One of the jewelers at C2C Gallery has built a lucrative business in Grand Haven while being an involved mom of two young boys.
Building national credibility wasn’t even on Julie Sanford’s agenda when she began as a craftsperson. She always wanted to be an artist who sold at art fairs. Julie continues to sell at the craft fairs. However, her love is creating new work, having a customer discover and appreciate her designs, and encouraging enthusiastic students. Early in her career, she realized that becoming established as an expert would help grow her craft business. Julie began teaching at national shows like the “Bead & Button Show and Bead Fest.” By being an instructor at these shows, you build a bigger collector base because students like to purchase the work of artists that they learned from.
Recently, I interviewed Julie about her likes and dislikes. Here are her responses to our “10 Questions to the Artist”:
What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Sunny warm days have really been charging me up lately! I am happiest when people engage and find some kind of connection with my work and share their thoughts and stories about what it means to them.
Do you have an inﬂuence or theme that guides your work?
I love finding and working with unique gemstones, especially Michigan material like Fordite, Leland Blue and Petoskey Stone. I like to enhance the dynamic of the materials I’m using, while creating small wearable compositions in jewelry. The materials tend to influence my work.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I think it would fun to fly an airplane.
What profession would you not like to do?
Who are your favorite artists?
Alexander Calder, Renee Lalique. Contemporary- Claudio Pino, James Miller
What is your favorite tool used to create your work?
This is like asking an artist what their favorite color is! My favorites depend on what I am working on. Lately it’s my gold-smithing hammer, grandpa’s old ball peen hammer, a giant old anvil, my torches, flex-shaft and the lapidary machine.
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
Who is your favorite musician?
Too many to list a favorite.
How much formal education have you received? Related to your craft.
I have a BA in Art Education from WMU and have taken classes at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kendall, The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco and various technique workshops at conferences, trade schools and private studios.
We love to have Julie’s jewelry in the gallery. She always creates unique pendants, bracelets, and earrings. Julie uses interesting stones like Jasper, Fordite, and Leland Blue in her work. One of the things that many people don’t realize is that she can create custom pieces for you or someone that you love. I am always amazed at her creativity. It is hard to restrain myself from purchasing a new piece when I visit her studio.