Welcome to this month's Spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce Melissa Renner as our August Spotlight Designer. This boho beach bum is a fantastic artisan that takes wire wrapping to a whole new level! She weaves the perfect pendant with a Bohemian flair wrapped in a beachy vibe. Can you believe she has only been creating jewelry for 5 years?
Read on to learn more about Melissa and Incredible creations featuring Bead Gallery® beads by Halcraft Collection.
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
My love for beading began about five years ago. My mother has been beading for many years. She must have asked me at least ninety-nine times to join her. I always declined and simply said, “I’m not into it.” Then one evening, she had an array of different purple and rainbow beads scattered across the table. I’m not sure if it was the way the beads caught the light and sparkled or if it was the way she asked me for the hundredth time to join her, but this time I said yes. I randomly gathered the beads that I thought looked best together and strung them onto a necklace for myself. I then rushed out the door to work, and at the time, I was a waitress at Applebees. That night I received so many compliments on my necklace, and I wished that I had started beading sooner. Cut to 5 years later and here I am making a living off beading and handmade jewelry.
Tell us about your jewelry business.
They say if you love what you do for a living, you will never work a day in your life. I decided to turn my love for beading and wire wrapping into my own business called The Boho Beach Bum. I became so in love with the meanings and energies with gemstones and crystals that I wanted to incorporate them into my art. I have a unique bohemian style that I combine with beachy vibes that I gain from living here in Ocean City, Maryland. You can currently find my creations on Etsy at Thebohobeachbum.etsy.com, and I am THRILLED to announce the launch of my very own website Thebohobeachbum.com coming this fall!
What is your favorite that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite?
Recently I poured my heart and soul into a necklace called "Mother Nature." It is made entirely of copper wire, gemstones & crystals that light up with a flip of a switch. The entire piece has been antiqued, and hand buffed to highlight the wire weaving.
On the necklace you will find:
- A large wire wrapped Golden Labradorite Cabochon that has a flower carving on the front
- 2 wire wrapped butterflies each adorned with Labradorite Crystals, Blue Apatite Crystals and glass seed beads
- A wire-wrapped Ruby and Moonstone Spider resting on the top of the main stone
- 8 wire wrapped Labradorite Leaves
- 6 wire wrapped Fireflies that light up via a battery-operated light strand.
- 28 Swarovski Crystal bicone beads
- A wire wrapped flower battery cap
In total the necklace took:
- 3 weeks to create
- 34 hours total wire wrapping time
- Over 400 feet of copper wire
- 4 times of accidentally stabbing myself in the face with wire
- 2 times of almost giving up
If you Flip the small, black switch located on the left side of the battery upwards to simply turn the fireflies on. Turn the flower cap to the left and remove it to replace the batteries. Replace the flower cap and turn it to the right to secure the cap closed. The necklace is finished off with shimmering, copper-colored rope and a lobster claw closure. It measures 7 1/4" wide by 16" long and has a 4" extender chain for a custom fit. Labradorite is said to be one of the most powerful gemstones while copper has been used for thousands of years in medicinal and healing purposes.
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
There are so many beading and wire wrapping techniques out there that it is hard for me to choose a favorite. Colors and shapes inspire me and that, in turn, is what inspires my creations. The shape of a bead, the depth of color, the sparkle of a cut all inspire my work. I love creating a wire wrapped pendant and accenting it with the colorful and sparkling beads that I purchase from www.HalcraftCollection.com. Halcraft has a style and color scheme to match any imagination.
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
Halcraft offers some AMAZING quality beads! My personal favorite is their Rose Quartz beads & pendants. Rose Quartz is known as the stone of love, and you can really feel the love when you receive Rose Quartz beads from Halcraft. The quality is excellent, and they package them with care.
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
My inspiration tends to ebb and flow. Some weeks I am so inspired that I can create jewelry every day. Other weeks it can be hard to find the right inspiration and designs. When I am in a creative rut, I am most inspired by nature. Taking a walk with my dog Rufus, sitting on my porch with my eyes closed while listening to the sounds of nature or even meditating inspires me.
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach? My first piece of advice, DO NOT compare your work to the work of others. We’re all different, and we’re all at different creative stages. You are as great as YOU think you are, not as great you think THEY are. Focus on your own creative work and what creations make YOU happy. Once you find what makes your spirit do a happy dance, stick with it. The bottom line...YOU are AWESOME!!
If you had room for only two tools in your bead kit, what would they be?
If I only had room for two tools, I would choose my wire cutters (of course) and crimping pliers. These tools would allow me to create endless crystal wire wrapped pendants and necklaces/bracelets using beading wire.
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
I am constantly trying to add new trends into my beading work. I’d love to add the technique of wire wrapping into more of my creations. I enjoy wire wrapping Halcraft beads into bracelets, necklaces, earrings, dream catchers, spiders, and so much more!
Melissa resides in the small beach town of Ocean City, Maryland.
She is a gemstone and crystal hoarding beach bum.
In the off season, you can spot her on the beach with her love Jerrid and dogs Rufus and Steeler.
When she is not creating art, you can find her cooking up some delicious meals!
She is a full time jewelry artist and makes a living off of her insanely beautiful designs.
Melissa has 28.3K followers on Instagram!
Are you interested in being in our Designer Spotlight?
Join our Beaded Jewelry Facebook group today and tag us in your projects on Instagram with @halcraftcollectionbeads, #Halcraftcollection #beadgallery #halcraftprettypalette #prettypalette!
We choose a new designer to spotlight each month and would love to celebrate you!
Denise Yezbak Moore is a self-taught artisan. She is a senior jewelry designer for Halcraft Collection and loves to create jewelry with bohemian flair. Denise resides in Orange County, California, and enjoys hearing from fellow beaders worldwide. Be sure to follow her on Instagram @deniseyezbakmoore