I first got a glimpse of Susan's work over on our Facebook page and was hooked. I had to learn more about this artist and these beautiful pieces. If you're near San Diego county you can check out her pieces in person at the Fallbrook Art Center right now! (more on that below)
Without anymore delay, let me introduce to you Susan of cserpentDesigns
Describe your shop:
At cserpentDesigns you'll find one of a kind jewelry designs handmade by me, Susan Estrada. In my designs I use precious and semi-precious gemstones, precious metals, artisan glass beads and any other sparkly, beautiful thing that would look beautiful in a design.
How would you describe your style?
Until I asked my hubby I would have said my style was all over the map. He said my style was circular and loopy :) As he noticed I tend to use or create circles, swirls, loops and round objects in my designs. I'm just not into hard, straight edges! I really love making designs that feel organic and earthy but I certainly don't limit myself to that.
When did you learn to do what you do?
I started designing jewelry in 2003 (I think). A fellow soccer teammate talked me into going to a wire wrapping class when we had a 4 hour break between games at a soccer tournament. I had a blast in the class so I took more classes at bead stores and at one of our local community colleges. I've also learned quite a few things by reading books and through online tutorials. I still continue to learn (silver casting is next on my list) so I can continue to improve and expand my design knowledge.
What are your favorite pieces to make?
Earrings are very satisfying to make because I can finish them quickly. But from a design perspective my 2 favorites are wire wrap intensive bracelets with lots of dangles and metal forged designs of any kind. I love doing the wire wrap bracelets because I can combine so many different beads, colors and textures into a gorgeous and dangly design. I love metal work because I start with the basics of a piece of wire or sheet metal and through hammering, melting and soldering I created something unique and beautiful.
What inspires you?
I get inspired all over the place - at the mall, walking through my neighborhood, shopping in a store. I tend to get color ideas from the outside world and then I pull out beads and stones in those colors and let the beads inspire me. I am often amazed when the beads themselves talk to me! I really do get some design ideas from the beads themselves. Sometimes it can take them years to talk to me, but when they do the design is just perfect!
Where would you like your shop to be 5 years from now?
My next great adventure is selling through my own website. My Etsy (cserpent.etsy.com) and ArtFire (cserpent.artfire.com) shops work for me now - but I would love to be able to promote my own website at some point in the future.
What does your work space look like?
I swings between a mess and a totally cleaned up space. When I'm in the throes of design I have wire, sheet metal, bead boxes and tools scattered all over my desk, the floor and any other nearby flat surface. Once I finish up one or several designs I can't stand the mess and have to put everything away so I can start new designs with a clean slate.
What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast?
How do you spend your time when you're not creating?
I am a software designer in the integrated circuit design industry where we design those microprocessors in your cell phones, DVRs and many other places. I also play soccer, hang with my hubby and dogs and play in my garden (though I do that less as I've started designing more jewelry).
Where else can we find your work (online an in person)?
You can connect to all my sales sites from my website (www.cserpentDesigns.com). On my website I have links to my Etsy (cserpent.etsy.com) and ArtFire (cserpent.artfire.com) shops. I also have links to the jewelry for sale at Gili Anna's in La Jolla, California and at the Bead and Glass Boutique in Pitman, New Jersey
Are you doing any craft fairs this year?
I did several this year and right now I have designs available at the Fallbrook Art Center Art of the Holiday (www.fallbrookartcenter.org) show. I update my website (www.cserpentDesigns.com) regularly with information about new designs and upcoming events.
Where can we learn more about you?
My website (www.cserpentDesigns.com) has links and information to every place I'm available online. You can also read my blog (cserpentDesigns.blogspot.com) to see what's going on in my jewelry life and personal life. I'll be updating it almost daily when I'm shopping for new gemstones and meeting new (and old) friends at the Tucson Gem Show in February!