Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inspired Beader: Zoya Gutina

Autumn Splendor Zoya Gutina was born and raised in the USSR, but for the more than 10 years has lived in the United States in New York City and now in Alexandria, Virginia. She holds a Diploma from the College of Culture in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia. Zoya is an internationally known gemstone and beaded jewelry artist, a blogger and a publisher, a first place winner and a veteran exhibitor in many jewelry design competitions.

Over recent years she has developed her own unique style in beaded jewelry. Zoya Gutina is a proud member of the Torpedo Factory Artist Association, the Bead Society of Greater New York, and the Potomac Craftsmen Fiber Guild.

Here’s what Zoya had to say about her beading inspirations:

Inspirational Beading: How did you first discover bead weaving?

Zoya Gutina: I was born and grew up in the USSR, in a family where all crafts were in a great honor, so I learned sewing, knitting, crocheting, lace making, macramé at the early age. I touched first those itty bitty beautiful things named beads when I was 10 and needed to embellish my ballet practicing dress. I Poppy Fieldembroidered on the cream-colored dress very pale yellow flowers, and was pretty satisfied with my beadwork.

I returned to beadwork about 7 years ago, when I already lived in New York City, influenced by a friend of mine from Russia who showed me some samples of her bead woven jewelry pieces and presented me a few. I was so impressed, that I decided to try bead weaving, and since then I'm hooked on that art.

IB: What is your favorite technique?

ZG: Though some people contend that bead embroidery allows them more freedom in creativity, I don't think so. Beadweaving has a lot [of ways] to express yourself - it's hard to list all possible techniques and stitches that can be applied to a single beadwork article.

As for me, I like netting stitch, peyote stitch, right angle weave, and coral stitch best of all. And, of course, depending on my ideas and designs I use different techniques sometimes incorporating a few of them into one piece. It's very exciting to make my thoughts a reality!

Spring Romance

IB: Where do you find the most inspiration?

ZG: One of my friends called me "nature inspired", and that's true! I mostly find my inspiration when I see blossoming trees and flowers in spring, geometric frozen shapes in winter, or watch beautiful colors during sunrise and sunset. Changing nature stirs my emotions, inspires me and captures my spirit.

IB: Do you have a favorite bead color to work with?Midsummer Night's Dream

ZG: To tell the truth, I don't have any preferences, but I would say my favorite colors are any shades of green, blue, black, gray and white, though I like amber, gold and bronze. Some of my beadwork requires pink and red, and I feel comfortable using them.

IB: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?

ZG: Oh, there are so many... Diane Fitzgerald and Erin Simonetti are both amazing. Kerry Slade's floral beadwork is stunning. The Lone Beader always strikes me with her bead paintings. Vampi Choi impresses me with her ability to use multiple colors in one piece of jewelry.

I like these artists because their work shows their own style, and they all pay close attention to details. They all have great craftsmanship in addition to developing new ideas with their art. I would list much more artists, but it would be a long, long story...

Zoya GutinaYou can see more of Zoya’s amazing beadwork on her website My Lovely Beads. Her designs range from vibrant strung necklaces to intricately detailed collars, and more. You can also check in with her inspirations and other beading and jewelry topics on her blog Gem and Beaded Jewelry.


  1. Beautiful work, Zoya! Love your colors.

  2. Oh, I love Zoya's work! Thanks for showcasing her!


  3. She is amazing! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Thanks a lot, ladies! Thousand of thanks, dear Mortira, for the great opprtunity to be featured in your blog!

  5. You are most welcome! Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

  6. Beautiful designs! I love how intricate and unique your beading style is...they look like garland and are very festive. I'd want to display them around my home as well. ;-)

  7. Great feature thank you! Zoya's work certainly IS inspirational and she is a lovely person too :0)

  8. Great interview! I was lucky enough to meet Zoya! What a sweetheart she is! :)

  9. That's lucky! I hope to meet face to face with a fellow beader some day. I wonder if the Bead and Button show will ever make it's way into Canada? What a treat that would be!

  10. Great work Zoya!!! Nice creation of your art. I like your beading style, its unique and wonderful. Nice color combination of your jewelry. It inspire me lot. Thank for sharing.


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