This is the third blog post in a series on the new Beadwork Designers of the Year. You've met Christina Neit and Leslee Frumin last month. Now meet Laura Andrews. Interviews with the design team Liisa Turunen and Glenda Paunonen will be posted later this month. Enjoy!
~Michelle Mach, Contributing Editor
Meet Laura Andrews
How did you get started with beads? What was your first project?
My lovely talented mother introduced me to beads. She taught me to make a beaded bracelet in a Greek key design on a loom.
What are your favorite stitches? Favorite beads or other materials?
My favorite beads and materials include all seed beads, crystals, stones especially semi-precious, wire, metal, Rizos, Kazuri beads, C-Koop beads and charms, Trinket Factory bottle cap beads, lampwork . . . oh, what the heck . . . all of them!
Tell me about the project pictured here. Why did you create it? What's special about it?
This is Flying Ringlets, as named by my significant other. Playing with beadwork over small armatures lead to this design. A few things about it surprised me. One is the variety of stitches. I was exploring which ones would work best over the armatures. It has my favorite speedy version of square stitch as connectors allowing this project to drape smoothly as a a necklace or fit against the wrist as a bracelet. It was surprising how easy it is to connect the stitches to themselves and hide the connection.
Do you teach? What do you enjoy about teaching?
I love teaching. It has been an honor to teach at many different bead shops and bead shows, including Beadfest. Seed beading, wirework, and metalwork are all techniques I teach using my original designs. Teaching is such a joy; it is sharing ideas with beady friends that help us feel creative and happy. My teaching schedule is on my website and I will be selling tutorials soon.
Has your work received any awards?
The awards I have received have been in the area of costume design with a focus on jewelry. For example, designing the elaborate jewelry needed for a production of Evita.
What is your studio like?
We have a geodesic dome house, so my studio is pie-shaped. The gabled window overlooks the black walnut, birch, and cedar trees in our yard, the river beyond, and the high wooded embankment. There's almost no sign of man.
Thank you, Laura! Your studio sound like a beader's paradise. Visit lauraandrews.com to see Laura's current teaching schedule and more photos of her work.