A summary of our talented December featured artisans. Be sure to check out their websites.
Keep up to date on the latest events and news about your favorite World Artisan Gems by bookmarking and checking in at World Artisan Gems News and Events
Name: Merle Berelowitz
Website Link: www.msmaddiesbeads.com
Where are you located? New York City
Tell us a bit about yourself: I work as a bead artist from my home studio in Manhattan which is a treasure trove of beautiful beads to inspire me. I am married and have two children and four grandchildren
When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I became addicted to my craft 7 years ago when a friend took me along to a beading class in Las Vegas
What do you make? Bracelets and necklaces
What materials and methods do you use? Glass and acrylic flowers and leaves brought together in natural or whimsical designs
Where do your design inspirations come from? Everywhere I look
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I love to be alone when I work with my iPod playing a good book and the world around me shut off
Where can your products be seen? www.msmaddiesbeads.com on the web but also in various editions of beading magazines
Magazine articles or press: Feb/Mar 2009 issue of Beadwork; April/May 2009 Bead and Button magazines
Who are you a fan of? Sherri Serafini and Suzanne Golden
Price range : $50 and up
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: I have done a beautiful bracelet depicting “a Teddy Bears Picnic” that is a new version of a similar scene I did as an edible decoration for my daughters First Birthday Cake – she is now 37 and I still love looking at the treasured photograph of the cake.
Name: Zuda Gay Pease
Website Link: clayinthehands.blogspot.com
Where are you located? Camp Point, IL US
Tell us a bit about yourself: My parents were very creative people who raised their children to be the same – in every aspect of our lives. They were our biggest cheerleaders and instilled in us the thought that we could be whatever we wanted. I wanted to be a wife, a mommy and an artist. I am so blessed that I have been able to be all three. I married my best friend when we were 18. We have two beautiful daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law and seven amazing and precious grandchildren. We live in a very small town in West Central Illinois with our family nearby. Life is very good!
When did you begin designing jewelry/art? I have been playing with clay from the time I was a child. I loved playing with play dough and painting and coloring then and I still do. I have been working with polymer clay for over 12 years. I have been primarily making beads and pendants in the last four years.
What made you choose this type of art? I love playing with clay of any type. I love polymer clay in particular for its instant gratification (a finished cured piece to gaze at in less than an hour) and the amazing things you can do with it and make it become. And of course, the color play. I love color!
What do you make? I primarily make flower pendants and beads.
What materials and methods do you use? I use polymer clay, mainly Kato and Premo! brands. I rarely use a color straight from the block. I mix my own colors and create blends using the Skinner Blend technique. I make mille fiore canes for my flower petals and my own techniques to create flowers on bead bases.
Where do your design inspirations come from? All of creation! I love flowers, but have a brown thumb. So I make flowers that don’t wilt. I am inspired by other artist’s work and their use of color as well.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I need music! My studio is a room in our house, so it is available at anytime during the day or night when the urge to create hits.
Upcoming events: None at this time
Magazine articles or press: 1000 Jewelry Details and Simply Beads Magazine – August 2008
Name: Ira Zelickman
Website Link: www.fleur-de-irk.com
Where are you located? Maale Adumim, Israel
Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born in Moscow to a sculptor father and a scientist mother. I never fancied drawing and painting, but liked sculpting and gravitated to miniatures even in my early childhood. I was born left-handed and my grandmother taught me all kinds of feminine handcrafts like knitting, crocheting and embroidery in an effort to put right this “unnaturalness.” I didn’t become right-handed but now can effectively use both hands which is very helpful in my current line of art. I studied mathematics and computer science in high school and Moscow University but never finished the university. I married very young and devoted 12 years to bring up my 5 children. During the next 8 years I helped my husband in his business and only in the end of 2004 decided to go on and make my hobby a full time occupation. We moved to Israel in 1988 and now I live and work in the beautiful town of Maale Adumim near Jerusalem.
