie, was very special to me. She would ride around the house on my shoulder and even perch on the edge of a book or magazine if I was reading. I knew I wanted something to do with “parrot” in the name and between her being gray and me working mostly in sterling silver when I first started, well, Silver Parrot was born.

How long have you been creating jewelry and how did you first
get interested in this form of art?

I’ve dabbled in a lot of various arts and crafts over the years including painting ceramics, cross stitch, embroidery, needlepoint, fabric painting and rubber stamping. A fellow stamper started mentioning these round things called “beads” to me as embellishments for cards and other paper projects and then she showed me a copy of “Bead & Button” and an obsession was born! That was about 10 years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

Could you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind your designs?

Ultimately, I think the beads themselves, particularly art beads, are my inspiration. I usually start with a focal bead and try to pull together a supporting cast of materials that complement the focal without overpowering it.

There are a few elements that always attract my eye. Color is probably the number one influence for me – if it brings to mind words like bright, cheery, luscious or edible (did I actually admit that in public?) then it probably has to come home with me.

Other themes I find myself returning to over and over again include anything with a “fantasy” feel such as fairies, mermaids, etc.; nature-inspired items like butterflies, dragonflies, and birds; and, as can be seen in my designs in the current issue of “Stringing”, the beaches of Southern California are a major inspiration.

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

Ceramics seem to work particularly well with brass and copper and since those metals have exploded in popularity in the last few years, it’s wonderful to have the right focal materials to pair with them. In general, ceramics seem to be not quite as hard on the bead buying budget as lampwork can be and yet they pack just as much of an artistic punch.

I have to admit, I’ve always been a lampwork junkie and am fairly new to the design possibilities provided by ceramics, but I am quickly becoming addicted to all the wonderful possibilities. I’ve really enjoyed meeting and getting to know quite a few of the artists behind these great beads as well.

 I've noticed on your Etsy shop announcement that you have a portion of your jewelry for sale on Etsy? Where else do you sell your jewelry?

Thanks for reminding me that I need to change that. I do have my own website, www.silverparrotdesigns.net, but I’m gradually phasing it out and switching over to Etsy for everything. Etsy has much better exposure and is so much easier to maintain and update than all the work I have to put in to my own site. I also have my handmade resin art beads for sale on Etsy at http://www.beresinable.etsy.com/

What colors are your favorite to work with?

I’m a “cool ocean color” kind of girl. I tend to gravitate towards blues, greens and purples. I’m also a sucker for really bright colors in any shade.

What are your least favorite?

Probably pastels and earth tones. Those colors don’t look good on me so I suppose
 I tend to naturally avoid them.

Is a certain type of jewelry easier for you to think up a design for more natural than others. For example, is it easier to put together a necklace than come up with a design for earrings?

It depends. I tend to work in cycles – like I’ll make a whole bunch of earrings and then it’ll be necklaces. It’s only hard if I try to make earrings during a “necklace cycle.” I’ve learned that I sort of have to burn through whatever my current obsession is because it’s like trying to wade against the current if I don’t.


Right now I’m working on making up some examples of jewelry using my resin art beads for some fun contests and other things I plan to do on the blog this summer. Then, I have to complete several “statement” necklaces for custom orders and a blog article. After that, I’ve decided to challenge myself to go through my ummm…rather…uhhh…large-ish bead stash, identify some of my oldest art beads and force myself to make something with them. I’m on an anti-hoarding campaign. It’ll be interesting because some of those lovely things date back a good 8-10 years –
I haven’t been able to let them go.

Are most of your materials such as ceramic beads/pendants purchased online or do you prefer to shop in local bead stores?

Oh, I’m an equal opportunity shopper – if you check out my blogs on Bead Porn days, you’ll see evidence of this! I’m lucky enough to live in an area that not only has quite a few bead stores, but also has bead shows at least every 2-3 months (and sometimes more often than that). In between all of that, I shop on-line. I’m pretty comfortable with it, but I have to say there’s nothing like being able to actually hold the beads in your hand as part of the selection process.

