Saturday, November 16, 2013

Life has been hectic.

Oh dear, I've done it again... haven't updated this blog for quite a long time..... I will be better at this.... I will.... I hope I will...LOL

So let me update you since the last post.

I was asked by the very talented Mikki Ferrugiaro to become a Bead Maven. Quite an honour really, as she an innovator and trendsetter. You can read more about her here. The Bead Mavens is a blog involving Mikki and 6 bead artisans sharing their knowledge. And now I'm one of them :) 

So in August 2013, we were introduced, and we've been sharing ever since. You can read a bit more about my achievements here. And there there was the introduction interview:

Introducing.....Neva Brown

The second of the Aussie contingent and another fellow Battler, Neva does some very cool pieces using bead embroidery and bead weaving. Neva was one of a small group of beaders who took me up on wanting a FB group for an honest critique and formed "BEad Honest" which she pretty much runs.  I'm thrilled to have her aboard the Mavens so, let's get to know....

Neva Brown

 What did you do before beading?

All my professional life I have been an Interior Designer and Graphic Designer, having had my own business since 1979. My work has taken me to most corners of the world to design, and all my work has come to me by word of mouth referrals. I have been very fortunate in this way. Whilst travelling to China, I came across and studied Feng Shui, and subsequently incorporated its principles in my interiors. In 2002 I set up a design School, teaching not only Design in various forms, Colour, and also Small Business Management as well as being business mentor to this day.

What brought beading into your life?

I had been playing with beads from an early age, making ‘Surfie’ necklaces for
myself and my friends whilst at school. As I matured, I would design my own
jewellery and had a jeweller friend, make the pieces for me. Beads came back into my life around 2003 when my health took a downward turn, and after life saving surgery, I wanted something to do during my rehabilitation.

What is your comfort zone?

Comfort there really such a thing? I like using seedies of all sizes,I prefer 11’s and 15’s and also 18’s but really enjoy incorporating other things in my work. I guess I’m really comfortable creating collars with bead embroidery, once an image/design is firmly in my mind, it’s “All Systems Go!” I am also comfortable bead weaving, and really enjoy the challenge of a new design and technique.

What aspect of beading do you find most challenging?

Reading tutorials, or should I say deciphering tutorials. I simply can’t do it. Give me an engineer’s drawing any day. So I no longer try. I am now writing tutorials though, strange as that may seem.

What would you most like to bead if you had the time and supplies?

I would like to a complete jewellery line for a fashion runway show, collaborating with a couple of high end fashion designers. Or design the jewellery for a theatre production.

Who, if anyone, has influenced your style of beading?

Initially Sherry Serafini and Heidi Kummli, their collars were intriguing, so full of life and movement. Also Laura McCabe was an influence with her precise style and attention to detail and of course those ‘eyes’. 

If you could only use one bead weaving stitch which one would you choose and why?

Probably CRAW, it is a versatile stitch and lends itself to being very sculptural. You can create both delicate pieces on its own and also good bases for embellishing.

Do you have a favorite place to buy beads and supplies?

I primarily like to support local businesses, so my preferred supplier in Australia would be Cranberry. They have an amazing range of Miyuki, Matsuno and Toho seed beads as well as Czechs rounds and shapes. Not to mention all those little extras and unusual beads and gems. If I can’t get what I need from there, there are a couple of other places I frequent.

What Neva says about herself

As my friends know, I really don’t like talking about myself.... but if I need to say anything it would be that I am a very passionate person. I love to immerse myself in the task at hand and give it my all. I am a perfectionist, and won’t let things just be unless they are perfect. I love to be at one with nature and find my inspiration comes from my surroundings. I live just out of Sydney Australia, and enjoy escaping to the solitude and serenity of the country. My beading is not just a piece of art but often an insight into me, something I take joy in creating and pride in sharing. 

I am a mother of one amazing young man, and he is now engaged to a wonderful lady who also shares my passion for beads. I love to sit and bead with her, teach her new techniques and watch her soar in her creations. It’s very satisfying for me to know that I can help someone else develop their interest and watch her share what she has learnt from me with others. 

I am and have always been very health conscious, and attentive to what goes in my body. We, my husband and I love to grow our own food produce, and we have quite a lovely and extensive food garden which feeds us both, and sometimes our friends and neighbours’ quite well. I have been writing a cook book for quite a while now, developing my own recipes, and one day I will publish this, if only to leave it as a legacy to my son.

My long term goal for my jewellery journey would probably be to buy a small disused Church/Chapel and convert it into a gallery, to display and sell not only my work but also that of other aspiring artisans.

I guess that would be me in a nutshell. 

In September I had to write my first article for the Mavens, and instead of clogging this blog, you can read about it here. I quite enjoyed writing it as I love to impart knowledge to others, and I really like to watch people blossom because of something I've shared.

In September I donated a couple of pieces of jewellery to the Retina Foundation Fundraising Auction. I am pleased to say that both my pieces raised some good funds for a worthy cause. 

One piece was created specifically for the event..... The Jez necklace. A beautiful Paua shell focal surrounded by beads, hung from a necklace made with crystals surrounded by more beads and crystals. It was quite well recieved.

Pineapple Pickings
My second piece was donated from my stock. A lovely and large Swarovski focal crystal, hung from a crocheted Artistic wire necklace adorned with more Swarovski crystals. This too was well received.
I am now frantically in my studio creating more items as it is under six weeks till Christmas.... so I better sign off for now. 

I will post pics in the next week or two.