Friday, June 11, 2010

Interview with Brenda Potts

Brenda Potts, Iuka, MS
Millcreek Collection on Etsy

Brenda and I speak a little bit of the same language when it comes to jewelry design. She has that beautiful rustic yet refined style and she uses a lot of texture! Yummm...

How did you get interested in metalsmithing? 
I have alway loved jewelry. I can remember taking apart jewelry and remaking it into new and different pieces back in my pre-teen years. Mother would be amused, father would not understand why I tore it apart. When my children were small we would bead together, big bulky, acrylic colorful beads. Then as the years progressed, the internet opened up a whole new world. I would see jewelry pieces in stores and shows and all I could think is, I Could Do That! And so I did. I started in 2002 collecting gemstones, silver, tools, and wire. I'm not the type to wade in slowly to things, I jumped in with both feet, learning as I went along. Branching off into beading, wirewraping,stonesetting, wire knitting, I have even used macrame with sterling wire.  PMC clay introduced me to my first torch. Following the natural flow of things, I started soldering, sawing and fabricating out of copper, brass, and then sterling. And it all started with the  - I Can Do That.

Do you get more excited about the design or technical aspects of jewelry?
I get excited when a design comes together. I'm a rather "loose" designer though. I rarly sketch designs. I find that the metal and components have a mind of their own and when they come together its a thing of beauty. I just nudge them along.

Do you find the process of experimentation frustrating or inspiring?
I LOVE to experiment! My husband swears he's going to get a T-shirt made that says, "EIP" (experiment in progress).

What part of your work do you most enjoy?
Showing off the finished project. Watching people as they enjoy my work and the look of amazement as they ask "You did This?"

What part of your work do you find the hardest?
Trying to reproduce a design. I guess that goes along with the experimenting and no design sketches.

What technique do you wish you knew or want to learn?
Flush setting and channel setting gemstones. I'm not sure if I have the technical abliliies to be that precise.

Where do you get/find your inspiration?
I find my inspirations all around me. I have a very eclectic, spontaneous nature.

What are your 3 (or 2 or 1) most favorite items in your store right now?
My favorite items right now are the large larimar pendant with the prong and bezel combination setting and the blue topaz sheild pendant. Which reminds me...must list more items. I have been selling at shows month and my store inventory is sadly lacking.

Name a metalsmith whose work you admire?
Victoria Lansford's work speaks to my eclectic nature. (NOT a team member)

What is the best advice you have received?
"You can figure it out, you're good at everything you do." - Husband

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Give Brenda some love. We're all here to learn and grow and all input is welcomed! Visit her Etsy shop: MillcreekCollections


  1. Awesome job once again Deb. Thanks Brenda for sharing with us. I really enjoy reading these interviews alot. I love the pieces that you chose to feature as well. That Larimar pendant is wonderful.

  2. Great interview! I love that larimar pendant, too!

  3. That pendant in wonderful!!! I can totally relate to Brenda's "loose" design style.

  4. Great interview! I too can relate to the "loose" design style. Beautiful work Brenda!

  5. Wonderful interview, and love your designs Brenda!

  6. Nice work! Similar back story as me, so I can relate!

  7. Your work is beautiful Brenda..thank you for sharing your spirit in art! Your truly an inspiration....

  8. Beautiful work! Glad to know there's another fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants designer out there!

  9. What a most excellent interview! What a great way to get to know different artisans!