Vendor Spotlight on Lynda Sparks

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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!

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Vendor Spotlight: Jane Corley

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I think it’s high time we shine the spotlight on those for whom the store would simply not exist; the vendors!  Every so often we’ll be featuring a new vendor, old vendor, or maybe even some wonderful customers and employees!  Check out Jane’s wonderful bio piece, below:  Then come see the neat stuff she makes!_________________________________________________________________

Jane Corley has been a gas station attendant, waitress, newspaper reporter, college professor, author, wife/mom, and attorney, little of which prepared her for a life in the arts, which is precisely why she enjoys such escapades.  Her visual arts training started in high school and college when she was engrossed in large-format photography, prior to completion of her bachelor’s degree in journalism.  She has continued to tack back to creative pursuits in an effort to keep sane while making a living in this big, expensive world.
Jane corley pic
Jane focuses on the sublime and whimsical in collage work using ephemera, found objects, dominoes, postage stamps, comic book images and dialogue balloons, along with the occasional Catholic saint image or medal.  Her work is often irreverent and even goofy, as she tries to create work to inspire others to color outside the lines.
four pics jane
These collages were created using what I call “found and family ephemera.”  Throughout the course of living more than a half century, having parents who almost doubled that, and sharing with them a strong tendency toward pack-rat-ism, I have kept or inherited numerous documents that by themselves don’t have much import.  Examples include a souvenir pamphlet from my mom’s pre-marriage voyage to Europe aboard the Queen Mary, the letter from the station master in Chicago giving her the itinerary of her train trip to New York that 1949 season, stamps from my dad’s collection the appraiser says aren’t worth anything but which I find lovely, extra parts from computer rebuilds my husband was going to pitch, copies of letters from grandparents and great aunts from long ago before long-distance phone calls when folks wrote to chew the fat, and the occasional leaf or feather found along the way.  A friend asked how I can part with such things; my response is that by putting these items together in collage form I give them wings to remind others of times gone by, when keeping a box full of papers and things like these was just an everyday thing.

Makers Connect's photo.Makers Connect's photo.