British bead artist Katie Dean is known throughout the UK and the U.S. for her fanciful sculptural peyote stitch beadwork. She's the author of several books on how to make embellished beaded cabochons, sculptural beaded objects, and handmade beaded clasps. Katie was also a finalist in last year's Bead Star competition, and she graciously agreed to share some of her thoughts with us about her experience with Bead Star:
"I've always enjoyed participating in
the competitions run by Beadwork magazine - I think my earliest was way back in
2007 when I'd only just started beading. So I couldn't wait to have a go at the
Bead Star awards. 2013 was the first year I gave this a try and it was all a
bit of an experiment for me. I had heard about the competition before, but I
think it had previously focused on stringing whereas my real love is
bead-weaving, so 2013 was the first year in which bead-woven entries were
permitted. I know a lot of the top designers enter this competition, so I knew
it would be hard to create something worthy of competing. I didn't put a lot of
pressure on myself as I thought the first year would just be good to have a go
and see what happened. So I was really amazed when my necklace received a
special commendation and was invited over to go on display at Beadfest!
I love competitions mainly because
they give me the chance to try something new, perhaps work to a theme - in this
case 'glass jewellery'. I work mostly with seed beads, so although these are
technically 'glass' I interpreted the theme as needing some larger glass beads.
My necklace evolved from the beautiful pale turquoise glass beads that I 'just
had to buy'. I decided to combine this colour with a hint of really vibrant
pink and create a contrast between the cool and hot shades. I was also playing
around with herringbone, so the whole piece evolved through experiment. As I
worked, I realised that I was creating components that had a feeling of baroque
architectural shapes. I ended up with a necklace that I thought would be fit
for a queen, and so my title for the piece reflected the era and the famously
decadent queen, Marie Antoinette."
There's still time to join the fun! Enter your best beadwork in the Bead Star 2014 competition!
(You can see more of Katie's work and find her books, tutorials, and teaching schedule on her website, Bead Flowers.)
Filed under: Peyote stitch, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Stringing, Glass Beads, Herringbone Stitch, How To Bead, Seed Bead Patterns, Bead-weaving, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads