Ileana Munteanu – Enchanted Beads

Name: Ileana Munteanu 

Heart brooch

Heart brooch

Website Link:

Where are you from? Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a jewelry designer specializing in hand made bead woven jewelry. I am also a linguist, a proud mother and grandmother.

When and why did you begin designing jewelry/art? I was always very creative and I used my free time for making things that I could wear or I would need around the house, a mosaic table for example. Later, I started making evening dresses with beautiful appliqués (flowers, leaves, butterflies) made of pearls and tiny beads, that looked like a piece of jewelry. I sold them in galleries as a part-time job. Little by little, I realized that what I enjoyed best in designing and making an outfit was actually the elaborate embellishment. I started to make little pieces of jewelry developing new techniques as my jewelry evolved. My decision to concentrate only on the embellishments was how I started my jewelry collection about 12 years ago. 

Garnet brooch

Garnet brooch

What do you make?  I make brooches, necklaces, earring, bracelets, and beaded boxes.

What materials and methods do you use? I love semiprecious stones and pearls, therefore I use them all the time. I combine them with seed beads and I use the tiniest of Japanese seed beads, the size 15. The scale, shape, and variety of color of the material help me to mold my pieces. I would use my seed beads much like a painter uses colors and brush strokes to convey his version of imagery. The main method I use is bead weaving and my favorite techniques are modified peyote and netting/lace. 

Oval brooch with abalone

Oval brooch with abalone

Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature is my main source of inspiration: Flowers, ladybugs, butterflies are featured in my pieces. Sometimes I get inspired by the semiprecious stones I find. I put them together with pearls, gemstone beads and colorful seed beads in a specific design, carefully coordinating the colors to achieve a natural, shaded look by incorporating several nuances of beads for each color I choose. After completing this most important first step, I find the right time for the beading process.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?  My studio is in my apartment. It is a small room, organized in a way that would always help me find the materials I need. I like to listen to classical music while working.

Where can your products be seen? There are a few Galleries on the East Coast currently selling my jewelry: One in Brooklyn, two in Chicago, one in Annapolis, MD, and one in New Hampshire.
My products can be seen online as well:  The Enchanted Beads Website,   Etsy Shop,  My Portfolio can be seen on Talent Database and Myspace 

Beaded box

Beaded box

Upcoming events:

Crafts at the Cathedral
Dec 5, 6 & 7, 2008
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
New York, NY

Magazine articles or press:

Bead & Button Magazine:
* Issue # 14, December 1996
* Issue # 42, April 2001

The Crafts Report – May 2001
* INSIGHT section featuring Jewelry

The Crafts Report January 2007 issue
Ileana Munteanu: Ambassador of Jewelry by Darcel Rockett

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: I created the Ladybug Pin when my granddaughter was very little. She was fascinated by ladybugs so I decided to make for her a bead woven ladybug. I participated with this Brooch in the 2004 FIRE MOUNTAIN Gems and Beads Beading Contest and it was a FINALIST. It was featured in the Fire Mountains Gems and Beads 2004-2005 Catalog, page 439 and the 2005-2006 Catalog, page 397

Ladybug pin

Ladybug pin

Anything else you wish to add? The permanent connection with the arts and the artists is beneficial for my evolution as an artist. Visiting museums and galleries, staying in touch with a community of creators online gives me support and fuels my inspiration.


Congratulations on all of your well-deserved recognition!



Filed under Artisans, Arts, Beadwork, Crafts, Gifts, Jewelry, Shopping, World

20 responses to “Ileana Munteanu – Enchanted Beads

  1. I am very happy to see Ileana getting some recognition for her exquisite work! Thanks for this very nice article!

  2. Oh wow! A wonderful interview. I learned so much about Ileana in this article and it was said so eloquently. I love the way Ileana let everyone know that beading is as much an art as painting but in a different form.

  3. I’ve admired Ileana’s work for some time now. She is an amazing bead artist!

  4. Great article! Nice to learn a bit more about you Ileana!

  5. What a lovely article Ileana! As an owner of a piece of your work and a long time fan of your artistry, it’s wonderful to see you getting special recognition! You certainly deserve it and I am thrilled for you!

  6. What a lovely interview! It’s great to see a feature on Ileana!

  7. Ileana your work is delicate and beautiful, you have a style all your own. Congratulations on your recognition!

  8. Wow, is that stuff ever gorgeous!!

  9. Wonderful interview ! It’s great to learn a little bit more about such talented bead artist 🙂

  10. I just love Ileana’s beadwork! It’s gorgeous! It’s nice to find out more about her as an artist as well!

  11. It’s wonderful to see you featured here! I love the abalone brooch and beaded box, the colors are gorgeous. And the Ladybugs are a perennial favorite!

  12. Wonderful Ileana. I love your work and your style – enchanted beads indeed!


  13. Congratulations on the recognition! Great interview.

  14. Very interesting interview on an excellent artist! I enjoyed finding out more about Ileana and her work.

  15. Great, Ileana! Keep going! 🙂

  16. great interview! so nice to find out more about Ileana and her beautiful beadwork!!!

  17. Stan Armeana

    Ileana sunt foarte frumoase,supere,spor la lucru incontinuare sa ai

  18. Sunt minunate bujuteriile care le faci.Imi face o reala placere sa le vad. De un an si jumatate, de cind am sosit in Michigan, am incercat sa ma perfectionez in crearea de bijuterii.De altfel, am postat mai sus websitul meu.
    Un sfirsit de saptamina cit mai bun!!!

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