Apr 122010

Today we feature a wonderful wire worker or wire weaver or ummm maybe a wire wizard?

Jill, of Twisted Sister Arts, transforms wire into fantastical designs that are elegant, inspiring, and sometimes, well, a little creepy. No matter which direction her muse takes her, the designs are ALWAYS interesting with so much movement that my eye never gets tired of looking.


Where are you located?

In my office. Actually in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, Naperville, Illinois

Describe your studio space.

It’s the larger of two extra bedrooms in the condo I live in. I’m blessed with the space, and I use the room entirely for me. Selfish, yes, mine, yes. I love it there. I’ve got all the mess I want, with a large two level glass and wood desk/workbench. I’ve got a paper file cabinet with a antique typesetters chest on top with a thousand little compartments to put all my little beads, stones and supplies in. There are 12 drawers with compartments, it’s a fabulous find. I have my photography area set up on one wall, and my favorite chair and ottoman to snuggle in. Sometimes my husband, to see me, will come sit there.

How did I get into jewelry?

Long story made short… I was selling hand dyed scarves and I needed scarf rings. I used aluminum wire, and copper core wire to start with, then switched to finer and finer wire, until I settled for 2 years with parawire. A year ago, a customer came into my store and bought 24 pieces, which gave me a foundation to believe in myself and the finances to buy sterling silver and the tools that I needed. She came back this week and bought another 12 pieces.

If I could go back to the beginning and do one thing differently, what it would be.

Disobey my parents. I love working with my hands, I love creating. I was told that I couldn’t make a living at it, that my art was not worthy of my attention. (Ha Ha, so there!)

How would I describe my style?

One word…organic. Furthermore, steampunk, art neuveau, twisted, rosettian, roccoco. The busier, the better. It’s very hard for me to keep it simple.

How do you deal with periods of creative “block”?

What’s that? I don’t have period of creative block. I have an over abundance of ideas, so I write them in an “idea book” that I keep in my purse so that I can jot them down.

What’s the best piece of advice I’ve received relating to my business.

Set goals. The reason I say that, there was a time in my life I wanted to (do) great things, but had no idea how to get there. If you set goals, no matter how small, you’ll get there a whole lot faster than if you don’t.

What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone just starting out?

Set goals, see above. Break it down into a daily routine that you can manage. Baby Steps.

Who are your favorite artists and crafters?

Not restricted to wire…or jewelry…Pink Martini. I listen to them while I work.

Jewelry…Mary Lee Hu. Linda Chandler.

How do I deal with the business side of my art?

I have a dear husband that has taken that responsibility from my shoulders. He also takes care of the house, and fixes dinner nightly. There was a time in my youth, when I had a top 500 floral shop chain, that my late husband and I worked together and I did my share of numbers and taxes. It’s much nicer on this side of the fence.

What do I do when I’m not working on jewelry?

My day job is a green and blooming plant buyer for a top 10 floral shop chain. I import plants from Canada, local growers and Florida for 8 retail locations. I love doing it, but the hours are long and the holidays are murder.

What would you be surprised to find out about me?

I like ABBA. Whoohooo!

Define “success” for us….what does that mean to you?

Success to me is the freedom to create what I want, when I want, to please myself creatively, without worry of selling it for money, or to sell my soul.

Where would I like to see myself in 10 years?

See above…I really wish to quit my day job, and be able to support myself and my household with health insurance and an IRA

Anything else I’d like to share?
I’d like to be able to help women if they are in abusive situations, to get out, to grow, to support themselves with truth and beauty. I’ve seen too much hurt and anger in the world to let it continue.
Just a sampling of Jill’s wonderful wirework!
See more of Jill’s work in her Etsy shop:



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See previous SPOTLIGHT! interviews: SPOTLIGHT! archive




  8 Responses to “Get Twisted! (SPOTLIGHT!)”

  1. Thanks for sharing Jill!! I love your work – all the best to you!

  2. Jill’s work always amazes me! Great interview. It was interesting learning more about the woman behind the creations.

  3. Jill is an amazing artist. What good fortune to have a never- ending supply of ideas. An inspiration!

  4. Love the interview and love Jill’s work!

  5. Great interview! Jill’s work is Amazing. The is natural artistry in everything she does. She is amazing. I am proud to own a piece of her jewelry. I wish her the best of everything and great success.

  6. Awesome work Jill. You clearly have great talent and skill with wire and design. Wonderful interview, thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow, Jill, your work is wonderful and inspiring! And I loved your interview.
    Set goals, eh? Baby steps, huh?
    Hmmmm. I can do that….

    • Yes Lisa, you can make baby steps and set goals. It was the hardest thing for me to do when I was 30. I come from an abusive background and I had the most loving and kind mentor, he taught me to set goals. He passed away last year, but I’ll always be grateful for his push.