sponsor spotlight: AJ of ErtheFae Designs

This week we resumed our ABC's of Bellydance series. We've included the occasional prize and our first is a beautiful pair of Hamsa earrings hand-crafted by AJ Reardon. I'm very much a fan of the handmade movement and I'm always interested in the artist behind the work. So what could be better than a little spotlight on AJ Reardon of ErtheFae Designs; jewelry maker, dancer, blogger and overall nice person? 

It is said that "necessity is the mother of invention". In AJ Reardon of ErtheFae Designs case it was certainly the mother of creativity. At 16, she found herself in need of some cash for the holiday season. The job search wasn't going well so she decided she would try her hand at making and selling beaded necklaces on eBay. After all, she had always been pretty crafty. Well that's the beauty of listening to your instincts because that is how a crafty kid took necessity, passion and made it into what is now ErtheFae Designs!
Like a true creative one passion leads to discovery of another. While vending her fantasy inspired jewelry at a Renaissance Festival she saw some bellydance performers. AJ's eye for detail was immediately drawn to the gorgeous costumes of long flowing skirts and rich beaded trim (yeah, we've all been there!). She figured if she was to ever wear the fashion she should probably learn the dance that went along with it. Fast forward a few years and here you have AJ Reardon, jewelry artisan and tribal style dancer! 

Always interested in the hows and the whys of an artist's process. I asked AJ a few questions on her jewelry making. Read on.

RG:  Are there more similarities or differences in the way you craft your jewelry and the way you craft your dance? What are they?
AJ: Wow, it's hard to say, I've never really compared them before. They're both very inspiration-driven. I can't dance or bead if I'm not feeling inspired to, and if I force myself then the results are not pretty.

RG: How do you describe your jewelry?
AJ: Fantasy-inspired. I do a lot of work with dragons, faeries, and other mythological elements, and even my tribal jewelry is inspired by the fantasy of the Renaissance Faire gypsy persona.
RG: Where do you find inspiration for your jewelry?
AJ: Mostly in the beads and components themselves. I'm especially inspired by color and by interesting focal pieces.
RG: What does your jewelry say about you?
AJ: That I am creative, and really skilled at shopping for and combining great beads! I have a very specific sense of style that shows in my work, too.
RG: How do you want to make your customer feel when wearing your jewelry?
AJ: Happy and beautiful. Jewelry's main function is adornment, after all.

 ~~~ See I told you she was nice, how can you not love a person that wants you to be happy and beautiful?

Thank you AJ! Thank you for being our ABC post sponsor, for the interview and for being such a positive member of the bellydance and blogging community! 
To see and buy AJ's jewelry and learn more about her dancing:
Shop: http://erthefae.etsy.com/
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/ErtheFaeDesigns

Where and how do you get your creative spark?

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