Meet the New Beadwork Editor Plus Five Free Peyote Patterns

Jan 26, 2009

Meet Beadwork’s New Editor, Melinda Barta

by Marlene Blessing, Editorial Director

As of the February/March 2009 issue of Beadwork, Melinda Barta is our new editor of the magazine. I wanted to share a little of Melinda’s story with you. Believe me, she’s every beader’s new best friend—sharing your passion (often obsession) for exploring the infinite possibilities of designing with seed beads.

Melinda has worked at Interweave for six years, beginning as an intern, then assistant editor on PieceWork magazine. In the past couple of years as our managing editor at Beadwork and Stringing, she demonstrated that she was “one with the bead” and ready to help us launch a freshly redesigned, refocused Beadwork (subscribe).

Marlene: What’s your first memory of an important encounter with beads?
Melinda: When I was seven, I bought a daisy-chain bracelet an at airport store. I was so curious about how it was made that I studied the thread path and taught myself how to duplicate it. I’m fascinated with structure, how things are made. And I like to make things.

Marlene: I’m not surprised to learn you were a “grid brain” at such an early age. Does this talent/penchant run in your family?
Melinda: I’ve always liked the techie parts of things. A lot of people in my family are engineers, including my dad and one of my sisters.

Marlene: When we both ended up on the same holiday flight to Seattle this past December, I noticed you were lost in beading. Is this par for the course?
Melinda: I’m lucky. My work is really play for me. I bead when I’m a passenger in the car (my Challenge piece in the February/March 2009 issue of Beadwork was made almost entirely in the car). I love to bead on airplanes—it helps to pass the time and the direct lighting is surprisingly perfect. I even bead when I’m camping. I once beaded by a campfire.

Marlene: You’ve taught at several prestigious craft schools, including Penland School of Crafts. Plus, you’re teaching at many of the Bead Fest shows. What do you like most about that experience?
Melinda: I love seeing the excitement on the faces of the students when they learn things. The students teach you so much more than you can teach them.

Marlene: In 2009 and beyond, what do you hope to bring to Beadwork?
Melinda: We’ll be surveying our readers after each issue to learn even more about what they want. It’s all part of creating an even stronger Beadwork community and the best magazine ever. I’m looking to develop new designers, too, as well as continuing to work with some of our readers’ favorites. (See the submission guidelines if you're interested in contributing.)  I also want to introduce our readers to new spins on their beadwork—especially incorporating a variety of materials with their seed beads. 

Marlene: What’s one of the new features in Beadwork that’s most exciting?
Melinda: The “Designers of the Year.” We’ve selected four bead artists—Jamie Hogsett, Jean Campbell, Lisa Kan, and Marcia DeCoster—who will each create an original design every issue for one year (starting with the February/March 2009 Beadwork). Anyone who’s had at least one design accepted for publication by September will be eligible to be selected as a “D.O.Y.” for 2010. It’s a great way for our readers to get to know some of the best designers even better!

Join Melinda and the rest of our team in the continuing journey of Beadwork Magazine by subscribing today! 

To have even more fun learning and designing with Melinda Barta, buy her newest Interweave books, Mixed Metals: Creating Contemporary Jewelry with Silver, Gold, Copper, Brass, and More, coauthored with Stringing editor Danielle Fox, and Custom Cool Jewelry, a book that teaches the many secrets of creating customized components for your jewelry.

New Free Peyote Stitch Pattern eBook

Our first free beadweaving pattern ebook features 5 peyote stitch projects, plus two full pages of step-by-step illustrated instructions on even- and odd-count peyote, and a sheet of peyote stitch graph paper for creating original jewelry designs.  Download Peyote Stitch Projects with BeadingDaily: 5 Free Peyote Stitch Patterns 

Marlene Blessing is the editorial director of Beadwork magazine and co-author of the four books in the Create Jewelry series:  Pearls CrystalsStones, and Glass (available February 2009).  She is also a frequent presenter on the PBS-TV series Beads, Baubles & Jewels.

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on Jan 26, 2009 9:08 AM
Congratulations Melinda! It has been such a pleasure to work with you! Looking forward to seeing you in Tucson. ~Scarlett Lanson
KathleenT@22 wrote
on Jan 26, 2009 1:09 PM
Hi: I appreciate the free projects. However, today I tried three times to download the "5 peyote ebook" projects in today's newsletter and each time the file had an error which wouldn't let it open after the download. I've not had this problem before.
Danielle wrote
on Jan 26, 2009 1:15 PM
Hi KathleenT - do you have the most current version of Adobe Reader? If not, you may want to try that. Good luck!
MaritzaR wrote
on Jan 26, 2009 1:27 PM
Fantastic! I'm begining i hope to understand the instructions because dont speack english
Ruhammie wrote
on Jan 26, 2009 3:40 PM
I really look forward to all the projects to come! The DOY is an interesting new section, I'm curious to see what they design throughout the year. I love, Love, LOVED Melinda's Feb/Mar Beadwork challenge necklace, will she provide a pattern for it?
LygiaT wrote
on Jan 26, 2009 5:09 PM
thanks for the patterns but I am afraid they are too difficult for us new to beading techniques . Can you show easier patterns for the rookies? Thank you
MarnieP@6 wrote
on Jan 26, 2009 10:34 PM
Hi from Tasmania, Australia, - many thanks for the 5 free beading projects, a gesture much appreciated. Best wishes for the future.
on Jan 28, 2009 4:40 AM
Congratulations to Melinda! I, too, would love to see a pattern for that challenge piece. It's gorgeous! And I love the DOY section, especially Marcia DeCoster's piece this issue. Very, very cool!
Nemeton wrote
on Feb 1, 2009 4:57 AM
Congratulations from me too Melinda, and hope you're enjoying your new job. I still haven't managed to get hold of the latest issue here in the UK, but I'm looking forward to it! That Challenge piece looks wonderful, it reminds me of those fractal images that were all the rage a few years back.