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Bead artist Natalia Mariash
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Natalia Mariash - the author of Baba-Yaga Doll
Third Place Winner in Beaded Objects category

1. The traditional question: what did your passion for beading start with?

My journey into the world of beads is just beginning... My name is Natalia Mariash, I was born in Ukraine, in Kiev, in a family of artists. Perhaps my genes or the "city of seven hills", where we moved (Moscow), influenced my perception of the world. The worship of beauty in all its forms and its attraction I felt from a very early age. Now it is very often my admiration with the creations of artists who work with beads. Seeing their excellent items, which embodies the positive idea, and superb craftsmanship, it is impossible to remain indifferent.

2. Have you ever participated in any contests like Fashion Colorworks?

I have never entered such contests previously. Having a good basic sewing skills and some experience in beading, I ventured to become a member of the Fashion Colorworks 2013. Frankly, I was interested in it and pushed the set task of working with color combinations. I see the color is not just a visual phenomenon, but as a distinct language in which the combination of shades - like a palette of words - can compete with even the great Russian language. A well-chosen color combinations evoke emotions, especially if they have backed the idea, which is guessed in a work.

Bead artwork by Natalia Mariash
click to see gallery

3. Why did you decide to create for the contest such an unusual item as your Baba-Yaga Doll?

The idea of the doll was brought to me by my daughter from her beading classes where they just developed the theme of Slavic mythology. This topic also triggered my interest! That's it, quite by accident, we opted for Baba-Yaga. In our version, she is not old and sinister, but a young and wise woman.

4. What do you think about contest color combinations?

The suggested color combinations, it seemed to me, were not quite so simple and, of course, I got interested to work with them. The palette for the Baba-Yaga was completely appropriate, at once the combination of fabrics, straw, pale colors to the head piece, unknown mushrooms became clear.

5. What can you tell us about your other contest entries?

Bead artwork by Natalia Mariash
click to see gallery

The Dragon Handbag and the necklace "12" I decided to keep for myself; these are the items associated with my personal experience. The necklace had a long preparatory work but I spent just one day to make it, it's a rarity for me. I usually work through a lot of options, and then after a while go back to an item and choose the best design solution.

6. Do you have any professional beading secrets?

Of course, but it is unlikely these are my personal secrets. For example, a composition where the image and the background is almost no different often seems lifeless and excluded. Our view draw in the first place the elements that differ from background in color, brightness and texture. Light items on a dark background seem to be more illuminated, and sometimes even more mysterious - this technique was successfully used by Renaissance artists.

Thanks to the principles of correspondence of background and images, and ideas from the theory of colors that warm colors zoom in and cool ones zoom out, or that wealth of contrasts is achieved through complementary colors, it turns out possible to create an extensive and expressive items. The big number of materials from different bead manufacturers gives a huge scope for creativity.

Bead artwork by Natalia Mariash
click to see gallery

7. How much time does the process of implementing an idea take you?

The time can be very different. Sometimes there is a great idea, I try to execute it, but it's not being implemented as intended. And it happens, that picking up stuff you understand what to do at the moment.

8. Do you get pleasure from beading?

Without experiencing positive emotions, without pleasure working with beads is not possible! Partly because of the complexity. Beading is not an easy task.

9. What does beadweaving mean to you?

Handicrafts, like any creative process, gives me means of self-expression and self-realization, stimulates my love to know new, brings dynamics and diversity into my life. I always want to learn a new technique! Now I'm just learning, looking and trying, not getting stuck in one style and one subject. Beadweaving means a lot to me!

My gallery on

About author:

Natalia Mariash, Moscow, Russia

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