This is Jackie Arnal of @mountainjackscreative on Instagram. She has been creating jewelry for two years now and has then been creating beautiful pieces.
For Jackie, her journey in jewelry making started when she lost her favorite turquoise cuff. She could not find anything like it, not even pick what she wanted. Having been exposed to various art forms such as drawing, painting, photography, and ceramics, she decided to dive into silver. Se picked it up really quickly after watching a few videos on YouTube. After that, she found her groove in creating nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry.
We asked what was the most challenging part of creating jewelry, and she said it is when she isn’t able to create custom orders for those who want one-of-a-kind pieces from her as she needs to tend to her full-time seasonal job with the Forest Service during the summer.
Between that and creating jewelry, she has to balance those two while taking care of herself - both mentally and physically. She adds that at times when she creates jewelry, she spends most of her time sitting in a chair, so she makes sure she gets to go out in nature and hike! We think we all need that not only to recharge but to also find inspiration outside.
Looking back, she told us one piece she can’t forget is her first stag head pendant she made. She remembers it was the piece that made a lot of people fall in love with that specific design - she is just glad an old friend was able to snag it so she still gets to see it from time to time.
Jackie grew up in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and that’s where she developed her love for nature early on. She also went to school for Natural Resources and Wildlife, so it wasn’t a surprise to us when she said she geeks out over flora and fauna identification. During the summer, she also works as a Wildlife Technician for the Forest Service. What she does there is to hike and monitor wildlife and conduct various wildlife surveys - which is a dream job for her. This is why nature comes naturally to her jewelry designs; from creating moose head/stag head pendants, to bears, trout, and bison jewelry, to mountains and pine cones.
We couldn’t stop ourselves from asking as to why she likes working with turquoise and she told us that anyone who has known her for a long time, has always seen her adorned in turquoise jewelry. She adds that she grew up rockhounding with her grandparents and turquoise has always been her favorite, with petrified wood and jasper right behind!
Here are a few samples of her outstanding designs:
As we have been admiring Jackie’s work from the very start, we asked her what advice she can give to fellow jewelry designers. She said that she has only been creating jewelry for 2 years and is self-taught, so she may not always have the best technique or the best equipment or tools. But for anyone just starting out, she said to just keep practicing and learning through your mistakes, it will eventually get easier. Don’t ever stop challenging yourself and don’t give up! In addition, she also wishes for everyone’s great success! “Community over competition always, be supportive of one another!” Yes to this!
Follow her work on Instagram: @mountainjackscreative
Her website: https://www.mountainjackscreative.com/
What do you like most about working with Turquoise Moose?
“I absolutely love the quality and uniqueness of the turquoise from Li’s lapidary work! I love finding brightly colored, unique turquoise cabs that you don’t often see, to use in my designs.”