Monday, June 16, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: becomeinspired

Robin Bonnell lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and Durango, Colorado with her husband, 4 horses, 1 burro, 3 dogs, and "one very beautiful Ocicat." Creating and designing her inspirational jewelry is not only her full time profession, but also her passion. "After spending 20 years in corporate America as a search firm owner and worldwide executive search consultant, I took some forced personal time and began exploring my creative side that had been dormant for those 20 years," she explains. Like me, she was diagnosed with severe fibromyalgia - but also has damage to her central nervous system due to a brain injury from a motorcycle accident 15 years ago. "I had always been an overachiever and was very driven. I did not know what to do with myself," she says of her lack of energy. "Even though I felt terrible physically, my mind would not stop. I never slept. Partially because the brain injury affects my sleep mechanism and partly because I felt so lost. Frankly, I got very depressed. Then I discovered metal clay." It was then that she realized her calling, and fell in love with it right away. "I felt a new sense of purpose." She has always been very spiritual and often finds inspiration from within as well as in nature. "I started transforming feelings into jewelry," she says. Lately she has even made a few memorial pieces, "something special that...makes them feel their loved one is there with them all the time." Often times her designs are asymmetrical and she admits, "my thought is that beauty is not in a perfection of form, but how it makes you feel. If it feels good, it is beautiful." Passionate and soulful, she is, as a friend once described, a “drinker of life." Despite - or perhaps in spite of - her illness, she has led a full and happy life and feels blessed. "Etsy has been a great thing for me," she says. "I have met fantastic people all over the world and even joined the local Phoenix Etsy Street Team, The Crafty Burritos. They are a special group of people that are devoted to Etsy, art, and to each other." She joined Etsy on my Birthday - Oct 7 (2007) and as of June 15 has amassed 100 sales. "I have loyal customers that come back again and again to have custom jewelry made. I am slowly getting to know them and they all have such great stories of life." She recommends her fellow artists think outside the box. "I think having a great title for the listing makes people curious and want to look at the item." Please check out her shop: http://becomeinspired.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

1 comment:

Chucka Stone Designs said...

Wow I never would have known that was clay if you hadn't mentioned it in the feature. It looks like cast silver. Gorgeous pieces!