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Since ancient times jewelry has been worn adorning people. Women love to wear jewelry, which is a known fact around the globe. Woman and jewelry are made for each other. Various jewelry pieces allow every woman to create a new image and change it from time to time emphasizing her individuality and singularity, after what; actually, a human being has been straining all his life long.
Jewelry is a key image element and can say a lot about your personality. We judge a person first by his look, so the jewelry helps us to figure out the initial impression about a person, and thus, essentially affect our mental picture about him in general. "A good dress is a card of invitation" or "Clothes count for first impressions" - and first impressions are half the battle! Avant-garde jewelry, and handcrafted seed beaded jewelry beyond dispute belongs to that category, makes woman forget any standards and open up opportunities for brave experiments with her outfit.
The classical jewelry never goes out of style. The classics let a woman look smart and elegant in the every day life. As for the high life parties, people usually visit to "shine", women wearing ingenious and extraordinary jewelry around their neck immediately "stand out in the herd". Individually designed, shiny and sparkly seed beaded necklaces, bracelets and other accessories with crystals and gemstones are attention grabber. A woman drawing lots of attention starts getting more beautiful. And when a woman feels like a beauty, the surrounding is getting more colorful and brighter, the sounds - more melodic and the men - more gallant!
In the light of my foreword I'd like you to initiate into creative beadwork of the "Freelance Artisans", a group of talented Russian jewelry designers working with seed beads and gemstones, Galina Grebenschikova, Svetlana Serebryakova, Galina Borovaya, Olga Vetrova, Natalia Berezovskaya and Galina Barel, who have recently started a non-profit partnership to promote haute couture beaded jewelry, form delicate taste, style and fashion trend at Russian beaded jewelry market. The second important goal of their partnership is to create a collection of exclusive jewelry for the customers of all sorts and ages, as well.
Why did they call themselves "Freelance Artisans"? Svetlana Serebryakova, an executive secretary of the fellowship answers this question as follows: "Because creativeness is always meant to be free and independent. If you stop the outflow of a stream, soon the last turns into a musty-muddy pond. When yoke turns down other work to make an artist available. Seed beads are wonderful material; nicely matching stones, leather, metal, shells... we can put much more items into the list. Beadwork doesn't know limits and allows any forms and shapes. That's why, we are creating, experimenting and perpetrating."
Galina Grebenschikova doesn't agree when people call her a beadworker. "It's not quite true!" she develops her thought further. "In fact, we just use seed beads as wonderful material for bezeling gemstone cabochons, mother-of-pearls, pearls, and amber, wood and bone cabs. Sometimes there are only a few seed beads used in our jewelry pieces." "Freelance Artisans" make jewelry using different beading techniques and stitches, but free form is dominating. If there is no known suitable method to reach the goal, they just invent something new on their own.
All the members of that friendly team can do many crafts: they can sew, knit and crochet, do tambour and machine embroidery as Galina Borovaya, for example. Natalia Berezovskaya additionally can make straw paintings from wheat haulm and sew soft toys. Svetlana Serebryakova can also make straw paintings and papier-mache dolls and sculptures. All their jewelry results integration of working methods from very closely allied to bead weaving craft. It might give a good explanation why their jewelry is off the beaten track.
Some of them are self-taught bead artisans (Galina Grebenschikova), the others were taught basic beading courses by big-name tutors: Galina Borovaya did S.B. Osipova's and O.L. Romm's beading courses, Svetlana Serebryakova was taught beadweaving by Natalia Borisova. Galina Barel studied the volumetric shuttle tatting (frivolite) and embroidery on the lace with glass and seed beads, the unique technique developed by Rosanova A.A. and Stepnaya E.Y. in the art studio in Novo-Peredelkino, Moscow.
