Artist Spotlight, LoriOhDesigns

Lori Ohryn


PoCo Inspired- What first led you in the direction of making jewelry?

Lori - I have always been making something, knitting, sewing etc. and in about 2014 I began seeing amazing bead embroidery jewelry online.
My Mom was a bead artist who made exquisite portraits and landscapes with beads, so I had been exposed to the medium, but only became aware of bead embroidery for jewelry when I began exploring the internet.
There were tutorials and inspiration, but I didn’t know where to begin so I walked into Poco Inspired and began asking a ton of questions.
I had no idea about bead sizes or thread or needles, but Cindy and the staff were very helpful, and I was on my way.
Sherry Serafini is a star of the genre and one of my main influences.
In 2019 I was thrilled to be able to join her for a 3-day workshop in Chicago. What an experience!

PoCo Inspired - How did you start making and selling jewelry for a living?

Lori - Well, I can’t say that I make my living from selling jewelry.
I just started playing and as I began creating several pieces, I slowly started showing my work at Craft and Art shows (pre-pandemic and hopefully starting up again now) and have opened an online store with Etsy.
I’m really looking forward to meeting with artists and collectors in person again.

PoCo Inspired - What is the single most important skill you have learned and why?

Lori - I’m still working on it, but the most important skill for me is to experiment and try new things. Often my most striking pieces emerge when I think ‘what would happen if…?’

PoCo Inspired - What are your favorite materials to use?

Lori - I love beads! From tiny Japanese seed beads to hand-made ceramic, glass or polymer clay beads, crystal sparkles to ancient patinas, there is so much variety, I always have an idea brewing. I also love natural stones and minerals which are often the focal pieces of my work.

PoCo Inspired - What inspires your creativity when making a new piece of jewelry?

Lori - I worked in the airline industry for many years, so I have been lucky enough to be able to travel.
I’m fascinated by other cultures, nature, fashion trends and the beads themselves.
I love exploring and picking up new treasures wherever we go and many of those end up in my pieces.

PoCo Inspired - “What challenges do you face in your work?”

Lori - “The business side of making jewelry is a challenge but I am enjoying learning about photography for my online shop and trying to keep up with posting new items. There is always something more to do and learn.”

PoCo Inspired - What advice would you have for aspiring jewelry designers?

Lori - Keep exploring and playing and making mistakes.
I want my pieces to be comfortable and durable as well as beautiful, so I am always trying to improve my techniques as well as my designs.

PoCo Inspired - Where can we find you to shop online or in-person?