Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Featured Exhibitor: BJ Christian Designs



Who are you and what do you do?
Betty Jean Christian, creator of BJChristian Designs handmade jewelry. I’ve been artistic for as long as I remember and have played in many different types of art media, but for the past 20 years I am finding much joy in creating jewelry from wire and beads. Mostly I prefer gemstone beads combined with the wire but I use a variety of bead materials; pearls, Swarovski crystals, wood, etc. I make all the wire components in my pieces and this wire is sterling silver, 14K gold-filled, and copper.

How did you start working in this particular craft?
I came across wirework jewelry and have been enjoying this for the past 20 years. I bought how-to books, tools, and started bending with copper wire. I fell in love with it. I still have my very first bracelet and wear it occasionally. I soon began including sterling silver to my designs, and then gold-filled wire.


What is your favorite thing to create?
At the moment bracelets are my favorite thing to create. One of my styles of bracelets is double strand which is really fun, and I like to mix lots of different types of materials for these bracelets.


What was your first memory of making something?
I have been artistic and creating things my whole life. When I was a toddler, I hid under the bushes in front of our house making mud pies in the dirt after the rain. That was the first memory.


What do your customers love most about your products?
When I am at a show, or anywhere talking about my jewelry and someone says, "What fun designs!", it is the best compliment. In that statement, they really get it. When I create my designs it is a fun process of enfolding from start to finish.

What sets your designs apart from others?
You will notice that most of my jewelry pieces contain a spiral of some sort. I have always been attracted to spirals, and have been doodling them as long as I can remember. Its meaning is about creation, evolution, journey, and enlightenment. Spirals are found in the plant kingdom, throughout nature, and in the symbolism of every indigenous culture on Earth.


What's your favorite item you sell?
I love making bracelets that include a variety of gemstones. Each one turns out so unique. When I finish one of these pieces I hold it in my hand and feel the energy of the stones together and with the metal and all the funky wire components, and it just feels good. I love it when the buyer of these pieces feel it too. Hard to explain.


How do you usually prepare for the holiday season?
Every Christmas I would receive an art or craft kit to complete so I was exposed to a lot of different art activities growing up. As an adult I've played in many different media, pottery, woodburning, woodworking, and sewing.





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