Meet Jewelry Artist and Instructor Debora Mauser
Get to know Debora Mauser, a jewelry artist and instructor who teaches all over the United States!
ABOVE: Sterling Cone. Sterling silver sheet, cubic zirconia. Inspiration: “I wanted a vessel type pendant and this is the result,” Debora says.
Q: Please describe yourself and your work in under 200 words.
A: I am a true Southern gal, married for 37 years to a wonderful man, and we have one cool son. I have been a maker, crafter, creator my entire life. I think the only two things I haven’t done are scrapbooking and pottery! When I found jewelry, I knew I was home! Starting with wire jewelry, and moving into enameling and metal, my journey seems to be ever evolving. Throw in teaching, and I have the best of all worlds.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: Creating is in my soul. I do not feel whole without at least one or two projects in the works. Teaching is my way to connect with people, as creating can be a solitary experience.
Q: What would you consider your specialty as far as your process goes?
A: As weird as it might sound, I think my specialty is being open to evolving. Letting my designs go where they want to. One thing that is a constant is texture within my work.
Q: What is your favorite part of your work and why?
A: As a teacher, the best part is the light in your student’s eyes when they ‘get it!’ Whatever ‘it’ might be–the design, successful riveting, solder flowing, anything that the student starts to understand. Helping a student in their personal journey in this field is by far the most rewarding of what I do.
Q: What part of your job as a jewelry artist is your least favorite and why?
A: Oh my, that is an easy one . . . paperwork and the loading and unloading of my car!!! It never ends, haha!
Q: Please describe what failure means to you.
A: I do not think of failure as an end, but as an opportunity to grow, challenge myself, and learn. So basically that word is not in my vocabulary. I do however feel really bad when a student struggles in class with a new technique. I want to help them succeed!
Q: Please describe what success means to you?
A: Being loved by my family, being happy, seeing my students succeed, creating.
Q: What is something we may not know about you?
A: I was a hairdresser for 14 years and traveled six states overseeing 50-something salons before my son was born.
Q: What is the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
A: Keep your mind open to all possibilities.
Q: What career project do you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?
A: Not sure if there is one thing that stands out, but I always consider it an honor when students are willing to trust me with their time and money. So every student that learns from me is my accomplishment, and it makes me happy that I chose to do the teaching circuit.
Q: Please name one key thing you do every workday that helps you be successful?
A: Thankfully I don’t have to work every day, although I usually do something in the studio each day. Sometimes motivation is hard to find, but if you go into the studio, put on some music, and just look around, the metal and tools will tell you where to start.
Q: What were some of the unexpected hurdles in your career as a jewelry artist?
A: Finding my voice, which is ever evolving. When I look at a piece, does it make me smile? Am I happy with the outcome? I try to be kind to myself and not be so harsh of a critic!
Q: What were some of the unexpected benefits in your career as jewelry artist?
A: I have made lifelong friends while traveling and teaching. My fellow instructors have become lifelines for support, and students have turned into friends. Plus I have been to areas of our country that I might not have ever visited. I like that part!
Q: What valuable piece of advice can you give to our readers that are aspiring to make a living off their jewelry making?
A: Trust in yourself, be honest in where your strengths lie, continue to hone your skills, and never, ever give up.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: This field is like no other. As jewelry artists, we use numerous techniques (metal clay, wire, beads, enamel, metalsmithing, seed beads, etc.), and it never ceases to amaze me how we all understand each other, no matter what avenue we are pursuing. The support and kinship across the numerous mediums is fabulous.