Friday, October 20, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: BJChristian Designs


Betty Jean Christian got an unlikely start to her work as a jewelry artist; she began working with wire while assisting an orthodontist, bending wire in complicated ways to fit braces. Years later, she discovered wire for jewelry making, and it was a perfect fit for her skill set! She creates gorgeous wire jewelry for BJChristian Designs, from bracelets to earrings, that are as intricate as they are eye-catching.
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 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. Every year for Christmas I would receive some sort of craft or hobby kit to occupy my time while home for holiday break. Later, when I had my own children, I provided them with as much craft material as possible so they could create. Both of my daughters are very gifted artists.

How did you start working in this particular craft?

Creating wire jewelry may have originally started when I worked as a chair-side assistant for an orthodontist many years ago. We had training sessions where I was taught to bend wire for the patient's braces. It came very easy to me and I was called on to do some of the more complicated bends. Then many years later while perusing the internet, I saw something similar to the style of wire work that I do now. 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'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.

What's the latest thing you've been working on?

I have never offered rings in the past but I now have a ring design that I will be adding to my collection. It will be on the website in the next month or two and I will be bringing some to the Gift and Art Expo. I also have a very different style of bracelet in the works.
Check out more of Betty's work online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

Posted by Admin at 12:50 PM  ⁙  2 COMMENTS

CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors
Louise Stroz  ⁙  Wednesday November 01, 2017 @ 7:44 PM

Wonderful article. You are such a talented artist. I am very grateful for the many gorgeous, one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces of yours that I own. It is an honor to know you. Thank you so much.
John  ⁙  Sunday October 22, 2017 @ 3:36 PM

I am familiar with Betty's beautiful designs. You can feel the spirit of each piece. The pictures are beautiful, but you really need to experience them in person if you can.