Susan Smathers

Thinking of myself as an artist has taken several years. I have been “crafty” since I was a youth. I began taking photos as a teenager with an old film camera that had belonged to my grandfather. I changed to a manual camera by the time I started college. I was always attracted to taking pictures of nature, landscapes, and architecture. The majority of my photography still falls in those categories. I have sold greeting cards with photos a few times over the years and I currently make greeting cards for all occasions.

I learned about pressing flowers and leaves in childhood then again in college when I work on leaf collections for a botany class. I started making greeting cards with pressed leaves & flowers about 5 years ago. I also have made framed pictures with the flora I pressed. Now, I am expanding my usage of the pressed leaves/flowers to the creations of collages that also include my photography.

I have always loved jewelry and natural stones. I have collected stones for years. I enjoy interesting jewelry and have pieces that belonged to my ancestors. I have a science background that also influences my interests in arts and crafts. I found myself in a situation where I did not have a full-time job and decided that learning to make jewelry would be a good plan. I learned skills from other jewelry designers and started from there. I have used the skills I have learned to begin selling my jewelry locally and on Etsy. I have been expanding my knowledge of jewelry creation for the past few years. I have been making jewelry now for five years. I enjoy using natural stones so I have been doing more wire wrapping of stones so I can use natural stones or polished pendant beads. I have expanded my work with jewelry into the teaching arena. Since I have taught several topics and ages over the years, this was a natural expansion of my small business. I hope to expand how many classes I teach in jewelry making in the next few years.