Artist Profile: Beth Gregory

Jewelry designer Beth Gregory shares her delightful portfolio and talks about developing her small business.

 

Beth Gregory collection of silver necklaces. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  Tell us about your jewelry, and how it has evolved.

BG:  Five years ago, my friend Lisa bought a tiny kiln and a packet of precious metal clay. It sat untouched, until she asked me to figure out what to do with it. I was hooked! I soon bought my own kiln, took a slew of workshops, and started my own jewelry business! I developed a line of fine silver jewelry that features the rich detail characteristic of precious metal clay work, and incorporates natural gemstones that pair so well with the silver.

 

Artist Beth Gregory in her studio. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Curious to explore other jewelry techniques, I began enameling reclaimed industrial copper. The rich colors of the enamels and the volatile nature of the flame are captivating. Through multiple firings and layers of color, I can achieve striking results.

 

Beth Gregory purple copper enamel necklace. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

I also use traditional silversmithing techniques to manipulate a basic sheet of silver into an intriguing object that has volume and texture. This work demands careful planning and problem-solving, from design to completion. Understanding the properties of the metals is critical to stretching the design possibilities.

 

Beth Gregory Wavy Earrings. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Across these mediums, there are common threads. All my work is made from recycled metals. It always starts with a humble lump of clay or sheet of metal, that is transformed into an elegant creation; one that ultimately speaks to my client and complements their appearance.

 

Beth Gregory Penne Necklace. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

I also enjoy experimenting with a theme across mediums. My ideas grow from my work itself, a natural evolution. I enjoy pushing the mediums into new directions that satisfy my aesthetic goals.

My goal is to create jewelry that can be enjoyed every day, that gives the wearer pleasure and allows her to appreciate her own beauty and unique style.

 

Beth Gregory Bubbles Necklace. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  What makes your work different, and why do your customers love it?

BG:  My work is unique, thoughtfully crafted, comfortable, and easy to wear. My customers love that the pieces have subtle details that draw attention without being overbearing. My clients value knowing the story of where the jewelry comes from, and they care about supporting work that is made from responsibly-sourced materials.

 

Beth Gregory ring with sapphires. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  How did your experience running an art center influence you current marketing practices?

BG:  Directing the art center gave me an honest look at the relationship between the artist and the gallery. This understanding allowed me to approach galleries in a professional manner right from the start.

The gallery experience also gave me an appreciation of what art collectors value… particularly their desire to develop a connection to the piece and to the artist who created it.

 

Beth Gregory Orb Necklace. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

My years in the gallery allowed me to establish a network of contacts with artists, galleries, and the Montana Arts Council. These resources have been invaluable as I’ve built my jewelry business.

 

Artist Beth Gregory in her booth exhibit. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  How many different ways are you earning as an artist?

BG:  I’ve found success by diversifying my sources of income. I participate in both indoor and outdoor art festivals. I sell my work on commission in galleries and stores. I have developed a wholesale line to sell to businesses. I sell through my online store. I sell at pop-up, trunk show events. I also teach classes, which is an important source of income during the slower months, and is very gratifying as well!

 

 

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