New Beadwork Designers of the Year
I'm excited to introduce the new Beadwork Designers of the Year: Christina Neit, Laura Andrews, Leslee Frumin, and the design team Glenda Paunonen and Liisa Turunen. Throughout December and January, I'll be sharing short interviews with these talented designers. Look for their new designs starting with the February/March 2014 issue of Beadwork.
~Michelle Mach, Contributing Editor, Beadwork
Meet Christina Neit
How did you get started with beads? What was your first project?
This is actually a cool story! We had acquired some porcupine quills that were gathered to use in some dream catchers. They sat around for quite a while and were never used. One day, I was thinking about a pair of quill earrings my Mom had made me when I was very young. I did some quick research online from memory and found they were brick stitched on the top and fringed with beads and quills on the bottom. I made some and that is how Good Quill Hunting was born.
What are your favorite stitches? Favorite beads or other materials?
I really do not have a favorite stitch. I prefer to alternate bead weaving and bead embroidery so I do not get bored with one technique. As for materials, seed beads are incorporated into everything I do, so they would be my favorite material. I strive to find unique, rare, and hard to find materials to use in my work. I do have an affinity for vintage and antique seed beads and other goodies.
Tell me about the project pictured here. Why did you create it? What's special about it?
The photo seen here is my most favored piece, Obsession, which it was when I was working on it, hence the name. This was the hardest neck piece I had ever done and the most time involved as well. It started with a button and a druzy and took on its own life form. Those are the pieces I love to work on the most, the ones that just flow without effort. I love its look of armor and the colors that blended so well. Symmetry is very hard to achieve in bead embroidery and I couldn't be more pleased with the end result. This unique piece now resides in Bologna, Italy.
Do you teach? If so, where and what types of classes?
I do teach and was teaching six months into my beady beginnings. I taught all over New England for five years with Bead Fiesta (no longer in existence). I have not taught since I moved to Colorado three years ago from Maine. I do vend and am slowly making my way into Colorado shows.
What do you enjoy about teaching?
I thoroughly enjoy teaching! I enjoy getting to know the students and giving them a part of myself. My favorite moment of teaching is when students "get it" and you can see the "light bulb" go off and the pride they have.
Do you sell your work?
I sell all my finished work through my website or vending opportunities. When I used to teach I sold kits, but I do not have any available right now. It is on my to-do list for sure.
Tell me about your studio and work schedule. Do you work on more than one project at once?
I work within a few hours of waking up and until I go to bed each night. My "studio" takes up about half of my living room area. I have a fabulous L-shaped glass desk. Three shelving units beside and behind me house all my materials. My light tent sits on the backside of my desk so I can easily take photos. My desk is a disaster area, piled with all the potential projects I am working on at the time. I try hard to keep it manageable, but really, the attempt is usually lost. I have pretty much succumbed to beady chaos.
Thank you, Christina! I appreciate you taking the time to share your beading background. I'm sure there is more than one Beadwork reader who can relate to "beady chaos"!
Visit Christina's website Good Quill Hunting to see more of her beautiful work and remember to check out her new projects starting with the February/March 2014 issue of Beadwork.