Some of you know Brandon Ax of Writer's Storm: Brandon Ax. If you don't know him, then hop to it! Follow that blog. He's a nice guy. He's also the author of Elemental and Ashes. Click the titles of the books to find them on Amazon.
When Brandon published Elemental, he had a very cool giveaway. I won a necklace and earrings that were described in the book. I let Franklin wear the necklace for a while so I could post a photo of it.
I thought the necklace and earrings were even more cool when I found out that Brandon's wife, Amanda, made them. She has an Etsy shop called Laylas Trinkets, and she's offering my readers a 20% discount with the code JUNEBUG.
I wonder where she came up with that.
Amanda consented to an interview, too, even though she's about to pop out their third child. Now, heeeeeere's Amanda Ax:
Q. How long have you been making jewelry, and how long have you had your etsy shop?
A. I started making jewelry in December of 2012. I wanted to give my mother and my sister something special for Christmas and decided instead of buying them a random gift I wanted to make them something and so I went and gathered materials and I made them both a bracelet and ring set that year. I had so much fun making them that I got hooked and started making stuff all day every day. I knew I could never wear everything I made and eventually buying supplies would catch up to me so I decided to open my store in February 2013.
Q. How did you learn to make jewelry? I am very impressed by the quality of your work.
A. The process of learning to make jewelry has been trial and error for me. I told myself when I began that I didn't want my work influenced by what I saw other people making and selling and because of that I have always been careful about seeking techniques from other people. My biggest goal in my business is to make things that are completely unique to me and also to give my customers something unique as well, which is why I decided to only make and sell one of a kind items. I never use patterns or remake the same thing twice so I am constantly learning new ways of doing things. A lot of my earlier pieces have recently been torn apart to salvage for beads as I have learned to make things of better quality.
Q. Do you have a favorite piece that you've made?
A. That is hard, usually when I make a new piece I fall in love with it and it kind of becomes my favorite for the moment. There is a ring that I made that is special to me though. It is actually one of my earlier pieces I have made and I have actually struggled with wanting to keep it for myself. It is a silver ring with a bright blue crystal bead and the wire wrapping on it is just so unique to anything else I have made, I just love it. I also have a tree of life necklace that I made using frosted glass beads that I love, it is actually my avatar picture for my store.
|Tree of Life necklace|
|Amanda's favorite ring|
|Amanda's favorite bracelet|
Q. What inspires you or influences your art? Are you particularly interested in the jewelry of a certain time period?
A. I love all types of jewelry. When I work on my jewelry I never have a plan in mind. I usually sit down and open all my containers of beads and wire and just start picking things out and let the idea just come to me. It is a very rare occasion that I actually come up with a design for a piece and think it out or plan it. There are still so many areas I would love to expand my store with, one thing I am excited to try eventually will be working with resin and incorporating some of my paintings into my jewelry.
Q. Are you involved in any other artistic endeavors?
A. I absolutely love to paint. I love abstract art and most of the paintings that I do are abstract. A few of my pieces are actually for sale in my jewelry store, but mostly I paint for fun and the pieces end up being used to decorate our home.
Q. Tell us a "secret" about yourself and/or your jewelry – something that will help us feel we know you better.
A. I love making jewelry and most of my jewelry is rather girly, but I am actually kinda the opposite. I have never been a girly girl, always the tomboy. The closest I come to getting girly is when I wear my goth skirts with knee high boots and corsets lol.
Q. What are your favorite books and who are your favorite artists? Do certain books or works of art give you ideas for designs? Did Brandon come up with the idea for Molly's necklace and earrings or did he incorporate a design you already had into Elemental?
A. Wow, books I don't even know where to begin to try and come up with favorites. I read so much and so many different genres. I just love books in general. I have a weakness for them, if I start a book I will literally sit and read the entire thing and not move lol.
One of my favorite "famous" artist is Luis Royo, I love how he can use a simple pallet of colors and still bring something to life and his work always has a very distinct quality to it that you know it is his work without having to see his name on it. My husband is one of my favorite artists as well, in fact I actually I three tattoos that were designed by him for me, my most recent being a Nightmare Before Christmas scene on my arm.
Molly's necklace and earrings were completely Brandon's design. I remember when he got me to read that section of the book he was so worried that he wouldn't have described the pieces well enough and was worried that his idea wouldn't seem special enough but he had no reason to worry at all. He actually put a lot of research into the type of jewelry he wanted to use and I remember him looking up different types of pearls and finding exactly what he thought would fit with the story. When we made the pieces for the giveaway it was hard finding just the right items to make the necklace and do it justice because of how special and meaningful the piece is.
|The Nightmare Before Christmas tat|
designed for Amanda by Brandon
I have created a coupon code for your followers to use for 20% off total purchase. The code is Junebug.
Thank you, Amanda, for answering my questions. I don't want The Hurricane to see that tat. She loves The Nightmare Before Christmas (so do I), but neither one of us has any tats yet, and I'd like to keep it that way till she has tenure or a fantastic job where they can't manage without her!
Now, don't you think it's time to shop for some jewelry?
Infinities of love,