No two beaders are created equal. In fact, we may be one of the most diverse groups of people around. We come from all manner of locations and backgrounds. We all have our favorite techniques and materials. The things that make us similar to each other, set us apart from the rest of the world.
I always admire a beader who uses a wide variety of techniques. Because I gave up on stringing and wirework before I had even had a chance to try it, I’m usually a bit envious of artists that do it well. Then there’s crochet, fiber arts, mixed media…the list goes on and on.
One of my favorite variety beaders is Leigh-Anne of Ocean Pearl Jewellery. A fellow Canadian, this designer doesn’t seem to shy away from any methods. Her shop is always filled with unique and beautiful pieces, with a flair for color and technique.
Inspirational Beading: How did you first become interested in beading?
Leigh-Anne: A friend of mine started copying some necklaces that she had bought from major retailers (for a lot of money I might add!) and she invited me to join her. I caught the 'bead bug' in a big way and have taken it from there. It has grown now to making dozens of different designs, an Etsy shop, craft shows, Facebook, Twitter...who knows where it will take me?
Inspirational Beading: Where do you look for inspiration?
Leigh-Anne: Quite simply, everywhere! I was once inspired to make a brand new earring design from a soapdish in my bathroom! Mostly though, I look through books, magazines and catalogues to get ideas and new patterns. In terms of color inspiration, I turn to nature. Colors found in the ocean are my all-time favorites but I have created some pieces inspired by the sun, Planet Earth, fruit...you name it!
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite technique?
Leigh-Anne: I very much enjoy making the wire crochet necklaces because they are so striking. Each one ends up looking so different and beautiful depending on the types and sizes of beads you use. Honestly though, I enjoy making every single piece. Believe it or not, it is relaxing for me...a diversion from the everyday stresses of life.
Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite style of bead?
Leigh-Anne: Right now, my favorite beads are drop beads...they create so much texture especially when used with seed beads. Of course, my favorite could change at any moment, as I am constantly trying new things and new techniques to challenge myself.
Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?
Leigh-Anne: I just hope to get people to think outside of the retail storefront for their jewelry needs. I also hope people will consider handmade jewelry instead of the mass produced products from other countries. I would love more people to discover all the fabulous things on the craft websites like Etsy, Zibbet and Artfire.
You can see all of Leigh-Anne’s latest designs in her Etsy shop, Ocean Pearl Jewellery. To learn more about her inspirations, and get the latest news, follow Ocean Pearl Jewellery on Twitter and Facebook.
Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Ocean Pearl Jewellery