Janet was such a good sport to answer my numerous questions, and I thought I'd share the "interview" with you.
Janet is a certified jeweler. She specializes in incorporating vintage found objects into her work, many of which come from England and France. Janet's company is called Skip 2 My Lou (her mother's name).
I have a feeling Janet has been talented from the get-go. She says she started out making primitive bird houses...not cutesy ones, but crazy houses! Sure wish I could've seen them! Because Janet lived within forty-five minutes of two schools that offered jeweler certification, she decided to go that route. A year and a half later, they had to practically kick her out, and I believe at that point she knew jewelry was her calling.
Janet initially discovered fused glass jewelry, and became hooked on it. Someone saw her work at the Dallas market, and that person became her rep. She sold for Janet for the next six years. Eventually, though, Janet became disenchanted with making 100 copies of one thing, and she turned to working with beautiful "found" items, saying, "Those pieces inspire you. Shopping is as much fun as making it!" Janet lives south of Tyler, Texas, and her studio is on Lake Palestine. She admits to having been courted by the visual queen of magazines, "Where Women Create," but says she'd have to clean up a bit first before she could be featured!
Janet's work is creatively displayed on old photographs. On the back of each one, she handwrites a little saying that goes with the photograph, plus a description of the the objects used in that piece. I bought a necklace (not shown here), which is made up of a "Victorian etched clasp, wreath lapel pin, watch chain links, and a watch fob found in Paris." My kind of thing!
The work Janet showed on Sunday consisted of bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and pins. Everything was, of course, one-of-a-kind. The only bad part for me was deciding upon just one thing. My friend and co-shopper, Susan, had the same problem!
We talked about computers, and Janet said she doesn't have time for a website or a blog. She sells at certain choice art festivals around the south/southeast each year, and she does a little mail order work. She has broken down and gotten herself an email address, and says if anyone wants to find her, they can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, you can find her at the Handworks art festival in Jackson, Mississippi the weekend before Thanksgiving. Before I left her booth, I asked Janet if she had any words of wisdom, to which she replied, "Do what you love. It always works out."