Welcome to my brand new feature, Monday Muse. I am reaching out to wonderful women I have met over the years in various spaces to ask them to share a bit of their lives with all of you. They inspire me for various reasons and many of them will, I hope agree to be on the podcast. This week I am kicking off this series with Joy Kruse, who is a wonderful and talented and prolific jewelry artist. I found her Wild Prairie Silver website many years ago and a couple of years ago found her on Instagram and have been following her ever since. I chose this photo to not only feature her gorgeous work but to show you her artists hands. As a jewelry designer myself I understand all too well the black fingernails and hands, the chipped nails and the sometimes scrapes etc as you work your craft. The ring on her index finger is the one I found on her website years ago and used an inspiration to create my own version in Precious Metal Clay. Joy's talents far exceed mine and I get so inspired and awed by her work. She works in mixed metals but I love her silver most of all and I am a total ring and bracelet fanatic. She graciously shared her secrets about the leather and silver bracelet on her wrist. When I reached out to her, she graciously agreed to answer some interview questions about not just her creative life, but the rest of her life as well. You will find at the bottom of the interview all of the links to her website as well as her Instagram. Thank you Joy and I am excited to celebrate you as our first Monday Muse!
1). Who or what drew you to designing and creating jewelry?
~ I was an art student my first year in college. Everyone was so good I knew that I could never make it but at that time I had only been exposed to 2 dimensional art… drawing and painting… I changed my major to Nursing. After a few years of being an RN I helped a friend make some jewelry for a wedding and then made the jewelry for my own wedding. I was hooked. That was it… I just never knew and was never exposed to metals before then.
2). Who inspires you to be your best self?
~ My husband does. He really believes in me more than anyone else and ‘over’ believes in me. He’s my biggest fan. I have to try and live up to his praise. He’s awesome.
3). What is the best purchase you have made in recent memory?
~ Some fossilized Mammoth Bone that was covered in dirt from some fella from Alaska who was also covered in dirt. Bought diamonds on the same day and plan on them going together. It was a great day.
4). When you feel your creativity is unfocused what do you do?
~ I have so many ideas and drawings and sketches that I don’t often feel uncreative, but you cannot force a design that is not coming together. It has got to flow. So, when something just will not budge and it is stuck in creative limbo I make parts…. I make the parts to chain, clasps, chain, mechanical parts.
5). How has failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
~ Not every piece is a master piece and it’s all a learning experience. Over the years I have found that even mistakes are a learning opportunity. You can’t expect to work a lifetime and not screw up. You can’t expect that every single thing you creative make is going to be awesome. However all of these mistakes or failures or disappointing days lead to something awesome. You revamp it, re-think it, re-do it, or remember what you did that was not working and head in another direction. The only failure is not trying again.
6). If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why? ~ Now I am wondering why I don’t have a gigantic billboard? I mean, they are everywhere, so why not? I would have on it WildPrairieSilver.com with a picture of a gorgeous natural looking lady, smiling away, wearing jewelry that is making her smile from ear to ear :) :) :)
7). In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life?
~ In the last five years I was able to quit being an RN. I can completely focus on my business and my family. I can work a 40 hour work week (or more) and have a day off.
8). What is your biggest problem, issue or stumbling block in your daily life?
~ Just the juggling act of wearing a zillion hats. I’m such a small business but a busy business that I feel like I am an IT pro, a tax hack, a internet web page designer, an accountant, a purchaser, a marketing guru, a photographer, a secretary, a customer service agent, a designer, a janitor, a logistics package tracker and then I am a Jeweler… and a mom and wife when the work day is done.
9). What three things are foremost on your mind right now?
~My family (taking my son to visit a college tomorrow & my daughter had a minor foot surgery today), three custom rings, and some turquoise I missed out on that I hope is still around for me to purchase
10). What would you be doing right now if money wasn’t part of the equation?
~I would be doing exactly what I am doing.
Thank you Joy for sharing your wisdom, your art and the beauty you bring to world. I look forward to having you on the podcast soon!
Look for another Monday Muse next month when I will be featuring an artist who's medium is something from my childhood.