Vendor Spotlight: Lynda Sparks, Jewelry
How does one end up doing what one is doing in life? It’s almost never a straight-arrow path. The story is often as interesting as the items of art one creates, but sometimes we lack the time to ask the questions or to spin the more in-depth stories about our artists. I started asking Lynda because I was really curious how she came to her level of craft after retirement. Also, the sheer variety of the jewelry she brings in is really on another level. It appears that jewelry making for her seemed to come from a wellspring of desire to do something creative after a lifetime of other professional endeavors, from accounting to running a day-care facility.
“I retired twice; but just had too much energy to sit at home and twiddle my thumbs. I needed to express myself with something.” She adds to that, “Art is for your soul; math is for your mind.”
She had clearly spent enough of her life working with math. So she started creating greeting cards, which she sold at the Artisan’s Collective, a gallery of local art located in the Bishop Arts area of Oak Cliff, in Dallas.
“But I soon realized that it takes the same amount of time to make a card as it does to make jewelry, and I could sell jewelry for more!” So, she started watching jewelry videos, and learned how to create wrapped wire jewelry. She believes that if you want to know how to do something, the best money is spent on materials and practice rather than expensive courses. “I guess I’m too opinionated for some teachers but in the end I learn more by just doing it myself.” Her favorite metalsmithing DVD courses were by Lexi Erickson, available through Rio Grande.
“Whenever I hit a glitch, I tell myself to not get discouraged – and eventually I would keep at it and got to a point where I felt pretty good about what I was doing.” What did she do after mastering wire wrapping? Why, she just moved on to pouring resin. Then she took the resin pieces and wrapped those!
Now she’s making folded copper cuffs and rings, as well as large funky stone-set rings and necklaces. The fact that was able to teach herself to solder bezels and set stones demarks a major line in the sand that sets her apart from many jewelry makers. Every time she drops by, we’re always pleasantly amazed to see what wonderful new creations she’s whipped up.
We like her attitude a lot. She sums it up, “My advice is to just keep at it. If one thing isn’t working, try something else!” There is clearly no keeping this gal down. Go, Lynda!