First, I ask you:

What sources of inspiration do you draw upon in your artistic and jewelry designs?

We’d love for your voice to be a part of this space. Please click on the Comments bubble in the upper right of this post and leave a comment with your answer!

I asked the same question of our beading superstar authors in Lark Jewelry & Beading’s Beadweaving Master Class series. We’ll be doing weekly Q-and-A’s with these six master teachers in a panel-style format on this blog each Monday. Enjoy, and please do leave a comment with your own answer to each question!

Laura McCabe

Laura McCabe, author of Laura McCabe’s Embellished Beadweaving:

Historical costume, anthropology, archaeology, art, architecture (wow, that’s a lot of “A”s), and the weeds in my backyard.

Sherry Serafini

Sherry Serafini, author of the Spring 2011 release Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery:

I have bead ADD. My inspiration one month can be totally different the next.

Shapes and colors fascinate me. Weird objects in embroidery challenge me to create a piece. I love using license plates and auto parts in my work.

I also love architecture and try to incorporate the strength and shape that I see in various forms of it.

Rachel Nelson-Smith

Rachel Nelson-Smith, author of the Fall 2011 release Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs:

I like order. I like color. And I like beads.

Those things primarily drive the designs. In the case of my work that is abstract and geometric in nature, spacing and placement is based on harmonious arrangement. I pay particular attention to contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.

The same principles are more organically applied when working with beads from glass artists like Ronit Dagan, Wayne Robbins, and Patty Lakinsmith. It is a thrill to work collaboratively with another artist, because the actual outcome is a far cry from anything my brain could have projected on its own.

This spring there was a little bird outside the open studio skylights that sang minutes of song. He’d sing a repetitive line for 30 seconds, and I interpreted it into a pencil sketch. I have pages of sketches of his songs that will be translated to beadwork someday.

Diane Fitzgerald

Diane Fitzgerald, author of Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork:

In general, everything around me–and, more specifically, catalogs, paintings, flowers, architecture, and geometry–is food for inspiration.

Maggie Meister

Maggie Meister, author of the Fall 2011 release Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance:

Architecture, ancient jewelry, and mosaic and rug patterns. I can spend hours and hours in a museum or at an archaeological site taking photos or sketching.

Marcia DeCoster

Marcia DeCoster, author of Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence:

I love looking through old costume jewelry books, but I am often as inspired by an idea that may have started out as a piece in an entirely different medium. A felted piece might inspire color choices, or a metal piece might inspire a shape.

Inspiration is everywhere. Be open to it and remember to record that brief glimpse of something you saw in your mind’s eye to help keep it accessible.

Now, go back and read earlier questions to our panel — and I invite you to answer them yourself in each post’s Comments section!

1. How did you get started beading?

2. What characteristics set beaders apart?

*Also read great recent Lark Jewelry & Beading interviews with leading creative beaders, jewelers, and metalsmiths—please leave comments and let us know what you think:

Sabine Lippert

Laura McCabe (with free project PDF)

Jamie Cloud Eakin (with bonus project PDF)

Carol Wilcox Wells

Cindy Thomas Pankopf

Joanna Gollberg

Mary Hettmansperger

Lisa Slovis Mandel

Nathalie Mornu (with two free project PDFs)

Our recent Blogger Profiles have featured Carol Dean Sharpe, Lorelei Eurto, and Andrew Thornton.


8 Responses

    Carol Dean Sharpe/Sand Fibers says:

    I can’t tell you just how much I enjoy this series! Whoever came up with the idea is BRILLIANT! :D

    Ray Hemachandra says:

    It surprises me just how much I enjoy being called brilliant. Thank you, Carol!

    Patty says:

    Love these interviews! It’s so much fun learning where each artist gets their inspiration – it’s so wildly varied.

    I get my inspiration from a vast array of places – I’m with Marcia in that inspiration is *everywhere*. Sometimes it’s the natural things I find on walks in the forest or on the beach. Sometimes fabrics do it for me, and I’ve been known to beg an art show customer to allow me to take a photo of their blouse, so I can recreate it in glass later. Lately it’s been light fixtures and blown glass household objects, and my autumnal garden.

    Paula Guerreiro says:

    My interest by cration came early. What began as a hobby motivated by curiosity, soon became a pasion. My inspiration comes from the ocean near where i live.
    Paula Guerreiro

    [...] Beading Panel Q-and-A: What inspires your designs? « Lark Crafts 15 Nov 2010. What sources of inspiration do you draw upon in your artistic and jewelry designs?. I love using license plates and auto parts in my work.. A felted piece might inspire color choices, or a metal piece might inspire a shape.. * Also read great recent Lark Jewelry & Beading interviews with Beading Panel Q-and-A: What inspires your designs? « Lark Crafts [...]

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