Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Inspired Beader: Soutache by Magpie

Today my guest is Magdalena of Soutache by Magpie, a jewelry artist whose soutache designs are a delight of curves and curls. This unique technique combines beads with braided fibers in gorgeous colors and pleasing shapes.

Inspirational Beading: When did you first get started with jewelry design?

Magdalena: It was in May 2012. As a full time mom of my 2 years old daughter I found myself a bit bored and frustrated about wasting my artistic skills. I am qualified visual merchandiser and interior designer with huge passion for art of any kind. One day my uncle in Poland, whom always deeply believed in me has told me about something he just discovered - Soutache.

"You have time on your hands, don't waist it. Just try something new, you might like it." So I did.
I Googled "Soutache" and got inspiration kick, it was something I've never seen before. Then I made first tiny order of supplies, in case it wouldn't feel right for me. Most of the materials were new to me, I was so impressed with the Czech braids and it's beautiful, silky finish.

Inspirational Beading: Have you always been drawn to fiber work?

Magdalena: No, until the day I discovered it. My biggest passion is interior design and earlier I've never thought about making jewelry.

Inspirational Beading: Where do you look for inspiration?

Magdalena: Soutache technique is very organic in form, full of curves, very decorative so nature is a big influence. But most of the time I just pick up a few braids I like and start to match beads and findings with it.
I also look for the inspirations on the internet checking upcoming trends and spend time on Etsy.

Inspirational Beading: What's the most interesting or unique thing about your design process?

Magdalena: Soutache jewelry is unpredictable. It can be planned or drawn however I rarely do that, most of the time I just go with the flow and see what happens. Then I follow my first design if it has to be symmetric, like earrings, or when making more samples in different color palette. I'm now experimenting with braids itself, looking for new ways of use.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite color to work with?

It depends on my mood most of the time. One day I love orange so I am stuck to it for a while, then jumping to another one. Contrast and color blocking is my thing for sure, like in interior design - orange/pink, violet/yellow, black/red, etc.

I get bored easily rushing to try new combination. With time passing I am learning to follow trends. At the moment I am slowly adding some neon's and starting to love them.

Inspirational Beading: What are some of your favorite beads and embellishments?

Magdalena: Most of the beads I use are made of glass. Big matte glass pearls, shiny faceted, small irregular seed beads and tiny Toho one are the soutache must have. I also very often use the Howlite gemstone beads - they come in any color and I like the cracking patterns on them.

I've recently fallen in love with glass vintage buttons. They seem to have soul and some kind of story behind. Alloy bronze metal cord ends are my number one too, they are very versatile. I also discovered some handmade Eco-wooden round beads, very large and bold.

Inspirational Beading: What is the most exciting design in your shop right now? What makes it special?

Magdalena: My hand-wrapped bangles are most popular at the moment, few have been sold in the last couple of weeks. As opposed to the to classic Soutache designs where only the edge of the braid is shown, all the structure is exposed and shows its beauty. My experimenting continue by hand-wrapping PVC tube. Who knows what else I will find?

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

Magdalena: Inspiring is a big word but I do hope people would appreciate, love and wear handmade jewelry.
Still not many of them do realize a quality and beauty of pieces made by hands not machines. Often pieces are made just once for that one person, and that's what makes it so special. If that one person feel unique when wearing my jewelry then my mission is complete.

You can see more gorgeous soutache jewelry in Magdalena’s Etsy shop, Soutache by Magpie, and on Pinterest. To get the latest news and see new designs, check out Magpie on Twitter and Facebook.

Copyright 2013 Inspirational Beading and Magdalena (Magpie)
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