|Rita Sunderland, Designer - Jewelry|
How and when did you discover your love for your craft/art?
I started in macramé at 5 years old with a family business where I was born in Russia, then in 2004 here in the USA I tried micro macramé jewelry with limited success. My husband bought me tools and said to try my hand in metals, well let’s say I found my niche, with a dash of inspiration.
Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
Yes it was simple copper wire and crystal, more of a learning tool. The real designs took 4-5 years to come together.
|Red Garnet 14K Gold Filled Dangle Earrings|
Every Artist has a creative process, can you explain yours?
I usually seek stones that have meaning then find the best and most interesting cuts available to me. Then I let the stones speak to me and try to make a design that shows the stone off and is not detracting from the future owner’s beauty or from what the stone naturally has. I also try to see these along with the shapes of a woman, since that is where they will ultimately be displayed.
When people start doing their craft/art, they tend to try a lot of different things before settling down to something that resonates with them. How has your work changed since you began?
Oh my, to think I started with store bought cotton twine and glass beads…Now I have made several evolutions and can see myself moving into torch and casting work in the next few years if business permits it.
What inspires you creatively?
Usually a free moment, those are hard to come by being a mom and wife, but when the time comes it is the shapes and stones that inspire me the most. Each contains symbolism and meanings and that is a whole story in itself.
|Smokey Quartz with Citrine Sterling Silver Necklace|
Can you tell us about some important goals you have achieved with your work?
One was to get the ability to stay home with my daughter after she was born; I have managed to get through six years being mommy and an artist. I also wanted to make people smile and I seem to have done that over and over, that alone is probably my greatest achievement.
Who are some of your favorite artists/crafters and why?
I don’t know too many, my husband is a multi-talented artist and his creativity and capacity is endless, I wish mine were so easy. In crafting my friend Vasilisa makes these dolls (FancyDolls.us) that really as a craft capture the essence of the people that they are taken from, it is like a whole new life form from her hands!
Any goals for the future you would like to share?
Sure. I really am aiming to also work in precious stones and get a space to work with them, it has not been easy working out of our small flat between all the projects our family has!
|White Pearl and Macrame Bracelet|
What is that? Really, I and my husband only sleep about 6 hours a day as is, maybe a vacation is in order.
If you are displaying or selling your craft/art? Where?
I have 2 sites currently RitaSunderland.com and RitaSunderland.ru for those in Russia and Eastern Europe.
If you sell online or at physical store. How many hours per week to you spend in the creative side versus the business side?
I have not found a way to make retail work…So I have kind of dropped all focus on that for the time being.
|14K Gold Filled Low Profile Ruby Ring|
Be patient and persistent. If money and business plans do not move as fast as you want, then you only have one option! Make enough pieces to force yourself on the world, if you are prolific enough the world has to deal with all your creations. I learned this from my husband and it was the best advice and vision an artist can have outside of creativity.
If there is anything else you want to add, please feel free to do so.
Thank you for taking interest in my work and ideas, I hope that with all the turmoil and craziness in the world that some of us return to the arts that have carried us through centuries. Focus on what we as people can create, not destroy! If the whole world stopped and learned to knit a sweater, the world would have several days of no violence, aggression, politics and money worries! Plus there would be a lot of warm people next winter! Just a thought….
Thank you Rita! Be sure to check out Rita's beautiful jewelry collections at these sites: