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Bead artist Varvara Efimova

I live and work in Calgary in Canada, which annually hosts the largest cowboy rodeo festival in our country. I am an architect by profession, and beadwork is my hobby. My fascination with beads began in childhood, when I saw baubles on my friend's wrist. My mother had a little bit of Czech beads in three colors, which in those days was an extraordinary richness. My first beadwork was a three-color Russian gerdan, and I still keep remains of it. Unfortunately, it was woven with cotton thread and broke into several pieces.

Several years ago I came across a bead shop in Calgary and I again wanted to make something from beads. I began to try different materials and techniques, often not leading to the end of work. In general, I like creating a little beaded jewelry: pendants, necklaces, and rings.

Varvara Efimova answers questions of Julia Turova

Bead artwork by Varvara Efimova
click to see gallery

1. What is it beadwork for you, is it a hobby or art along with painting and sculpture?

I think, beadwork is a kind of decorative art, painting and sculpture are types of art. I do not think that they are in a hierarchical relationship. In my opinion, it's different style of art that exist on the same level. Also, whether this or that object is a work of art depends on the object itself and not on its affiliation with a type. There are genuine artworks among beadworks and just crafts among sculptures.

2. What place does beadwork take in the modern world with its tendency to simplify forms and functionality?

Beading takes a very unique niche in the modern world. At the time, as we are surrounded by a clear geometric design objects that perform a specific function, beadworks are those lovely things for the soul that people just want to have, to touch, to admire them.

Bead artwork by Varvara Efimova
click to see gallery

3. I sometimes encounter mockingly dismissive attitude to the bead craft. They say that is because beadworkers don't know how to spend free time. How do people perceive around your work?

Most of the people around me are creative persons who also have all sorts of hobbies even exotic ones. In general, they consider my passion for beading friendly.

4. Fashion on beadwork: it is fiction or reality? How is it in Canada? How appropriate, in your opinion, is having beads in the wardrobe and in the interior of modern man?

This is the reality. Beads were used, is used, and will be used in clothing and in jewelry. In Canada in stores I often see clothes embroidered with beads and beaded jewelry, and this summer sandals lavishly decorated with beads are very relevant.

Bead artwork by Varvara Efimova
click to see gallery

5. Your work is very unusual. Is it an art object, or has it been designed to use?

My top hat "Golden Life" is the accessory to a costume. In Canada, there are a lot of themed costumed events from friend parties to themed charity evenings.

6. A true artist never stops in creativity. What are the techniques you'd like to try?

I would like to learn weaving ropes.

Bead artwork by Varvara Efimova
click to see gallery

7. Who are your favorite bead designers?

Bea Valdes, Gwen Fisher, Sherri Serafini.

8. What do you think, is there a place in the future for beadwork? What, in your opinion, will it be?

Of course there is. Beads are very flexible material and have certainly not been exhausted. I believe that we will see new techniques and new technology, and unexpected design solutions.

My gallery on

About author:

Varvara Efimova, Varvara Efimova, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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