Featured Artisan Spotlight: Sue Barnes, RagamuffinJewels
Posted by ArtFireContent on 12/14/2010 at 11:36:00
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio
My name is Sue Barnes and I have been designing and making jewelry for about five years in my studio, Ragamuffin Jewels. I participate in many shows (craft, wine festivals, music festivals, etc). I design using a very wide range of techniques and beads, but my favorites are handmade lampwork and Swarovski crystals. I guess I like the bling! All of my designs are one-of-a-kind and I take tremendous pride in designing each one.
If there is any one thing that defines you, what is it?
That would absolutely have to be my relationship with God. Jesus is my Lord and Savior and everything in my life is based on that. Also, my family plays a huge part in who I am.
What role does your family plan in your art?
My sweet husband is my biggest cheerleader! He accompanies me to shows and does the heavy set-up. Then he dons his "dress-up" clothes and plays salesman. He so good at it! My grown daughter also loves to come along and play cashier. My family pitches in and does all the work so that I can shine and interact with my customers.
Where do you live and what is it like?
I live in Bixby, Oklahoma which is a southern suburb of Tulsa. There is a reason they call this "green country." Because we are very close neighbors to the Ozark Mountains, the scenery is breathtaking. Plus we get the advantage of enjoying all four seasons.
Where did you learn your medium?
I am a self-taught jewelry designer. Much of my experience has been gained through trial and error, but I do believe that is the best way to learn. I'm always trying new techniques.
Why do you think buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
There is something very special about "handmade." Someone took the time (sometimes many hours) to design and craft a special piece and I believe a part of the designer goes with the piece when it is given. So many wonderful crafts are being lost with the new technology and I think it's vital that we stay true to "homemade."