Introducing Jewelry Artist Mariah Wheeler…
Your unique jewelry has always inspired me. Like it’s creator, it seems to have a quiet and organic nature.
Thanks, Jeniffer for thinking of me!
Where can people find you and your art?
The Joyful Jewel
45 West Street
Pittsboro, NC 27312
(we are moving soon!)
Finish this thought: For me art is…
the merging of beauty, attention, and flow.
What inspires you and your jewelry?
My biggest inspiration is the natural world which continues to amaze me in its variety, in its cooperative/ communal ways, and in its usefulness.
When the muse speaks to me, it is often a tactile image with an emotion attached, that wants expression. Once I have an image in mind, I often look for more than one way to bring the emotion through my pieces. I’m never sure who, if anyone, will consciously pick up on the emotional part but I want to know that it’s in there. I like dimension rather than flatness and aim for a healthy mixture of solid/hard and dynamic/soft.
The Joyful Jewel is now an artist gallery to many creative people. What is it like to run your own gallery?
I can hardly believe my fortune, to be among such beauty, such creativity! When I don’t have as much time as I’d like for my own creative pursuits I can just relish in what others have brought forth. I really like all aspects, the bookkeeping, the cleaning, meeting people, planning and working with ambience and display, etc. – The only thing that disturbs this revelry is if I have too much time with no customers. It can be frustrating to want to fervently to bring someone of beauty and meaning to the world, to have a gift, that sits alone. Reminding myself that whether or not others see it, beauty has been brought into the world.
I just signed a new lease to move the Joyful Jewel to a much larger and more visible location in Pittsboro! The Joyful Jewel will be moving to 44 Hillsboro Street in early September. We’ll be next to Beggars and Choosers on one side and Pittsboro Toys on the other side. Seventeen+ local artists will be subleasing display and/or studio space in the new Joyful Jewel retail shoppe, joining the 30 artists already on board, so we’ll have an even grander selection of locally made treasures!
In addition to creating jewelry, and running the gallery, you manage to find the time to teach. Would you share some of the ideas behind your workshops?
I haven’t been doing much teaching lately. When I do though, the main thing I want to impart is that art is sacred activity. There is no pressure in this process because anything that comes from the beautiful parts (beads, silver, thread or wire) will be beautiful. All that is required is focused attention and letting it flow.
You are a truly inspiring woman! Who has inspired you?
Although I have many heroines and heroes that inspire me, including you, Jeniffer, and most are artists of one kind or another. A poet is the one that is coming to mind for me today. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, but has trouble enough of its own, my favorite lines from a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, illustrate a source for the keenness I feel to bring value into the world. What I want to bring is more than surface beauty – depth, meaning, joy, love, and attention to the process of bringing these to fruition. Grand as it sounds I mean to affect the very quality of life around us.
Are there any tips to living a creative life that you’d like to share?
Don’t wait for the right time or place. Just start – do a little art and see how it draws you in. Perfection can be a goal, but don’t expect to reach it. Give yourself some slack as technique always comes with practice, expression comes when you keep the juices flowing — and when you least expect it. No worries.
Mariah, This is great! I particularly loved the quote you included. Beautiful!
“Inspiring Artists!” will be an ongoing series. It will run as long as there are inspiring artists out there wanting to share their stories. If you are an artist and would like to participate please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!!