Saturday, March 2, 2013

Featured Artist of the Day: Aussen Wolf Designs

AussenWolfDesigns, wolf designs, wolf, wolf pictures, wolf jewelry, jewelry, handcrafted, handmade,

1: Judy, would you tell us a little about yourself and what it is that you do?

I am a jewelry designer who lives in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains in southern California along with my husband, daughter, and 3 unruly dogs.

"Master Brodie"--Wire Wrapped Collie Bracelet

2. How did you start making jewelry?
I started making jewelry 11 years ago, although my early efforts were pieces for my family and friends.  But the minute I started creating jewelry I knew I was hooked.  It is an incredibly wonderful medium for self expression.  After moving to Idyllwild I found a great little local bead store and joined in on some of the classes offered to learn new methods and advance my skills.  The owner of the shop saw my own personal designs and invited me to sell my jewelry in her store.  And that is how AussenWolf Designs was actually born.  Our local bead store closed during the recent recession and I started doing local craft and art shows.  Four years ago I branched out once again and opened my first online store through ArtFire.

Raspberry Bliss Necklace Set

3. Have you always wanted to be a jewelry designer?
No, not really.  But I have always been fascinated by jewelry and gemstones and have always wanted to create items of beauty.

                   Dual Nature Wire Wrapped Wolf Pendant

4. Where you creative when you were a child?
Yes, as all children are.  Arts and crafts at school was one of my favorite times.  When I was about 6 years old my aunt taught me how to crochet and knit and I still enjoy those crafts to this day.  On the other hand, I was always a bit intimidated when it came to drawing or painting.  Both my father and his mother were exceptional in those mediums.  I can remember as a small child thinking that I could not draw any where near as well as Daddy so I just was not going to try--despite all the encouragement he gave me.  In fact, I made him draw a "report cover" for every single project I did in elementary school.  Don't worry, I gave him full credit for the artwork (not that I could have fooled anyone) and my teachers loved it.   Now that I am grown I realize that it would have taken a rare talent at the age of 6 or 7 to be as skilled as he was!  And I still can't draw!  But I found my own avenue of expression with jewelry.

                    Joy of Love Double Heart Earrings

5. What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you have created?
That is difficult--if not impossible--to decide.  I am fond of my wire wolf pendants, perhaps because the prototype required some drawing effort.  But usually my most favorite piece is whatever I have just accomplished or anything that requires a new skill.  I have been blessed to have taken classes with well known artists in the jewelry field such as Sharilyn Miller and Dale Armstrong.  Those teachers still influence a great deal of my works.  There is something deeply satisfying in taking a piece of wire and wrapping it, twisting it, and molding it into a work of art.
6. What do you find most challenging when making jewelry?
Settling down to one design!  Whenever I start a project so many design possibilities jump into my mind and I want to incorporate all of them.  But when designing a piece it is necessary to keep an overall flow, rhythm, and balance in the forefront.  The second, and I admit this with chagrin, is cleaning up my work space!  With so many design possibilities running through my mind as soon as one piece is finished I often start a second project, and then a third, and then.....Well, you get the idea.  Soon my work space is littered with beads, wire, and findings from so many projects that it looks a bit like a bomb went off in my studio. 

                                                                                                                           Habitat of a Wolf Pendant

7. What do you find most rewarding with making jewelry? 
One of the reasons I love doing art shows is the immediate interaction with customers or potential customers.  When someone steps into my booth at a show, spies a particular piece or set, and offers a heartfelt compliment I am thrilled.  Creating a piece of art, whether it is a sculpture, quilt, shawl, or necklace and knowing that you have done well is a great feeling.  Connecting with another person through that art is exhilarating!
8. Any interesting story come to mind about your first few creations?
I was primarily self-taught in the beginning and can remember being so proud that I had finished this wonderful necklace with gemstones and sterling silver and how great it looked.  Just about then my husband got home from work.  I was so excited to share my newest creation with him that I grabbed it up off the table and held it up for his inspection!  And instantly there was this shower of gemstones bouncing off the table.  I had completely forgotten to finish the crimp on one end and beads were flying everywhere.  Thank heavens he did not laugh--well, at least not until I got over my shock and started laughing myself.  And, gentleman that he is, he got down on his hands and knees and helped me collect every single bead.

                    Memories of Purple Mountains Bracelet

9. Any advice you would like to give to people thinking of starting their own jewelry business?
It is always good to explore new techniques even if you find that they are not your favorites.  And, you will have well meaning friends and family that will tell you what's "hot" and what styles you should make.  And they may have great ideas and insights that resonate with your artistic inclinations, but always follow your own vision and passion.  It will show in your designs.
10. Anything else you want to share.
I hope everyone reading this--whether they make jewelry, knit, craft greeting cards or anything else--will take the time to enjoy their craft and to pass it on to the next generation.  In this era of high tech gadgets and our mass produced "everything" world a hand crafted work of art is unique and special and a joy to the receiver.  Sharing your passion is sharing a bit of yourself.

Where to find Aussen Wolf Designs Outside of this Post:

Website                Facebook              Twitter        Pinterest

Would you like to be the next featured artist??? If so E-mail me at: (Subject Line: Design Addiction Featured Artist Spot)


  1. I LOVE her work! Great article. : )

  2. Nice interview! Her pieces are beautiful, I especially like the one in the top photo of the wolf :)

    I wanted to invite you to our weekly Meet & Greet Blog Hop! It runs Friday nights till the end of Monday, come link up if you have some time :)