Saturday, January 8, 2011

Diva of the Month - Lea Avroch - Part 2 (10 Things Glass)

Welcome to Part Two of our Diva of the Month feature. Our January Diva is Lea Avroch of LA Jewelry Designs. This portion of the interview is "Ten Things Glass"...

1. Attraction to Glass - Lea and her hubby had collected sculpted glass pieces to decorate their home over the years. Then, she watched a demo many years ago and was awestruck. "It was after that experience that I found a lampwork class in a local art league. I fell in love immediately and went out and set out to set up a studio of my own."

2. Training in Other Artistic Areas - Although she was not formally trained, Lea has always enjoyed working with her hands, whether it was painting, crocheting, or (more recently) knitting. "I started making jewelry 13 years ago when I had to quit working following my 1st spine surgery. It kept me busy and I loved seeing friend's reactions to my creations. The natural progression was for me to make my own beads, which I could then use in my jewelry. Truth be told, I enjoy making beads much more than making jewelry so it's worked out great."

3. First Beads - We asked Lea about the first beads she ever made, or if she could describe the first beads she was really proud of. "Oh gee! Who remembers??" she exclaims. "I lost most of my older images when my computer crashed, but I do have some. It's a style of bead that I came up with early on that I really love & am very proud of the 1st one that I made. I made a bead crochet rope to hang it from & it was featured in the June 2007 Bead and Button magazine, my 1st published piece."

4. Inspiration - Lea tells us that she gets her inspiration from everything around her. From nature ("I'm very into the ocean, sand, etc.") to inspiration photos, to simply the glass itself. "Those are the most fun days for me," she says, "when I just let the glass decide the direction."

5. Ideas and Planning - Lea sometimes has a plan in mind when making beads, but often she doesn't. "When I plan ahead, which is not all that often, I will make a list of certain colors I'd like to work with or materials, such as silver foil or wire" she tells us. "Or when I'm at a loss, I will look back at photos of my beads & see which ones I want to replicate. That usually starts the creative juices flowing."

6. Photography - We asked Lea about her photo set up. She recently upgraded her camera to a Canon Rebel XSI after spending many frustrating days with an older Canon.
"I'm pretty happy with the newer photos," she says, "but I find photographing beads to be quite challenging and am always looking at ways I can improve."

7. Money - What would Lea make if the question of "would it sell?" were out of the picture? She says, "I mostly enjoy making focal beads. It's like having a large canvas to work on, large being a relative term of course."

8. Personal Style - We asked Lea about the type of jewelry she enjoys wearing, every day vs. out on the town. "I love all kinds of jewelry," she says. "I actually started out making jewelry before I went into making beads so I have quite a large selection to choose from, from beautiful gemstone necklaces to intricate seedbead pieces."

9. Skills - The one skill Lea wishes came easier to her is stringer control. She says, "My hands shake sometimes so getting those perfectly fine stringer details in a bead is often challenging."

10. Marketing - We asked Lea what she enjoys about marketing herself, and what she finds the most challenging. "What I love the most is being associated with the Fire Divas," she says. "Though most of us have never met in person, I couldn't think of a better group of friends to share ideas with. The hardest part is just making the time to keep up with everything. Fortunately we have several members that are very knowledgeable and keep us on track."

And that concludes this week's portion. Please tune in next week and check out Lea's links below in the mean time!

LA Jewelry Designs on Artfire ~ LA Jewelry Designs on Etsy ~ Lea's Blogspot ~ Follow Lea on Twitter

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