Friday, November 14, 2008

Beaded jewelry by Jama Watts

Jama Watts was born, raised and currently lives in Kentucky. She was introduced to art as most kids, in elementary school. "Getting to go to the art room in elementary school was always something special for me," Jama said. "I loved getting my hands dirty with clay, painting and drawing. But, since my dad was an engineer and I was good at math, I always thought I'd be an architect."

Watts took mostly construction, drafting and other classes in middle and high school, but during the summer of 1992 she began to focus on drama and the arts, and later Jama decided to study art in college. After graduating from college Jama has spent a few years working in jobs that had nothing to do with the arts. In 200 Jama had a life-changing moment: needing a creative outlet, she began stringing beads and making rosaries to pass time. She is a self-taught beader, learning through books, magazines and experience.

Shortly after her daughter, Amber, was born, Jama left her office job and opened a small art gallery and coffee bar in Lebanon. The gallery, These Precious Things, represents 30 central Kentucky artists, allowing Jama to spend "down time" making jewelry at her desk.

The ideas for her pieces come from a variety of sources. She has a slight addiction to beading magazines and books but most of her inspiration comes from a background in painting, sculpture and nature. She loves color and texture, which shows in her jewelry. Jama often begins a piece as a way to examine a new stitch or color palette then lets the piece tell her where it wants to go. Her favorite work is in freeform beading as she feels it allows her to express herself more freely.

Jama has come to think of her pieces as "wearable art" rather than "just jewelry," which she feels allows her greater creativity when designing and working on her pieces. Watts' work is also a reflection of what she's into or going through at the moment she makes the piece. Music, emotions and paintings are starting points for many pieces, as is the desire to test out a new stitch.

"I'm very ADD when it comes to my craft, learning new techniques constantly and playing with the results," she said. "I guess you could call it contemporary tradition! I do everything from pieces that look vintage to incorporating computer and watch parts into my pieces."

Watts has ventured into cold-connected metal work, wire wrapping and silver clay but always returns to the beads, elaborating on traditional designs and creating her own. Her work has been featured in many national and local magazines, media and Internet outlets. She also filmed a segment for HGTV's "That's Clever!" which is tentatively scheduled to air in February 2009. Jama is a winner of several awards for her pieces over the last few years, she is an active member of beading and art associations. She also enjoys teaching jewelry-making classes at the local community education center. Jama's work can be found in her own gallery These Precious Things in Lebanon, KY, as well as in several retail outlets throughout Kentucky.

An article by Jama Watts

Beaded jewelry by Jama Watts

About artist:

Jama Watts, Lebanon, Kentucky, USA
E-mail address:

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Jama said...

Thanks so much, Zoya!

Zoya Gutina said...

I had to do that much earlier! I'm sorry for delay!

Kerrie Slade said...

Another great interview Zoya! I am a fan of Jama's work and it's so nice to learn a little more about her :0)

GrandmaMarilyns said...

Jama does such beautiful work. Great interview.

jewelry said...

I like your site!! I invite you to take a tour on my jewelry website, and if should more information is required.

Fashion Jewellery said...

Your site is really beatiful, you must be a conscientious person.

Venetian Glass said...

I am very impressed by this unique designs and variety of jewelry. I love Beaded jewelry.Thanks for sharing.

Venetian Glass Jewelry said...

Finally, a site which showcases their jewelry using videos. Now I can I see more than just what a picture can offer. Love the website.

fashion jewelry said...

Brilliantly beautiful !!!
I really love your collection and work.

cubic zirconia said...

i never seen like this before

Drop ship jewelry said...

cute post and nice pictures