Welcome to this month's Spotlight!
Halcraft Collection is excited to announce Danielle Wickes as our September Spotlight Designer. This dreamweaver creates enchanting jewelry crafted with seed beads, Czech glass, semiprecious stones, and has a flair for color and style. Danielle finds inspiration from the beads themselves and loves designing with Bead Gallery® beads!
Read on to learn more about Danielle and Incredible creations featuring Bead Gallery® beads by Halcraft Collection.
When did you first start beading? Tell us about yourself.
I started beading in 2005. I was living in a new city and didn’t know many people yet. About that same time, I was asked to create a gift for my mom. My dad gave me some gemstone beads that he wanted me to use in her present. That started it all! I visited craft stores and discovered my local bead shop, where I made lasting friendships. I started soaking up everything I could on the craft. I became interested in metalsmithing and took a week-long course at Pratt Fine Arts in Seattle. It was so much fun. More recently I’ve gotten into bead weaving and seed embroidery. I love creating with seed beads.
Tell us about your jewelry business.
I started selling my designs about 12 years ago with the encouragement of friends. The owner and shop manager of my then local bead store started selling finished jewelry on consignment in their shop. It was their friendship that gave me the courage to give selling a try. Thank you, Amy and Cheri! In my early days, I sold jewelry in the shop (from 2007 until about 2011). I opened my Etsy shop in 2007 – DanielleWickes.Etsy.com - It has grown with me over the years.
I’ve discovered that I really enjoy creating patterns and tutorials as well. I joined beading blog in 2018, where I have a fantastic opportunity to write articles and tutorials! I love to share ideas and connect with other artists. This year I started teaching at a local workshop!
What is your favorite that you've recently finished and why is it your favorite?
My favorite recent project is my Bear Paw Earrings. They incorporate seed beads and Halcraft Collection's Peruvian ceramic beads, two of my favs! I’ve created many versions in many colors using different bead types and sizes. Each one has a unique look, so I never get tired of creating them.
I offer my loom patterns for sale in my Etsy shop as well as finished pieces.
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
This has changed over time, but my favorite right now is bead weaving, especially herringbone, peyote, and brick stitch techniques. Halcraft Collection has a rainbow of Czech glass seed beads that I love to incorporate into my designs. I also enjoy working with wire and love fiber arts.
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
I love many, but the standouts are all the druzy, the Fire Polished and Czech Glass Beads, and of course the seed beads! I am also totally smitten with the Peruvian Ceramic beads, and I love the gemstone strand mixes that come with different sizes of the same gemstone beads. They’re so great for matching up in graduated designs or where I want to create a rolling shape with the beads.
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
My inspiration comes from colors and the beads I discover on my travels. Often what starts a design for me is finding a bead I can’t resist. I then start pairing it with other things. Scattered around my studio are little trays and baggies with assemblings of beads that I want to see together in a design. They often inspire new patterns and trying new techniques. I am also inspired by requests from my customers and by other artists and their tutorials and patterns.
Do you have any tips for the readers regarding building their social media reach? Yes, I think one of the most significant places for jewelry makers to connect right now is Instagram and Facebook. I’ve made so many friends and connections that brighten my day and inspire me. I recommend finding and joining Facebook groups for beaders and creators. Share your work and be sure to like and comment on other artists’ work, too. Let them know if they inspire you.
Pinterest is also great. I’ve tried Tailwind tribes to help me with Pinterest. Also, don’t forget the old-fashioned way! One of my fellow artists shared with me that lots of her social media following are customers she met in person at shows and markets where she sells her work. I’ve found real-life connections are still a great way to grow.
If you had room for only two tools in your bead kit, what would they be?
Size 10 beading needles and a thread zapper of course!
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
Lately, I have been really drawn to color palettes! I love an app I found that turns my photos into color swatches. I am very inspired by the images of seed bead and Czech Glass Fire Polish bead palettes that Molly Schaller and Halcraft Collection are posting this year! I saved many of those photos, and they have inspired my color-blocked loom pieces! I am also inspired by seed bead mixes!
Danielle resides in Sammamish, which is 20 minutes from Seattle, WA.
She has two little boys, ages 4 and 6, that keep her busy.
When she is not creating, you can find her trail running.
Her other crafting obsession was crocheting, but beading took that over!
She likes to sew bags, totes, and has dabbled in fashion design.
Her favorite thing to shop for is beads!
Danielle would like to thank her friend Bianca Malone - Hiddenbohemain for helping with photography.
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