She is the Artist behind Daisy Chains Jewelry out of White Lake, Michigan. Susan specializes in making sterling silver and semi-precious jewelry. While no single category defines her style, the common thread of Susan's jewelry is in its rustic yet elegant appeal. Her work is inspired by life, nature and human connections. While working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Michigan State University, Susan took a jewelry making class but never thought it would go this far. A walk into a bead store years later would spark her passion and lead her to create Daisy Chains! While designing her one-of-a-kind pieces, Susan sees the endless design possibilities presented within a single strand of beads each piece has a story behind it and Susan is a has become a master storyteller with her work.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
I hate to admit this, but it is probably my iPhone. Not only can I run my business from it, but I manage my household, keep track of my 3 very active children, and use it for entertainment. It allows me to travel light, and fast.
What is your favorite piece of work that you have created?
I’ve been making jewelry for 16 years, so to ask me if I have a favorite is really tough. Right now I’m really excited about my wire-wrapped pieces. I’m also working on prototypes for a line of jewelry that incorporates metal stamping. Those products won’t be released until 2019.
Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your artwork?
One of my hobbies is hiking, and when I go to Tucson for the gem shows I make a point of getting into the mountains. A few years ago, my husband Brad went with me, and it just so happened that the rental car place upgraded our little-midsized car to a sports car. We were on our way to the trailhead; loving the ride in our Mustang. We park the car, and take a 2-3 hour hike, planning to make it back to the car by dusk. We get back to the car, and it’s GONE. We are flipping out. We get this really nice car from the rental place and we LOSE IT. Just our luck right? Then we see that there is a sign about parking and discover that the car was parked in a tow away zone. We are about 40 minutes from the hotel. We have no idea how to contact the park rangers or the towing service. A really nice lady helps us out by finding a ranger for us to speak with. We get the towing service’s number and locate the car. She drives us all the way back to the hotel so that we can find our paperwork for the vehicle and then she drives us to our car. While we are waiting for the tow company employees to arrive at the lot, we start talking and she is originally from Michigan. I explain that we come to the gem shows every year and that I make jewelry. She spends about 2-3 hours with us all said and done, and at the end of the night, I gave her one of my necklaces. Our running joke is that if we get a fun car from the rental place, we cannot take it hiking for fear of it being towed.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Probably that I wanted to be an attorney before I decided to become an artist.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
There are a couple of things I’ve learned over the years the hard way. Both apply to life as well as being an artist. First, don’t undervalue yourself or your work if you are trying to make a living as an artist. Second, you can’t be everything to everyone.
Where do you gather most of your inspiration for your artwork?
Inspiration is literally everywhere. But, I get most of mine from nature, textiles and the stones that I work with.
What is your favorite...
Pet and/or animal: Pet/Dog…Animal/Horse
Movie: Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Board game: Scrabble
Best cup of coffee: Honcho pour over w/ a homemade strawberry pop tart!
Ice cream: Hudsonville Toasted Coconut (grocery) or MSU Dairy’s Coconut Chocolate Almond
What superpower would you have and why?
Superhuman Endurance. It would be fantastic to have the energy to keep up with my children, my business, the necessary things to run and maintain a household and never feel exhausted!
What are some of your favorite reads?
I'm looking forward to finishing the new Steve Hamilton novel that just came out, Dead Man Running! I’m only about halfway through. Steve Hamilton grew up in White Lake, MI and went to UM. His Alex McNight series is mandatory reading for me during the summer, especially when I’m going to the U.P.
You can find lots of Susan's gorgeous gemstones & jewelry at Yellow Door & online.