Gail Johnson Matthiesen designs colorful, whimsical jewelry created using a wide variety of materials. Visit her website to view more of her collection.
I grew up in a small country town fifty-five miles northwest of Chicago. Grandma taught me how to crochet the edges on doilies when I was seven, which led into creating crocheted stuffed animals for tiny tots.
Once I learned to knit and sew, I made all my clothes in high school. I was an average student, but fabulous with business classes and biology. Athletically, I became a gymnast and a cheerleader.
After graduating, I worked with computers (keypunching), then went on to secretarial work, worked at a hotel and became involved in real estate sales. I needed to learn, experiment and expose myself to new challenges.
At 35 years old I left the cold winters of Chicago and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, then on to San Diego and Los Angeles and finally to San Francisco, California. I started an administrative organizational business to assist with the paper nightmare that many companies found themselves dealing with.
I had a marvelous opportunity to gain experience in the technical world in telecommunications where I started my own consulting company to assist companies in purchasing the large (up to 3,000 phones) and small (up to 25 phones) telephone systems. I remarried at 50 and started a mortgage credit reporting business with my new husband. Although I had beads beads, and more beads, I just did not have time to sit down and create.
After 60 plus years in the corporate world as a business owner and employee, I retired. I have spent the last ten years creating jewelry. The sky is the limit for my creative heart. There is no end to the kinds of materials I use, a few of which are rubber bands, wax cording, foam, wire and metal.
Whimsy, color and texture is a must when I create.
I currently do not have one particular style. My goal is to find that unique one-of-kind style that the audience recognizes as Gail Johnson Jewelry. I am in my late seventies and computer literate, but it is still a challenge to understand how to market my work on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and the next platform available to the world. I did design my own website. Not to toot my own horn, but I am immensely proud that I learned how to do this!
I found this beautiful statement which I placed on the back of my business card. I could not say this any better about artists.
“When buying from an artist you are buying more than just an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of effort and experimentation. You are buying days, weeks, and months of pure joy! You’re not just buying a thing. You are buying a piece of a heart, part of a soul, a moment of someone’s life.”