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Face to Face: beaders retrospective! | The Storytelling Jeweller

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Face to Face: beaders retrospective!

Face to Face: beaders retrospective!

Do you still remember the ‘Face to face‘ series of interviews I used to publish with beadwork artists, designers and beaders from all over the world? I don’t blame you if you hardly recall it, and I would like to apologise for the long pause. I have to confess, that sometimes in the second half of 2016 I started to feel less motivated. I worked a lot, but I didn’t see the results. (Blame me, if you don’t define what would you like to achieve, it is hard to make it work, and even harder to know if it’s actually going well or not.) However, I ignored my feelings about being tired, and pushed myself to work even harder. I bet you can guess what happened: all my creative energy disappeared, and I had to face an approaching burn-out syndrome!

I’ve felt that way before, and I knew I have to change something if I don’t want to go down the hill all the way. Finally, taking a step back, a long awaited vacation, a lot of brainstorming and a helping hand which came by surprise (I’m talking about you, Amy 🙂 ) persuaded me to continue. I managed to establish some kind of order in my chaotic life and learnt to say ‘no’. I don’t want to say everything is perfect now, but I definitely feel better, and do better.

With today’s ‘special edition’ I would like to restart the Face to face interviews. Some of my beading friends who where featured in the series earlier, told me what they were up to during the past year or two! Enjoy reading, and make sure to visit their webpages and blogs, they did some amazing work in the meanwhile!

Thanks for still being here after this hectic period.




Lucy Struncova


Interview with Lucy

Lucy’s Polymer Week Magazine



What were you up to since the time of the interview? What was your biggest accomplishment?

Since our first interview, so many things have changed, that sometimes I can’t believe where my life is now. I am really happy about the way I am going throw my life. In summer I organized very first Polymer Week event in Pilsen and about one hundred people from 21 countries came to the Czech Republic to share their love with polymer clay. Also, I had a lot of opportunities for the promotion of my work and myself. I had a chance to speak in a radio, be a part of the press conference and share my knowledge with so many people on the Prague Design Week and also with kids from primary school in my atelier. It looks like I have still a lot of things to do and it’s called life :). I love it.

Which is your favourite jewel made since then?

My favorite jewel right now is probably a piece from my Cubic Birds collection of brooches, which is really unique and important for me as it was a little bit different process of making and I am proud it’s a piece of design I really love. Also, this collection won the second place in a design competition on Pilsen’s university, so it looks like people already accept the polymer clay as a medium for designing and art. The collection is inspired by cubism, easy shapes and tiny patterns which are hidden on each bird.





Cynthia Newcomer Daniel – Jewelry Tales


Interview with Cynthia






What were you up to since the time of the interview? What was your biggest accomplishment?

This past year, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about life. At this time in my life (I’m almost 60 years old), doing the things that matter to me and bring me joy is increasingly important. To that end, I decided to pull back from the business of beading and focus on what I love about beading, and on what I love about life in general. I’ve spent more time out in the garden, more time with family and friends, and more time with my guitar. It’s been wonderful. But that’s probably not what you are interested in hearing about, so back to the beads!
Late last year, my good friend Marcia DeCoster came up with a wonderful idea for spreading the love of beading, and I have been very involved with that. Her Bead Love Blog was created as a way for bead artists to share their love of beading and give back to the community; being part of that is what I am most proud of doing this year. My contribution is called “Feeling the Love,” because that was my first reaction when Marcia told me about her plan. Her idea gave me such a rush of joy; I hadn’t been beading a lot, but I knew I wanted to bead something that represented the love I was feeling.
After much thought, and several missteps, I decided to make a bracelet using the Braille letters that spell out love, so that I can quite literally feel the love every time I wear it. I love that beads are so tactile; I have always pet my own jewelry and played with it, and now I have created a piece that is meant to be felt. That makes me very happy!
Which is your favourite jewel made since then?
This is my “Feeling the Love” bracelet designed for the Bead Love Blog. It is my gift to the beading community; you can find free instructions for making it at Marcia DeCoster’s Bead Love Blog.


