Meet ......... Wenche Brennbakk
My name is Wenche Brennbakk and I live with my two girls and my husband in a small city close to the Artic circle in the northern part of Norway. During the day I work full time as an engineer with environmental issues, but during my sparetime I love to work with my beads making jewellery, and I do it as often as I can. I have spent many late night hours creating new bracelets or necklaces, and it seems like I don't need to sleep when I do that! I really enjoy it!
What started your interest in jewellery making?
I have always loved jewellery, and as a young girl I used to work in a jewellery store. I think my eyes have been wide open for nice jewellery all my life, and when I discovered online shops that could give me the materials I wanted, it became possible to start making some myself.
How would you describe your style? What influences and inspires your designs?
It's difficult to describe, I think. The pieces I make and the ones I like best myself are in a way minimalistic and a bit chunky, but not always. I try to make different styles and have new ideas all the time, and the most important thing for me is to make a nice mix of beads, shapes and colours.
Why did you decide to start selling online?
In the beginning I sold my jewellery to family, friends and collegues. After a while I started thinking about creating a website, and when some of my friends asked for it I decided to do it. I made my Norwegian website Wenche Design and now I also have an Etsy shop Wemai1510 for foreign customers.
Do you sell anywhere else?
Private shows so far. I think I will try some craft fairs too, but we don't have many of those here where I live.
One of your necklaces was recently featured in an advert for Lima Beads. How did this come about?
I posted some designs in the Design Gallery on Lima Beads website, and then suddenly they picked one of my necklaces for their new advert. Yes, that was fun and a great surprise!
Where do you buy your materials? Are there many online and local bead stores in Norway?
I buy almost everything online, from foreign shops. There are some Norwegian shops online, but they are not very good. The local bead stores in the biggest cities in Norway are not bad, but they are very expensive and they don't have much of the materials I like best.
What is your favourite material to work with?
I love semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls and silver. These are my favorite materials. I also like to mix these materials with some nice lampwork beads.
What would you like to achieve with your jewellery this year?
It would be nice to sell to customers outside Norway, and I also hope I will have one of my designs featured in a beading magazine.
White & Purple
Which celebrity would you like to see wearing a piece of your jewellery?
That must be one of the prettiest actresses I know of - Kate Winslet, and I think it has to be one of my bracelets on her wrist!
Eggs In The Nest