I have also read on a previous blog post that your work has been featured in magazines. What is that process like and are you currently listed in magazines?

In late 2008, I finally got up the courage to submit some of my work to “Bead Trends” and I was thrilled when they accepted some pieces for publication. After appearing in several issues of that magazine, I got up some more courage and submitted things to “Stringing.” The summer issue that just came out has five of my designs in it and I’m still giddy about that. I’m expecting more of my work to be published in the upcoming issue of “Creative Jewelry” and in the Fall, 2010, issue of “Stringing.”

As for the process, every magazine is different in what they require, but I’ve really enjoyed working with both “Bead Trends” and “Stringing.” The staff at both publications has been extremely helpful. One thing I really like about both publications is that they are willing to make at least an initial decision based on an e-mailed photograph. Not all magazines will do that.

Also, if you are considering submitting to any magazine, my recommendations are to get familiar with the style of the magazine AND read the contributor’s guidelines before submitting. Meet all deadlines and make sure all your written work, including any introductory e-mails, is neat, clean and professional. If you are not naturally a detail person, find a friend who is and have him/her proofread your submission for errors before you send it in.

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

Well, anyone who has read my blog will probably claim that bead buying is my favorite part of the process. I would have to say, though, that I have two favorite parts. One is that moment when I’m putting a piece together and I realize that YES! This one is going to be outstanding! Certain pieces just seem to turn out a cut above my average work and go together so easily it’s almost like magic. I just love it when that happens.

My other favorite part of the process is when something sells. Not because of the money (well, okay, the money is cool, too) but because it’s that external validation that someone else thinks your stuff is as cool as you hoped it would be AND they felt it so strongly that they plunked down their hard-earned cash in exchange for it.

My least favorite part: clean up. Which, if you could see my studio, you would totally believe.

Thank-you Kelly for letting us in on ....  shall we say, SECRETS??

Pictures above will link directly to the item if it is available in Kelly's Etsy Shop.  Otherwise you will be redirected to her shop.  You can also use these quick links: 
Siver Parrot, Beresinable Components and Silver Parrot Blog.

Some of the ceramic beads and pendants featured are from Winchell Clayworks,
Lisa Peters Art and SummersStudio Etc.

If you are interested in learning more about the magazines pictured,
you can click on the picture to be taken the their website.

8 comments:

  1. Excellent interview! Her secrets are save with me. :-)

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  2. As I'm reading the article, each time I scroll to a new picture I'm thinking "That's just gorgeous" until I get to the next one and it's even more beautiful!

    Kelly your jewelry is amazing. Mary Ann, thanks so much for sharing Kelly with us. She's a true gem!

    {Hugs!}
    Dawn

    http://designsbydawnmarie.blogspot.com

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  3. great interview! i love kelly's work and posts... she is so accessible as a person and designer - and talented as well!

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  4. Oh no! My cover is blown! Well, back to life in suburbia. Darn it!

    Thanks, Mary Ann, for such a wonderful post and for the opportunity to share my creations!

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  5. I can't think of a more interesting, and funny, and talented person!! Thanks for showcasing my friend Kelly- she's super fly!!
    I love reading all of these interviews at BOC- I am always learning something new about someone in our beading community!

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  6. Kelly is a fabulous designer and talent! She also has the most entertaining blog around! She always makes me laugh LOL! Oh and the eye candy ain't bad, either. :) Yay, Kelly!

    I always really enjoy reading these interviews so much! Keep up the great work, Mary Ann!

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  7. Great design flow!!! Love your work!

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  8. I KNEW it!!!
    Her cover is blown now.

    Kelly is an awesome jewelry designer and I love her eclectic mix of materials. Her use of ceramics with resin is very unique.

    Thank you so much for letting us learn more about this funny, warm-hearted, talented lady!

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