Tereze Drábkává – Jewel in the Crowd


Interview with Terka

www: Jewel in the Crowd





What were you up to since the time of the interview? What was your biggest accomplishment?

Two years is a long time. But not in the life of a scientist. Since I am not a full-time beader, sadly I had to focus more on the “normal” life which meant that over the last two years I haven’t created as much stuff as I would love to. Nevertheless, I managed to participate again in the Battle of the Beadsmith, I also changed my brand name, started to work on much more intricate stuff, and surprisingly, I have started to really enjoy custom orders since those are usually the only cases I get to sit
down to my bead desk and create something. My biggest accomplishment during the past two years is probably the fact that sometimes I can play with new, sometimes even not yet publicly known, beads which leads into designing something new and special. That is a big honour for me, a girl from a small country which has beads only as a hobby.


Which is your favourite jewel made since then?

My most favourite piece of jewellery I’ve made since the interview is related to what I’ve said above. It is a two-piece brooch made with French beads par Puca. I have already recreated it three times – also to be worn as (huge!) earrings, and two more of these pieces are yet waiting to be made. The effect of beads used as centre pieces is very special and I must admit that to create the brooch is not easy at all. It’s one of the most complex things I’ve ever made 🙂




Lenka Gondová – L2Studio


Interview with Lenka







What were you up to since the time of the interview?

When I look back to the last year, I must admit it was a crazy ride. The combination of my work life with another creative work – L2Studio, the effort to keep also some other design creative activities that I do besides beading and ceramics – this all ended up in one  multitasking turmoil that took a lot of energy but also brought a lot of synergy and inspiration from one to another and back.

L2Studio as a new company took a lot of effort and somewhere on the way unfortunately I lost the „other L“ – Lacka left the company before the end of last year. Despite all the difficulties I have  learnt a lot from this short history of cooperation. First of all, L2Studio taught me to shift from simple creation to real production, what is a huge difference, especially in artistic work that you just cannot teach to somebody else. Also I have learnt that the more you try ceramic material and glazes the less you think you know about it! But after a while I missed also working with my other favorite materials like textile and of course beading, so there are still some not-yet – tested new glazes there on the shelves.

What was your biggest accomplishment?

Well, I do not know if this I can call accomplishment as it is at its beginning only but I would call it a conclusion and testing it now in practices. When we were working hard to establish the production of artistic cabochons in L2studio, one of the negative consequence of it was that the effort for productivity and cost effectiveness almost killed the creative process – which  is crucial.

I loved those common designing sessions of solving problems and this almost overcome the difficulties, but only almost. It ended up that either you can have productivity and profit or artistic creative energy. When Lacka has left I stopped striving for productivity and seek more the creative part of the process.  I am focused now to cooperate more with artists that would like to use cabs in their specific work and to cooperate closer to help them to reach their artistic aims. I am always so happy to see what are the trillions of possible combinations and results when other artists (like you btw. !) take L2Studio cabochons and do a miracle with colors and combination of techniques.

This was also one of the reasons to establish the „Creativity support Club“ (KRK is abbreviation for the name in Slovak language) – a nonprofit organization optimized for support of (not only beading) crafts, encouragement of new people to try techniques that I have came across and have some idea about materials, and what’s most important to share the happiness that the creative process brings. It has been proven many times that artistic work has therapeutically positive impacts and the magic of colors can have positive influence on health, so this is what I am using to relieve stress from work and that I can share to other people interested to try.

Which is your favourite jewel made since then?

When I see marvelous works of beading masters I am ashamed to admit, that I  recently found myself in seeking for simplicity. I am beading more and more like for „therapeutic reasons“ when I am happy just from the colors of beautiful material like Delicas and do not try too complicated patterns that I cannot finish in few hours or too many new shapes that are distracting me from enjoying the beads I already have. As we were preparing the first exhibition of KRK’s works I was preparing a lot of simple necklaces and bracelets for sale and for attracting beginner beaders to the Club. I also was thinking that when I wear beadwork I am more into simple shapes and the color is what must match to my dress. Recently when I was opening a conference, I had this bracelet that I have finished just the night before the conference.