Nancy MacArthur: Featured Shop Interview


Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Nancy MacArthur and I live in Goodyear, Arizona. This means
I get to see the Goodyear blimp quite often. And yes, it gets very,
very hot.

Apart from designing things, what do you do?
Unfortunately, my full time job is not designing and selling
jewelry. I work for an insurance company by day and make jewelry at
night. I commute one hour each way to work making for short evenings.
There is never enough time to do all I want.

What first made you want to become an artist?
As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved art. Starting in elementary
school I remember drawing pictures. My goal was always to major in
art, but my parents felt this was not “practical” and refused to help
me with college unless I majored in something they liked - a business
degree was good. So, I took the business courses. Since then I’ve been
struggling with the left and right sides of my brain. I have a
“practical job” which pays my bills. About 10 years ago, I went back
to my hometown in MD to visit family. My mother took me to a store she
just loved and I met Sarah, a jewelry designer. It turned out that
Sarah was closing her shop. Buying her inventory of jewelry findings,
mainly brass, was great therapy as I was going through a divorce. I
spent a fortune shipping it all back to Arziona where it stayed in
boxes till last year. I got side tracked by beading and PMC. When
silver prices started going up, PMC got more expensive. One day I
realized I have boxes of brass findings. Eureka!

Please describe your creative process
Creative Process: Going through baggies of brass, watch parts and
beads to see what grabs me. I get easily sidetracked. I go to the
Tucson Gem show every year which can be diasterous. It took me years
to realize that I need to go with a list in hand and a budget in my

Can you offer a tip or two of something you learned in making,
photographing, selling, (etc.) your jewelry that you want to pass on?

When photographing your work, it is extremely important to have
good lighting so your that colors in your pictures are as close to the
original as possible. I invested in photography lighting which has
made a difference. Every time I take a picture I try to learn from it

Technique Skill to share...
When closing jump rings you get a real nice clean
closure when you use two pliers. Hold the jump ring with both pliers,
at the same time rotate the jump ring with both pliers, pushing the
ends together to close the gap, however keep going so the ends just
barely go past each other, then reverse the direction so the ends meet
and close. You should hear a click when you reserve the direction and
they touch. This technique gives you a real tight closing with no gap.

What accomplishments are you most proud of ?
The very first article I submitted for publication in
a beading magazine was accepted. What are those odds.

In ten years I'd like to be...
I would like to be making my living designing, writing
how to articles and selling my designs.

No comments: