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5 questions with Chris Lewis King

Winter doldrums got you down? Take a trip to the beach with Chris Lewis King, winner of last August's Design Challenge, A DAY AT THE BEACH.
A Day at the Beach
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The winning piece. 

Sub-zero temperatures? Sweater weather? Snow on the ground? No problem! 

Where there is snow, there is also the temptation of spring and then summer to follow. And, who doesn't love a little daydreaming during the chilly winter months?

Let me paint a picture for you: a day at the beach, filled with everything from toes digging into the hot sand, long walks on the beach hunting for beach glass and smooth pebbles, and maybe a lazy doze in the afternoon sun! This was the subject of our August, 2017 Design Challenge and because it is particularly chilly where I am writing this from, also the subject of our next artist feature: Chris Lewis King, the winner of A DAY AT THE BEACH for her piece, appropriately titled MYRTLE BEACH MEMORIES

So, sit back, kick your feet up, and read on for the inspiration behind Chris's piece. 

 



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One of Chris's other pieces, showcasing shibori and silk.
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Another one of Chris's original pieces, displaying that "larger in nature" effect she loves to create!

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU.

 

The thread that has been my life since childhood is playing the trumpet (or bugle, having marched in drum and bugle corps until I was too old). This lead to my music degrees and many years of public school teaching in NY, which I continue to do.

Along the way, I have gravitated towards everything creative - tole painting, sewing, décor and design, crochet and drawing, to name a few. Creating jewelry has awarded me many opportunities of meeting many talented and passionate people through taking a class, being a member of the Bead Society of Central NY, meeting bead shop and website owners, or teaching a class. Having found this culture, I feel blessed!

 

ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL JEWELRY-MAKER, OR IS THIS A HOBBY? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING?

 

Currently, jewelry making is another avenue to express my artistic ideas. While I don’t create pieces for sale yet, I enjoy trying new ideas and gifting them to family and friends (it’s funny how my friends list keeps growing).

 

HOW DID YOU LEARN JEWELRY-MAKING?

 

When a friend told me she made the necklace she was wearing, my inquisitive nature kicked in and I wondered if I could make jewelry, too. I gave it a try and never looked back. Most of my knowledge started with being self-taught along with trial and error. Now that I’ve discovered others with the same passion, I’ve learned more by taking classes where ever I can.

 

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE THAT YOU EVER GOT FROM A TEACHER OR A MENTOR?

 

Rules’ of beading are meant to be guiding and helpful, not restrictive and limiting.

   

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN ESTHETIC?

 

Right of conventional. I use many traditional elements with my own twist. Many pieces tend to be asymmetrical and larger in nature (yes, I do wear them in public! Why not? Life should be enjoyed).

 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MATERIALS TO USE IN YOUR WORK?

 

Shibori silk, cabochons and all things copper.

 

NAME TWO THINGS THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE WITH YOU WHEN YOU WORK.

 

My pet cockatoo, Dolce, and zip-around pencil cases to hold my projects. A few are purchased each year during the back-to-school sales. They make current projects easier to grab and go when I know I will have to wait before an appointment or on a trip, when someone else is driving.

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Chris's pet cockatoo, Dolce, her constant beading companion!

WHAT IS YOUR WORKSPACE LIKE? WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO BEAD?

 

My workspace is split. Beading, and the like, are upstairs where there is a  lot of natural light. Metal and flames are in the basement where there are fewer surfaces to accidentally set on fire. My favorite place to bead is on the front porch in the summer. All of the plants, warm breezes and bird feeders create a comfortable space to work.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL (PLACE) SITUATION YOU’VE EVER BEADED? 

 

Each December, we have an event called Hair Warz. My hairdresser asks me to create jewelry to go with his fanciful hair masterpiece for the ‘competition’. This is a time for them to manipulate unusual and large hairdos to show their artistry that is far from an ‘everyday’ style.

 

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK? 

 

Many pieces are color driven, designed around a cabochon or are texture inspired. It is common to have multiple pieces going at once and sometimes ideas jump from one project to another.

  

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

 

Recently I picked up my pieces from the NYS Fair’s competition and my mind is concocting next year’s entries. Current projects include Christmas gifts and trying to ‘perfect’ copper etching using self-created Zentangles. 

 

WHERE CAN PEOPLE SEE MORE OF YOUR WORK?

 

At this time I do not sell my work so you would have to see it being worn by family/friends, at different ‘competitions’ or occasionally when pictures are posted on line.

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Yet another stunning piece!
WANT TO GET IN ON THE DESIGN CHALLENGE FUN?

There's still time to submit to our two-month long Design Challenge! Submissions are open until December 26th for SPARKLING SILVER because all that glitters is not necessarily gold! 

For a full description and rules, and to submit your own design, view our Design Challenge page (and see the other submissions)!

SparklingSilverlong
FIND MORE: cabochon , beads , necklaces

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