Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Artisan: Shadow Dog Designs

Meet Catherine our Saturday Artisan! She is the artist and owner of Shadow Dog Designs, where you find beautiful, one-of-a-kind handmade jewelries. I admire her works, each is truly crafted with passion. Each has its own story, clearly told in the listing description. Catherine is one amazing artists I have a pleasure to 'meet' on Artfire. She is a friendly, down to earth lady who is ready to help and great to work with.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?

I grew up in Texas, and after many years of living up and down the East Coast and Canada, my husband and I relocated back to Texas two years ago, about as far west as you can get and still be in Texas. I am constantly astounded at the beauty of the desert and love the vibrant Texas/New Mexico/Mexico culture that can be found here.

Using the incredible beauty of Nature as my inspiration, I create mostly one of a kind jewelry using mainly semi-precious stones and sterling silver, although I do use copper quite a bit now. I love to incorporate other artists’ work into my creations, whether it’s polymer clay pendants, lampwork beads or other handmade items that catch my eye. I hope that my jewelry becomes like dear friends, pieces that you reach for over and over again because of their beauty, uniqueness and comfort. 

What is the story behind your shop name?  

My business, Shadow Dog Designs, was named after the 2 rescue dogs (later another rescue was added) that my husband and I had the privilege of sharing a life with. The name came about 14-15 years ago. The Shadow Dogs would follow me everywhere and were my big protectors. Naming the business after the dogs seemed the most logical choice. Plus I like the way the name rolls off the tongue! Unfortunately the first 3 Shadow Dog are now gone, but Seamus, our adopted Catahoula mix, fills their paws nicely.


Who is your target market?

My target market is ladies who don't want run-of-the-mill, mass produced jewelry. They love and appreciate the heart and soul that goes into designing a unique piece of jewelry that no one else will have. Most of the ladies that buy from me are between 40-65 years old and have disposable income, although I have had girls as young as 8 years old buy peace sign earrings from me.

Ancient Horse Bronze Coin Replica Necklace Handmade Jasper Turquoise

Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?

When the Muses are rocking, I enjoy all parts of the creation process . . . from the excitement when I find that perfect strand of gemstones to when I take a close look at the final design made with those gemstones and am delighted with the piece.

Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?

Organization? What is that??? LOL! My beads are organized (ha, somewhat!) in plastic bins with drawers, usually by color or by specific stones, on plastic bookshelves along one wall. Overflow goes into whatever is handy! I also have an old drop leaf desk with handy cubbyholes where I do the packing of jewelry that has sold. I had a friend recently visit who walked into the room and was about floored by the "chaos". It is my chaos, however, and I seem to be able to find things (mostly). 

What is your best seller?

I can't say what my best seller is since most pieces are one of a kind. More earrings are sold than necklaces, probably due to the price point. I do sell a lot of turquoise necklaces, both on line and at shows.

Turquoise Nugget Copper Necklace Handmade Gemstone Unique Jewelry OOAK

How does your day go in general?

My days are fairly regulated. Mornings are usually spent answering emails and promo work with the various groups I participate in. About 11:00 I normally go work out, which is a wonderful chance to interact with other ladies since sitting in front of the computer or at my work table is very solitary. The afternoons are usually spent creating/photographing/editing/listing items. Sometimes I even try to "tame" my work area if the Muses are taking a day off. Evenings are usually spent with my husband, although I do seem to sneak back upstairs around 9:00ish for another hour on the computer. Weekends are more relaxed.  

What inspires you?

The colors and textures of Mother Nature inspires me, no matter where we have lived. As I type this, I can look out huge windows and see for miles and miles, across the Rio Grande into New Mexico and over to the next mountain range in Mexico. It's an awe inspiring view and is constantly changing depending on the light, the weather and the time of day. From another window I can look out the opposite way and watch the Franklin Mountains which are much closer than those in Mexico. I never get tired of watching the mountains.

Sunset Swarovski Chandelier Earrings Handmade Copper Crystal Jewelry

What is your goal for 2014?  

My goal for 2014 is to continue developing a larger online presence and to keep building my local clientele by doing higher end, juried shows. I also have new ideas for jewelry designs rattling around in my head - we'll see where the Muses take me. 

Any advice for others running their on-line shop?

Work hard - internet selling is HARD work with many, many hours involved. Don't under price your work - ask what it is worth!

Where can we find Shadow Dog Designs?


Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway! It'll be an awesome one :-)


  1. Awesome post, Nat! It is so much fun to look at all of Catherine's wonderful creations, and this is a great article about her and her art. I love her use of color and can imagine her view when I see some of her pieces. Excellent!

  2. WOW! Thank you so much for the wonderful feature, Nat! It is so kind of you to do all the artist features that you do! Look forward to see the giveaway earrings posted tomorrow (: Isn't Seamus such a handsome Shadow Dog? Two years old yesterday. Thanks again!

  3. Great blog Nat. Beautiful jewelry Catherine.

  4. What a wonderful interview of a wonderful artisan! I especially liked reading how the mountains and desert inspire your one of a kind jewelry. I can see that southwestern beauty captured in so many of your pieces, Catherine. And I bet your Seamus inspires you, too!

  5. Just love Catherine's shop. I have some totally awesome earrings from her!!!

    The earrings features above are a favorite of a girl at work. Every time she visits my blog when she clicks on Catherine's shop, she says "Oh I love these."

    There is another drool pair in Catherine's shop now too. Many droolers. LOL


  6. Excellent and inspiring post, nat!

  7. The sunset Swarovski stones are gorgeous! -Kelly (

  8. A lovely feature on a fantastic jewelry artist! Catherine's ArtFire shop is a wonderful place to spend some time. Her work is simply beautiful, with so much care and thought put into it as well as skill. Thanks, Nat, for this feature on such a talented artist! :)

  9. Thanks to you, Nat, for featuring one of the most successful jewelry artisans. And thanks to Catherine for describing her daily routine. Designing, fabricating, photographing, listing and promoting an item for online sale is a demanding regimen. I admire the discipline of the artisans I have come to know.

  10. I can really see the artist's inspiration from nature. Her jewelry is beautiful, unique and so varied! Thanks for sharing her work with us!

  11. Catherine's creations are always so impeccable. Nat this is such a wonderful blog about a very talented and successful artist, thank you so much for sharing!

    Kathy :)

  12. Excellent writeup on an excellent jewelry artist. I love your designs, Catherine! I'd like to own a drawer full. :)

  13. Great post and so wonderful to learn more about Catherine and her creative process. I love all her work and am the proud owner of a number of her earrings!

  14. Such lovely jewelry! I adore those bracelets.

  15. Very pretty designs. I found out about you from Adore By Nat.

  16. THank you so much for all the kind comments, everyone! And thanks to Nat for the feature!

  17. Love your jewelry!

  18. Zia Cross Dichroic Handmade Necklace Onyx Southwest Chunky Jewelry is adorable.

  19. They're really beautiful! Loving them!

  20. Jennifer - Vicki Vix on RafflecopterMarch 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Beautiful earrings. Thanks for sponsoring the giveaway. Beautiful dog in the picture too!

  21. love that your name was inspired by your dogs :)

  22. You have some very beautiful jewelry! I love how unique it all is.

  23. gorgeous jewelry,especally the Turquoise Nugget Copper Necklace Handmade Gemstone !

  24. Love the story behind the name of your business! I, too, have owned shadow dogs. At one point I had my two year old son and an Great Pyrenees mix glued one to each leg. Your designs are amazing!

  25. Catherine is a good choice for a feature; she does excellent work! Funny, even though I have seen her picture before, I always picture her looking the the dog with the cone around it's head lol!