Monday, May 10, 2010

Inspired Beader: Rachele L. Dagley

Solar System Polymer Clay Cabochon by Rachele L. Dagley

As artists, it’s important to follow our instincts, and listen to the muse that calls to us on any given day. If we focus all of our creativity into things that we’re not passionate about, it seems as if our talent drains away. Sometimes it can be very obvious when an artist has a strong connection to a certain theme. Picasso had his phases, and beaders do, too. But variety is the spice of life, as they say, and having a good repertoire of techniques and colors is almost as important as having inspiration to use them on.

While on the hunt for unique astrology and astronomy themed beads, I came across the work of Rachele Dagley. I was so pleased with the selection of zodiac cabochons, and even more thrilled by her amazing variety of polymer clay pendants and components. I asked Rachele to share some of her inspirations, and here’s what she had to say:

Inspirational Beading: How did you first become interested in beads?

Sun Polymer Clay Pendant by Rachele L. Dagley

Rachele: I first became interested in beads about 5 years ago, when a friend took me into a bead store. Before this I never knew anything about this world of beads. It was the weirdest thing because I had never really been artistic at all, at least that I realized at the time.

I started creating jewelry, which was so easy and natural for me. I decided to challenge myself, and started bead weaving and bead embroidery. After a while of doing that, I decided that I just wasn’t finding all the beads that I would like to bead embroider with, so my evolution was to start making those too. I have only been making polymer clay beads for a few months now, and I love it!

Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite source for inspiration?

Rachele: My favorite source of inspiration comes from history and nature. I am so inspired by many of the ancient civilizations. I think symbolism is very cool, and love using symbols in my work, such as astrological, zodiac, planetary, alchemy, and religion. It inspires me to do research about their origins and hopefully it inspires my customers to do the same.

Abstract Polymer Clay Cabochon by Rachele L. Dagley

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite color or finish to use?

Rachele: My personal favorite color is green - it’s so lush! I must say I do love working with all colors though. I love using deep vivid colors, and putting a lighter metallic dust over it; it’s so captivating. I do go in phases though. One day I like stronger shades, and the next day I may see something that inspires the softer more subtle colors, and switch to that for a while. It’s all about how I’m feeling at the time of creation or at the time of the creation’s conception, which may or may not be at the same time.

Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite way to use your cabochons?

Fleur De Lis Cabochon by Rachele L. Dagley

Rachele: Besides selling them and seeing them in other artists work, I love to do bead embroidery with some of my cabochons. I just finished a cameo necklace and I’m currently working on another necklace with an embroidered heart in the center, although I have not listed them in my shop yet. I have a show coming up next month for the Michigan Women’s Historical Center, and I was planning on making a bunch of broaches for that, using my polymer clay cabochons and bead embroidery. I can use my clay beads for many different purposes though, such as in bookmarks, hair pieces, rings, bracelets, pendants, key chains, earrings, and much more.

Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?

Rachele: This is an easy question. I hope to inspire everyone with my work. It is such an amazing feeling knowing that other artist’s are using pieces that you created in their own masterpieces. I also hope to inspire people that have never thought of themselves as artistic. I challenge you to just try it, and see. I never thought I was artistic in any way, and now I know I’m right where I belong.

Antares Beadwork Cabochon Necklace by Rachele L. Dagley

Rachele Dagley grew up in a small town with her mother and sister. Living on a small budget, Rachele’s art experiences were limited to drawing and painting, though she didn’t develop a taste for it. She entered her first bead store at age 34, now a grown up mother of two, and discovered a whole new world! Rachele says: “My own artistic expression has made me a better person, more compassionate, more patient, and more happy. Need I say more?”

You can see more of her beautiful polymer clay creations in her Etsy shop, Rachele’s Beads. She also sells her unique and stunning beadwork jewelry at Rachele’s Originals. To catch up on her latest inspirations, visit her blog Rachele’s Originals, or follow Rachele on Twitter.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Rachele L. Dagley


  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful piece on me and my work. It is so very appreciated!!

  2. You're very welcome! It's always a pleasure to share such inspiring designs!


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