Snippets from a bead artist.


Masters - Handmade Division Team Talk About Blog

November's edition of the Etsy Handmade Division Team's Talk About blog is focused on masters of your trade with whom you would like to study. What a marvelous theme!!!! Who doesn't have people that they really look up to and aspire to in any craft?! And, of course, I am thrilled to have a chance to talk about those ladies (and gentleman) who I consider to be beadweaving masters.

First is Ann Tevepaugh Mitchell, who creates the most amazing figures out of beads that I have ever seen. Ann evokes so much emotion with her art that it leaves me breathless. Her colors, her 'found' objects, her mastery of peyote; all combine to form something above and beyond. Her realistic human figures are made with beads combined with materials such as stones, glass bottles, and shells. My absolute favorites are Kosovo and Refugees. In Refugees, the bugle beads used to convey the burdens that the figures carry are so bristly that you are sure that if you touch, you'll get pricked. In Kosovo, you can almost feel the soft wooliness of the fabrics she has shown in beads. I would be honored to study under Ann, an incredibly visual and tactile artist. If you haven't seen Ann's work, I encourage you to get a copy of Lark's Master Beadweaving book, which includes Ann, as well as other 35 more amazing bead artists.

David Chatt would have to be my next Master - not only is his beadwork incredibly architectural, but he chooses the coolest things to bead!! Artist in Residence is my absolute, hands-down favorite piece of his. The fact that the house opens up, and the way it opens up, and the chair that sits within - !!!!! And of course, his Breakfast Set; who but David would think to bead eggs, bacon, toast (complete with pat of butter), napkin, et all??! And it all looks yummy enough to dig right into. He blows my mind.

Then there is Linda L. Jones. Her color work is brilliant. Her work is also very tactile, with bumps and ridges and large beads that you just want to caress (many of these polymer clay beads are her own originals as well)...and the shading in some of her embroidery pieces makes it look as though you could jump right INTO the work and find yourself in a completely different world. Her work Radiance is so subtly full of grace that at first you don't notice it, you are just completely blown away with the quality of the beadwork...but the longer you look, the more you feel.

NanC Meinhardt is another Master I would adore to learn from. Her use of form and color make me want to jump around and celebrate. And frequently ask "How did she DO that?" too. Some of NanC's pieces are kind of warm and fuzzy; here I am thinking of her Fable Vessel, where some of the fringing looks almost like yarn, while other's are hard, spiky and almost angry (Sssssssnake springs to mind). One of the many things I admire is NanC's complete and utter abandon with her beads. How I would love to let my beads take me there!

And that is the common denominator amongst all three of the people I chose to highlight today; their work makes me feel: whether I am giggling, hungry, angry or trying to hold back tears, their pieces all emotionally affect me. For me, that has always been what true Art is about - it makes you feel, it touches you; you don't look at it, like it, and move on - you come back to it time and again either in the physical world or in your head, and you think on it, because it made you feel. I'm going to leave you with one of Linda's pieces, but I'm not going to say how it affects me; you have to feel on your own.

Don't forget to check out all the other team members' blogs to read about their Masters, too!!


Bead Mavens, Ice Queens, and Time

Wow it's been a long time since my last blog post. I think the whole thing around losing Honeybutter (previous post) got me more depressed than I thought it did. I've also been busy busy busy with a whole lot of different things, including a once-a-week blog post for the group I am now a part of : The Bead Mavens! I just now realized this morning that I hadn't blogged about becoming a member. The group is chock full of wonderfully, phenomenally talented beaders and I am very very proud to be included among them. It has been a lovely experience, getting to know each of them (and some of them even better than I knew them before), and to see what we can learn from one another as we try to share with others the knowledge and experience we have ourselves. Part of the fun of the group has been getting a challenge up and going, and the first one we've issued publicly is called Ice Queen; it's an invitation to make something beady in an icy, glamourous theme and have a chance at winning the considerable (and growing) prizes that we've had donated. (Some of these prizes include: gift bags from Artbeads, a store coupon for Kandra's Beads, dichroic glass goodies, cabochons, and some beady goodness from Kelly Angeley of Beadologie on Etsy, to name a few.) If you haven't visited yet, come and see us on our website, our forum, our Facebook page and our blog - and enter the challenge!!! You can also see what the Mavens have created for pieces for the challenge, although we aren't eligible for prizes ourselves.

It seems like time has just been flying past for me this year, I can't believe it's almost time for Thanksgiving again. I've had so many projects going at once that I've lost track of some of them and am sure I'll find the bits and pieces here and there as I try to play catch-up this next week or so. Right now, after finally finishing my Winter Flowers necklace for the Mavens' Ice Queen, I have to get to work on a cuff I've promised to one of my wonderful cabochon suppliers.

And clean the house, and brush the dogs, and try to figure out supper, and put away the load of beading supplies that are hiding my desktop again, and.... well, you know. If I didn't have a nasty cold (which I generously shared with my husband), I would most likely be getting things done much more quickly.