Interview with the artist - Maria from Caribbean Dreams

Today I want you to welcome fellow Zibbeter Maria from Caribbean Dreams.
Most of Maria's pieces are one of a kind and there is such a variety that it was hard to pick something to start this interview!
Caged fluorite pendant
Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.
I was born on the beautiful island of Cuba a few years before the revolution. We had to leave and ended up in Philadelphia, PA, well north of where most Cubans ended up at that time [Miami]. My hometown is Havana, but mom is from San Cristobal in Pinar del Rio, an absolutely gorgeous province just west of Havana. While I've never been back, after 50+ years I've very much looking forward to when Cuba opens back up and I can see my patria.

You crochet and make jewelry. Which one came first and what got you started?
Crochet came first in my life as I learned how as a girl, but then I wandered away from it doing plastic canvas, counted cross stitch, and then jewelry. Now that I'm older, my hands sometimes start to ache from working with wire, jump rings, and metal clay, so I slowly got back into crochet. Now, what I work on any given day is dictated by what orders I've received and their delivery requirements.
I think this is one of the most asked questions – where does your inspiration come from?
This one is easy for me. All I have to do is look around to be inspired. I'm also a voracious reader and I've found inspiration in books more than once. Shapes, colors, it's all out there...all you have to do is see.

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.
I can find "fun" in just about anything I do. Sitting here trying to think about what I do for fun and I'm drawing a total blank...did I mention I'm a voracious reader? Love the escape that reading provides.  Oh! Got it!! I love to travel [haven't done any in a while] with Mexico very high on my hit parade.
Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?
Every now and then I'll pull out some cross stitch. I like large, intricate designs, so when I start one I know it will be a work in progress for months. Teresa Wentzler is a favorite designer of mine.

Is there something you would really like to try doing, anything from a new craft to bungee jumping?

Ahhh, there's so much!! From a craft standpoint, I want to try polymer and glass clay work, as well as glass slumping. From a bucket list standpoint, I'd love to bring up the courage to sky dive [just once would be enough].

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

My absolute favorite piece is a wrapped slab of Chinese turquoise. I do have it offered for sale in my shop, but it would kill me if it actually sold.

Chinese Turquoise set
As of this writing, the hardest piece to get perfect has been a glass, resin and charm piece I call Island Dreaming. Getting the crushed glass just right [and not having it drift from adding resin] was a bear.
Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you, both in your work and life?

The Dalai Lama. I'd love to meet that man and have the opportunity to chat with him for a couple of hours.

If you had free choice of one supply you need for your work, no matter how expensive, what would it be?

Really, really, high quality [not wool!!] yarn in weights from lace to extra bulky. Bet you thought I'd say Precious Metal Clay [fine silver], but not now...

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I only sell on Zibbet at Caribbean Dreams, also under my own URL Caribbean Dreams Jewelry. I do have a page Caribbean Dreams Jewelry on Facebook where I post works in progress and items I've finished as special orders.
Famous last words ;-) Is there anything else you want to tell us?

I love the challenge of getting a nebulous idea from a customer and turning that idea into a gorgeous reality just for them.
The harder, the better.

Thank you so much for being here, Maria, and for sharing a little of your passion with us! I hope everyone will have as much fun browsing your shop as I had.