When did you begin designing jewelry/art? My first seed beads came from a broken Czech necklace. The beads were black and white and I made an ornamental bracelet with wire. I was 7 at that time. It is hard to imagine this now but there were no beading books in 1970 in Moscow, so I invented different methods of beadwork myself. I use these methods to this day. It turns out many of these stitches well-known and have a name. In much later years, I discovered internet shops with all the different materials and incorporated natural stones and pearls in my beadwork.
What made you choose this type of art? The art of beadwork brings together fine mathematical and engineering calculations with endless color possibilities. I think it just speaks to both my parts – technical and artistic.
What do you make? I make jewelry. All kinds, but the most satisfaction I get is from creating necklaces.
What materials and methods do you use? In addition to hundreds of types and colors of seed beads, I use natural stones, freshwater pearls, glass and crystal beads, wood, coral, shell… I don’t like synthetics and all kinds of simulations like artificial pearls and glass “stones”. As for the methods – I use many different bead weaving techniques, some of them well known and some of my own invention.
Where do your design inspirations come from? From literally everywhere… Plants, wisps of smoke, water marks on the sand, art, films… I love looking through antique jewelry sites and pictures from fashion shows.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have a tiny work room in my house. It is packed with materials and finished jewelry, and is the best place in the world.
Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? I want to introduce two artists. One of them is an Israeli artist who works with leather. Her name is Julia Goland [also one of our World Artisan Gems]. The other one is my recent find on Etsy. I know nothing about this person but that her work with stones and seed beads is astonishing.
Price range: $15-$250
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: This is one of those necklaces with no known beadwork techniques that would give the effect I wanted so I had to invent a new stitch. I doubt I will be able to reproduce it as I can’t remember exactly how it was made.
Anything else you wish to add? When I make a necklace, I think about the person that will wear it. I keep in mind a certain type of woman and envision how beautiful she will look in it. That is my ultimate goal – to make the world around us a bit more beautiful.
Name: Suzanne Golden
Website Link: www.suzannegolden.com
Where are you located? New York City
Tell us a bit about yourself: I am retired after having worked at the corporate offices of Estee Lauder for 22 years. I am single and live in a small apartment overrun with beads, clothing and shoes.
When did you begin designing jewelry/art? About 12 years ago I discovered beading after taking a workshop with David Chatt in NYC.
What made you choose this type of art? Beading was the perfect medium for me to express my artistic ability with the use of primary colors and bold, playful styles.
What do you make? Most of the time it’s either bracelets or necklaces. Lately it’s been gifts for close friends and family members.
What materials and methods do you use? I am currently using peyote, netting and right angle weave stitches. My choice of materials varies from seed beads to crystals to acrylic and plastic beads.
Where do your design inspirations come from? My inspiration might come from a picture, clothing or something colorful and then I try to interpret that into a beaded piece of
wearable art. Color is my biggest influence. I see everything in the world, from people to nature, in terms of color and it inspires me to create.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I work at home in my apartment at a large “J” shaped desk. My computer is right next to me and is always on, as well as my television which is right in front of me.
Where can your products be seen? On my website: www.suzannegolden.com
Upcoming events: A necklace I made using acrylic beads will be featured in the upcoming Dairy Barn/Beads International Exhibit
Magazine articles or press: I am in the December 2008 issue of Bead and Button’s Collector’s Edition which features a netted bracelet I made. My other articles are listed on my website.
Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? Yes, I am in awe of Christine Marie Noguere’s stunning bracelets and I adore the graphic work done by Jean Power. Also Merle Berelowitz has a very lovely and sweet way with flowers in her work.
Price range: My pieces start at $300 and go as high as $5,000.
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: Whatever I’m working on at the moment is my immediate favorite. This necklace has been selected to appear in the upcoming Dairy Barn/Beads International Show:
Anything else you wish to add here: I am passionate about creating wearable art, and beading allows me to take my creative ideas and combine them with my love of fashion. I enjoy all aspects of beading; from the idea, the work and seeing the final result. Getting published and accepted in prestigious art shows has also given me great pleasure.