Pick Your Prize Winners, Plus Meet an 18-Year-Old Jewelry Designer

Nov 16, 2008

Meet Scarlett Lanson, A New “Regular” in Beadwork

Marlene Blessing, Editorial Director, Beadwork

What can a passionate seed bead artist who’s just eighteen accomplish? Anything she wants! I first saw Scarlett Lanson while she was viewing the stunning crystal creations in Swarovski’s annual design contest display during this year’s Tucson bead shows. Little did I know that this young woman in jeans was one of the winners in their competition—and the designer of one of my favorite pieces. I was so impressed with her work and her passion for designing fashion-savvy jewelry with seed beads that I invited her to submit a project to Beadwork. (See the October/November 2008 Beadwork, page 52, for her first design, "Nautical Star.")

Starting in our December 2008/January 2009 Beadwork, Scarlett will appear with a project every issue in her very own new department, “Scarlett’s Style.” I can’t wait to share a few things I learned about our self-taught young star in a recent conversation with her.

MB: “Who inspired you in the beginning?”
SL: Scarlett responds that in the beginning she was on all of the beading forums online and would post her projects on them, hungry to have dialogues with some of the more experienced beaders. Sherry Serafini, Heidi Kummli, Lois Hill, Nancy Sathre-Vogel are all designers with whom she connected. “It’s so stimulating and inspiring to talk to other bead artists.”

MB: “You use crystals in many of your designs. Are they your favorites?”
SL: “They’re nothing without seed beads. Seed beads are little drops of possibilities.”

MB: “How big is your stash?”
SL: “I never have all the things I need for a project. I have two Best Craft Organizers. They’re full.”

MB: “How important is beadweaving to you creatively?”
SL: “When I bead, that’s when I process things. I have to get the creativity out somehow.”

MB: “What is your ultimate ambition in beadworking?”
SL: “My whole mission is to elevate the craft of beading to an art.”

At eighteen, Scarlett has already worked and taught at The Bead Garden in Sedona, Arizona; won fourth place in the Swarovski competition the very first time she entered; has a custom jewelry design business—Scarlett Rocks Designs (www.thebeadersmuse.com); and is now a regular contributor to Beadwork. Don’t miss a chance to enjoy making Scarlett’s glamorous “Midnight Masquerade” choker on page 36 of the December 2008/January 2009 issue.  Subscribe today or buy the issue on newsstands December 2! 

"Pick Your Prize" Winners

Congratulations to the following Beading Daily members who won the "Pick Your Prize" random drawing in October.  The grand prize winner chose prize package B (DVD set).  The runners-up each received one book from prize package A.

Grand Prize: Nancy Reece, set of 4 Bead Fest Workshop DVDs (Beaded Viking Knit, Custom Collage Charms, Pod Ring, Riveted Earrings)

Runners-up (4): One book in the Create Jewelry series.  Karen Wolf (Pearls), Lin Behan (Crystals), Sue Ratigan (Stones), Karin Bergin (Glass--to be published in early 2009).

For the latest contests, challenges, and giveaways, check out the contests web page. 

Correction:  The link to the free brick stitch graph paper mentioned on Friday has been fixed.  I apologize for the inconvenience this caused everyone, including our guest editor, Leslie Rogalski.  Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.--Michelle Mach, Beading Daily editor

Marlene Blessing is the editorial director of Beadwork magazine and co-author of Create Jewelry: PearlsCreate Jewelry: Crystals, and Create Jewelry: Stones.  She is also a frequent presenter on the PBS-TV series Beads, Baubles & Jewels.

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annnoe wrote
on Nov 18, 2008 5:51 AM
I see the note about the corrected link for the peyote stitch graph paper, now how about fixing the link to the square stitch graph paper. Thanks!
on Nov 25, 2008 10:39 PM
It is wonderful to hear the enthusiam coming from Scarlett, however, her goal "to elevate the craft of beading to an art", has long been accomplished. There are beadists throughout the world who maintain incredible portfolios, whose craft is taking center stage in multi-media shows, and these beadists are receiving honors and recognition that only the best in the field command. As for distinction between craft and art. There is little. Both artist and crafter strive to become a master in their field. The world of beading is so exciting now, each show you attend has new "stars", and peridicals can't keep up with the changing colors, styles, etc. Scarlett you're working is great, just remember to have fun, also. Laura J. Griffiths
on Nov 26, 2008 2:20 AM
In response to Laura's comment I just wanted to say that this interview was definitely edited down and over-simplified what I had said on the craft vs. art issue. "Elevating the Craft of Beading to an Art" is the tagline on my site www.thebeadersmuse.com. I am in no way saying that beading has not already been an art and that there are not incredible bead artists out there. My real mission should have said something more along the lines of changing people's perception of beading in general. I worked at a bead store for two years, and I observed that it was the widespread opinion that beading is merely a hobby and is not considered art by many. It is my goal to open peoples eyes to the amazingly detailed and beautiful works being produced by many talented individuals in the beading world. So many people have never been exposed to beading further than pony beads and hemp...they just don't know what's out there until it is shown to them. The distinction between art and craft is very subjective - and so is their definition. I do believe that when many people refer to "craft" there is a certain connotation that goes along with it, that has to do with the perceived value. You would not go into a gallery or museum and expect to see "crafts". I talk a little more about this in an interview with the Beadin' Path http://www.beadinpath.com/content/view/699/4 . I think a lot of bead weavers in particular have had that experience when they told a family member or co-worker that they make handcrafted jewelry, they get shrugged off with a response to the effect of "oh my mother/sister/friend makes jewelry too!", and while it's wonderful that everybody's beading, the distinction becomes a little more important for those of us putting untold hours into our work. I also just wanted to thank everyone for the really supportive e-mails and everyone who has purchased kits! I really appreciate your kind words and interest in my work. I hope to hear from more of you as you receive the December/January 2009 issue of Beadwork magazine! ~Beads, Bliss, and Blessings~ *Scarlett Lanson*