Designer Spotlight: Erin Strother

This week's featured designer is Erin Strother. She recently won best in show in the 2010 Bead Star competition! Congratulations, Erin!!!

Erin Strother works full time as a graphic designer at her home in North San Diego County, California, where she lives happily with her very supportive husband, George and their disobedient dog, Swiffer.

Erin has always been interested in all things artistic, but she didn’t start designing jewelry until a few years ago. While looking through an expensive jewelry catalog, she became intrigued with the idea of making her own jewelry. After doing some web research, Erin bought some basic tools, findings and beads and dived in. She began subscribing to jewelry magazines to get ideas and learn new techniques. It didn’t take long for her to realize she wanted to become part of that world. She began submitting her own pieces for publication in 2008, and has since had many designs published in various jewelry magazines and books. Her long-term goal is to publish a book of her own.

Erin likes to create in many different styles, but her favorite is contemporary, geometric shapes in mixed metals with multiple connected elements. She likes organic materials such as stone, pearls and leather, and often combines them with industrial components and wire-work to create unexpected, unique pieces.

“I basically have a short attention span, and new ideas tend to explode into my head before I finish the piece I am working on, Erin says. “I love to experiment, and my work is always evolving. I feel I have just scratched the surface.”

 To see more of Erin’s work, check out her etsy store at or her website at   

We asked Erin a few questions about working with cording and fibers in her jewelry and here's what she had to say!

What's your favorite type of cording or fiber to work with in jewelry?

Erin: Leather. It has a wonderful organic earthy quality I love, plus the neutral color goes with everything. I’ve also recently started working with recycled sari silk, which is really cool when you want the fiber to be a starring element of the design.

Why do you like working with cords and fibers in your designs? What quality draws you to these materials?

Erin:  I like the contrast between beads and fiber. Leather is soft and fluid in contrast to the hardness of metal or stone. And the frayed edges of recycled silk ribbon add instant dimension and texture to a piece of jewelry.

Thanks so much, Erin!



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