Hello designers, and welcome to this month's spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce our January 2021 Spotlight Designer is Lorelei Eurto. Lorelei is an accomplished jewelry designer, author, and all-around artist. She creates one-of-a-kind, whimsical designs incorporating mixed media. We love that Lorelei follows her heart (not trends) when creating her unique jewelry. She stays true to herself and her vision.
Read on to learn more about Lorelei and her magical designs featuring Bead Gallery® beads, pendants, and charms by HalcraftCollection.com
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
Beading or jewelry never crossed my mind until around 2007, when a friend of mine and I wanted to try a more handmade approach to Christmas gifts. I picked up a copy of Stringing magazine and was instantly enamored with all of the whimsical handmade beads in each of the designs. I had ear-marked multiple pages, and spent a lot of time researching each of the makers online. I was quickly aware that this was going to be an expensive hobby! After that, it was a mad dash to craft stores, and luckily at the time, the local bead store. I was officially obsessed.
Tell us about your jewelry business.
Yes, I do have a jewelry business. I officially launched my business in 2007. Remember in question 1, when I mentioned a friend and I started beading together? After a few short weeks, we had amassed quite the collection of beaded pieces, way too many to possibly wear them all. We signed up for a local craft show so we could sell our wares. What a rush that was!! It didn’t take long for me to branch out on my own and open an Etsy Shop. My jewelry business name is Lorelei Eurto Jewelry. I know, super creative! But at the time, I wanted to stand out, and I just figured my unique name would help me do that. I sold my first necklace on June 25, 2007 to a friend I went to college with. I’ll never forget that feeling of accomplishment! It took almost two months for my second sale. I now have a free-standing website using Shopify. www.LoreleiEurto.com is where you can find all of my recent finished jewelry and occasionally other crafts such as bags, and knitting, and riveted tin components.
What is your favorite project that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite? I recently finished a mixed media bracelet that features a riveted oval tin focal that I created with a newly acquired oval disc cutter. The tin used featured images of girls on it, and was cut from a sticker tin I bought at a stationery shop online. I love the darker moody colors in the tin and pulled in similar tones from handmade beads in my stash. Some beautiful lampwork glass, a polymer clay Heather Powers flower, and heavy pewter and brass beads. The leaf charm is one of my favorites. I love the asymmetrical design, a concept that has stayed consistent in my work since the beginning. (See Design at bottom of Spotlight.)
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
My favorite beading technique would have to be knotting on waxed linen cording. I adore working with all types of cording or leather. They are such versatile materials, and also lend a nice organic and natural feel to my designs.
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
Some of my favorite beads I've discovered on HalcraftCollection.com are the half coat faceted glass with rhinestones, matte plated Hematine pentagon faceted rounds, ceramic animal beads, and the mixed color wood rounds. There is such a nice variety of types of beads on Halcraft's website, from blingy crystals to rustic natural wood. Mixed media jewelry aficionados like me gravitate towards inventory like this.
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
Most of my inspiration lately comes from my own gallery of work. After working in this medium for 13 years now, I have an extensive gallery of photos cataloged on Flickr.com and frequent these galleries often where I will “riff” off past designs. I also have the entire library of Stringing magazines to flip through- that’s right. I’ve been collecting these magazines since 2007. I think there might be one random issue I don’t have in my collection.
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach?
My best advice for those who want to build their social media reach would be to post every single day on your favorite outlets (whether that be FB, IG, etc.) Don’t expect people to come to you. You have to put yourself out there, and I know that’s not always the easiest thing to do! But it’s definitely time to take advantage now while we are all stuck at home and depending solely on the internet to reach our followers.
I keep wishing that blogging would make a major comeback. There was something so cathartic about keeping an online journal to chronicle all of my makings. Instagram and Facebook took romanticism out of sharing our crafts online. Yea, it became quicker, easier, less wordy, but it also made it all about a really good staged photo. Lost in translation was the process, and certainly the inspiration behind it. I don’t believe that making is just about the finished product. I guess my suggestion would be - Let’s bring the BLOGS back. Start a blog and talk about the process and share those posts on your social media too!
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
Jewelry trends have never been something I tend to follow. I always just follow my heart when designing jewelry. I occasionally flip through catalogs, and while I know what seems popular, that’s just never what I gravitate towards. It wouldn’t feel authentic if I started churning out simple tiny chain necklaces with arrows and crosses or layered necklaces in shiny rose gold and yellow gold. That’s just not me. I would never call myself a trendsetter unless mixed media, eclectic and whimsical bird or owl jewelry is your jam.
What jewelry techniques would you like to learn?
I would like to get a better grasp on bead weaving. I bought myself a bead weaving loom kit this Christmas. I have only done a wrap bracelet so far, but I hope to continue learning this new technique. I have also recently tried brick stitch triangle earrings and a slinky bracelet using crescent beads after watching several videos on YouTube. Bead weaving has never been on my radar before now. Being quarantined at home through this Pandemic has me wanting to learn new things and think outside the box.
Lorelei lives in Upstate New York with her husband, a 7th/8th grade English teacher, and her personal chef (Lorelei... "Just kidding honey.")
Her two cats are like her children and rule the roost.
She has been working as a full-time maker since April 2020. When the pandemic hit, she was laid off from her part-time job at a local quilt shop.
How cool is this? For ten years, she worked as an assistant registrar for an art collection at a local museum of art.
She has been published in Stringing magazine, Bead Trends, BeadStyle, Bead & Button, and many other publications.
In 2013 she co-wrote "Bohemian Inspired Jewelry" (Interweave Press) with Erin Siegel.
Winter is definitely her friend. She loves spending time snowshoeing with her husband and friends.
For the past 4-5 years, she has been an avid knitter.
During the pandemic, she acquired a new addiction... Collecting fountain pens. She has been penpalling a few friends and her sister during the quarantine.
You can find her on Facebook @LoreleiHillEurto
Finally, Lorelei has been sewing project bags & totes. Recently she has added her own flair with wool appliques.
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