What our jurors say
Eva Maria Keiser:
The Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest hosted by
Zoya Gutina of My Lovely Beads is a wonderful
venue for creative artistic expression with emphasis
on use of color. About 100 entrants participated in
the spirit of design, color, and original works.
Congratulations to Zoya Gutina's contest and the
very talented entrants!
When I was invited to be a member of the Fashion
Colorworks Jury, then agreed without hesitation, it was
honor for me. At the same time, I was very worried
whether I could manage this task, if I have any right to
judge craftworks of other masters? This question is
still open... But my worries were in vain. Evaluation
system based on five criteria on a scale from 1 to 10
is very thought out and easy to use. Furthermore, the
overall rating is based on the assessment of all jury
members, and all this virtually eliminates the negative
effects of subjective opinions and preferences.
Therefore, getting a little calmer, I began to consider
the submissions and was impressed by diversity of
ideas, forms, and techniques! In the Beaded Jewelry
category I was very pleased to see the work done at
a very high level not only in bead embroidery, but
also in beadweaving. It is worth noting gorgeous
soutache items. It's very nice to see this type of
bead embroidery develops and finds new fans. I
was particularly impressed by beadworks in Beaded
Objects And Accessories category, by their skillful
combination of different techniques and original
ideas. Some of beadworks are simply breathtaking!
Back in October 2013 Zoya Gutina asked me to be a juror
in the 2014 Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest saying,
"I'm sure your precise vision and rich experience will help
make the contest interesting." I was flattered and surprised
Zoya saw my beading in such a light. To me, I am just a
guy who likes to play with shiny things. I agreed to being
a juror, not really knowing what to expect. I have recently
participated in the judging and again had doubts as to my
ability to be sitting and rating some pretty amazing designs.
Believe me, I was feeling totally unqualified for this task.
As a juror we had to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 such
questions like: Color Combination, Composition,
Originality, Use of Techniques, Use of Materials and of
course Overall Impression. That was a great help as well
as a lot of questions to ask and answer on each design.
I am predominantly a bead weaver, I am not one for
soutache nor embroidery designs and didn't feel qualified
to be rating those entries. However after sitting and
thinking about why I was asked I realized I do have an
aesthetic and I do know what appeals to me and what
doesn't. I certainly am able to appreciate the beauty of
soutache work as well as embroidery work and the hours
involved in these designs. I guess that is why Zoya asked
me and what she wanted me to bring to being a juror.
So I found my voice as a juror and began rating the
submitted designs and we had some truly wonderful
pieces. When the final ten were announced I was very
pleased to see these finalists were also my favorites.
Some validation of my judging skills was nice to see.
So if ever you doubt your abilities as a juror - or viewer -
remember you still do appreciate beauty and design.
Marsha Wiest-Hines about her favorite beadworks:
In the Beaded Jewelry category, my favorite in the
Radiant Orchid colorway was a lovely floral freeform
wreath necklace, with a vast array of flower and leaf
Summer Necklace components were
organized like a beautiful bouquet, keeping each
hue cleanly visible, in harmonious relationships, and
accented perfectly with spare use of the Sand hue.
Many petals showed ombre color shifts, creating
depth, and inviting the eye into the flowers.
Mirror Danu Necklace, in the Placid Blue group,
showed fantastically delicate details, especially in the
re-embroidered yoke. The Freesia made a perfect
accent in the beaded beads and connections to the
maze-like focal piece. Subtle value use throughout
the work provided highlights and shadows to make
the piece feel organic and alive. It is rich, luscious,
and a little mysterious.
Lullaby Necklace was my favorite in the section,
and a beautiful interpretation of the mood of the
Dazzling Blue colorway. All the shapes in this
piece were soothing and comforting, relating gently
to each other. I felt wrapped in the lines, like the
sweet face cab. Perfectly placed star accents
twinkled, and gently gradating pearls lead my eye
to the delicate fringe, long enough to have a
soothing pendulum sway with a wearer's
movement. The work had sympathetic negative
spaces, beautifully placed component connections,
and technical perfection as well, thanks to clean,
flat edges and neat, concise embroidery. I wanted
to climb in to this piece, listen to the song, and be
rocked to sleep.
In the Finished Jewelry category I was blown away by
the soutache work in
Aurora Necklace. Symmetry is
difficult to accomplish, and the shapes, both positive
and negative, in this work are astonishingly precise. Not
only are the shapes perfect, they are beautiful, and the
subtle texture stitched in Sand between the Orchid
layers gives a laced-together look I loved. The added
dimension of the top layer with its elegant pearly
accents and round shapes is a terrific foil for the points
in the under layer, and the clasp ties the layers neatly
together. Extraordinary work.
Song of Siren Set featured loads of texture in
the weaving, with great color blending that avoided
muddiness with careful placement that added depth
to the structures. The repetition of shapes with
subtle differences was beautifully done, and the
addition of the fringy bits and larger beads at both
ends of the work holds the different pieces together,
and creates a lovely whole.
I have to honor another work in the Placid Blue
colorway in this category as well.
Careless Fisherman Ankh-Morpork Set has expertly
selected details and great story-telling. The metal
trinkets in the embroidery and throughout the work
are used with great sensitivity to scale and proportion,
and I liked the use of the chain as yoke and drape,
adding to the picture without over powering the delicate
embroidery. I think in a parure, each piece should
stand on its own and combine effortlessly, and I
especially like the bracelet/earrings combination.
Beaded Objects and Accessories
Flight of Fancy Handbag is a
great example of color control in the face of lush
texture; in my opinion, a challenge of the highest degree.
I loved the divisions of hue, the related components
used differently in each color context, and the rich
dimensional beadwoven components. I also loved
the variety of different materials, stitches, and skills
Yellow Submarine Set was a delight! The whimsy
of the beaded rivets and cabochon portholes, in
conjunction with the realistic ocean detritus and
undersea life imagery was well-balanced, and the
disparate elements sang together perfectly. The ocean
bit looked like cake decoration, and the artist used a
varied and rich selection of tips for her bead "pastry
bag", creating textures that made me laugh out loud.
The inclusion of a key chain in the set was inspired!
The delicate work in the
Twilight Flowers Set had
for me the quality of a colorized black and white film.
The color in the flowers and doily-like cabochon edges
sprang visually ahead of the steely grays, demanding
attention. It would be a feminine and elegant addition
to a little black (or Paloma!) dress.