Kelly Garland is a familiar face at BeadFX. Not only does she work in the store, but she is also one of our instructors who teaches a variety of techniques including loomwork and metal work.
“I've always been creative in one way or another since childhood but it wasn't until my late 40's when I decided to pursue metal arts as a career path,” says Kelly. “I did embark on an art degree in my 20's but was convinced by well meaning family that is was not a profitable career. So it's rather ironic I've come full circle.”
“With jewellery, I started with bead work, creating earrings and other accessories for myself and friends. That quickly led to a desire and interest in precious metal work and larger scale projects,” she explains. “I applied and was accepted into the George Brown Jewellery Methods program and this experience has created a good foundation for my creations. While I love jewellery, I also have a great interest in wearable art and objects, such as boxes, lockets and the like. Presently, I am studying to be a gemologist through GIA, The Gemological Institute of America.”
Like most artists and instructors, Kelly is inspired by many things. “Nature, art, color, architecture and unusual objects. Things that hold things. I love insects and have been brainstorming an entire collection which will hopefully come to fruition one day. In contrast, and sometimes to my own detriment, I also love very clean, simple symmetrical design. So I often flip between organic free flowing work, and precise and more linear concepts.”
“I often use art books, Pinterest and Flickr for inspiration and keeping images. I'll then print up a variety of work that I find interesting,” explains Kelly. “I find that if you surround yourself with images that get your juices flowing, good things happen! Then I starting sketching my ideas, no matter how incomplete or fragmented. Then I develop from there, redoing my sketch multiple times. Sometimes I'll have 4 or 5 projects going and I’ll go back to them when I'm in a creative flow. I try not to worry about the 'how to create this' when I design. That comes later. I develop the idea first, then figure out how to make it come to life.”Kelly’s enjoyment from teaching? “Helping people be creative and learning from them. I always discover something new from my students,” she says.
Her advice to other who create? “Establish your own creative space at home which is off limits to everyone. Make a mess. Make time for your craft. Protect your right to create. Share your craft and never stop learning.”
Upcoming classes with Kelly:
Sterling Dome Bracelet
Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 23
11:00am - 5:00pm both days