Some of the artisans are very experienced; they have been mastering beadwork for more than fifteen years, the others started designing beaded jewelry only a few years ago. Galina Grebenschikova's portfolio includes three one-person jewelry exhibitions in the "Prima LEX" Gallery, Moscow. She was one of the participants in the Ethnic Folk Art Exhibition in the House of Artists at Kuznetsky Most Street, Moscow. Twice she exhibited her jewelry at the "Golden Hands of Masters" fair for folk trade production hold in the Exhibition Centre. Her creations were presented at "Beaded Jewelry and Home Decor Design" exhibition in 2007 and 2008. Another big exhibition Galina took part in was the first international fashion accessories, home decor and beaded jewelry exhibition fair "GlassBeadExpo-2008" In 2007 the Russian craft magazine "Wonderful Moments of Beading" offered their readers an issue containing only Galina's beadwork, so called "author's magazine issue"
Svetlana Serebryakova and Galina Grebenschikova first met at the International festival "Golden Hands of Masters" in 2007. Two talented jewelry designers immediately became friends and later business partners. It is their idea to establish a non-profit fellowship "Freelance Artisans", which they succeeded to realize last year. Svetlana Serebryakova's beaded jewelry pieces were already exhibited under the name of the "Freelance Artisans" at the "Beaded Jewelry and Home Decor Design-2008" and "GlassBeadExpo-2008"shows.
Galina Barel can also boast of some achievements. There are such exhibitions like the "Golden Hands of Masters" (from 2002 to 2006.), the "Shallop" (2006, 2007 ), and the "Slavic Background" (2003) fairs for folk trade production, the "Spring Floral Fantasy" exhibition in the "Prima LEX" Gallery and some other listed in her portfolio. In 2006 Galina Barel joined Moscow Association of Artists. Galina is thinking of interior decoration in the nearest future. She wants to create some unusual and extraordinary things: for example, she'd like to create a Universe painting showing the beauty of the Earth planet, as it is described in Pavel Bazhov's "Ural Tales" with the magic world of flowers and plants on land and under water.
All the things creating by Natalia Berezovskaya are of practical use. They are home decor elements and objects dressed in beads, but always ready to be used. She likes beading all kind of necklaces, as well. She knows exactly, that the right neckpiece makes any woman more attractive and charming, and not only a woman. Men also wear loomed ties made after Natasha's original design with pleasure. Not long ago Natalia got engrossed with bead embroidered icons and paintings. N. Berezovskaya's beadwork was shown at the "Magic Beads 2008" show, at the "Autumn Ball of Craftsmen 2008" (in Kiev), at the "Beaded Jewelry and Home Decor Design 2008" and at the "GlassBeadExpo-2008" (in Moscow) exhibitions. The photos of Natasha's jewelry are on the front covers of such beading magazines as the "Fashion Magazine" and the "Fashion Crafts".
There you have the gifted jewelry designers I met at the first international fashion accessories, home decor and beaded jewelry exhibition fair "GlassBeadExpo-2008" last December in Moscow! Someone can ask me a question why to unite. Master is less detectable belonging to any group. I am sure, that togetherness has many plusses such as mutual assistance, idea exchange, friendly discussions, and co-operation in preparation for competitions and shows and etc. Then the talent of one master reflects the talents of the fellow-beaders and is reflected in their creations.
"Freelance Artisans" is a well-consolidated team of artists, business partners and just friends. They have already opened a permanent exhibition-fair in the Exhibition Centre (pavilion 71, section B5) and invited some more beadworkers to co-operate. "Freelance Artisans" are a member society of Moscow Chamber of Crafts. Together they plan collective shows, popularize folk arts and engage in beading young craftspeople. Nowadays they all are preparing for a new exhibition, which will take place in Gorbunov House of Culture from February, 27 to March, 13. Very soon we can see some exclusive beaded jewelry made by Galina Grebenschikova, Svetlana Serebryakova and Galina Borovaya in Kiev magazine the "Fashion Crafts".
I am looking forward for my next trip to Moscow to visit my friends, enjoy their latest creations and get a piece of inspiration. The "Freelance Artisans" dynamically reply to shift of jewelry fashion enlarging their assortment with new items, it means, that I can learn about the top trends in jewelry and beading, as well. By the way, my dear readers, you don't need to go to Moscow at all ! By courtesy of the "Freelance Artisans" we have an opportunity to visit their virtual gallery on website MyLovelyBeads.com right now. I am full of hope; you'll get a bang out of their beaded jewelry! Nice photos taken by Ilia Ivanushkin will double your positive emotions!
Svetlana Eltsova, born Russian spent her childhood in the deep Ural country side next to Tyumen town, the main Siberian oil region center. She graduated from Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) Pedagogical Institute with MS in German and English languages. Svetlana has been beading for more than 7 years, her favorite theme is seasonal or botanical (floral) beadwoven jewelry. Now Svetlana Eltsova lives in Lahti, Finland; since 2007 she has been a member of the Beadworkers Guild (UK).