It’s truly wonderful what can happen when beads speak, and artists listen. Today my guest is Diana Coe of Beadwork & Coe. This UK-based artists creates a gorgeous variety of jewelry designs using beadwork and bead embroidery to showcase a wonderful palette of colors and pretty motifs.
Inspirational Beading: When did you first get started with beading?
Diana: I started beading in 2007 after my son was born. Just staying home was new for me and I had always been creative in some shape or form. So I went into the local craft supply shop to see what's out there.
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite thing about jewelry making?
Diana: It's not just jewellery, but in general beads. Jewellery started it as that's what beads are usually connected to, but increasingly I try to venture into other areas too. It's important for me though that my pieces are "practical".
Inspirational Beading: Do you remember your first piece? Where is it today?
Diana: I've still got it. It is a necklace and bracelet set, made with brick stitch tubes in rainbow colours with matte golden metal beads strung in between.
Inspirational Beading: Where do you look for your greatest inspiration?
Diana: Honestly, I don't know. It just hits sometimes ... But one source of inspiration/direction for a new piece are definitely the monthly challenges of the Etsy Beadweavers, a group of bead artists with shops on Etsy were I am a member and leader. The themes for those challenges are always chosen by previous winners and can range from "Our Solar System" to "Game of Thrones" it really makes the creativity work overtime.
Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite kind of design to make?
Diana: What can I say? The unusual ones I guess. I hate designs that use the same component over and over again, the repetition just drives me insane. In 2009 (I think) I started a bracelet made of Daisies, because it looked so cute. But after 4 or 5 I put it away and it's still not progressed any further.
Inspirational Beading: What’s the most interesting or unique thing about your design process?
Diana: For my bigger pieces I usually start with a focal that "speaks" to me and then I go through my stash to find bits, bobs and beads that go with the overall feel I would like to achieve. Rarely do I make a drawing or anything, because I never stick to it anyway. Sometimes I lay out my larger components and take photos of different combinations as it's so easy these days, but that's it really. I just start stitching.
Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite color to work with?
Diana: All shades of metal, more silver than gold, are my first choice and then I quite like to add a splash of colour. In general I always go for interesting texture though.
Inspirational Beading: Do you have any favorite materials or beads?
Diana: I love all the small beads, particularly Delicas. They just work so well for my style.
Inspirational Beading: What is the most exciting design in your shop right now? What makes it special?
Diana: You can't expect me to answer that and not be bias, please. I love all my babies! OK, let’s go with the winner of the Innovation Prize at an exhibition I was part of last year, it made me very proud.
Inspirational Beading: Do you have plans for any new designs in the coming year?
Diana: This will hopefully be the year when I conquer my fear of fish leather. It's so beautiful, but a bit intimidating ... I came up with a cuff design that uses it last year and I am still trying to get hold of some of my supplies.
Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?
Diana: I always hope to show that beadwork is not all fringe and flowers. They seem to be the first things people think of when I say what I do and that is such a shame. There are a few designers that work in a more contemporary style, but there is room for improvement. Minimalists, technical minds and mathematicians to the beads.
You can see more of Diana’s gorgeous designs in her Etsy shop, or on her website Beadwork & Coe.
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Copyright 2016 Inspirational Beading and Diana Coe