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Extending Framework Of Techniques

        by Olga Arsentieva

Bead artist Olga Arsentieva

My name is Olga Arsentieva. I've been searching for myself for all my life, for 32 years. I live in the city of Minsk, Belorussia, that is the place where my family is and where I can speak the native language, although I can understand a few more. If you'd like to know what I do, in past, I'm an economist, market analyst with major in international transportation. In the last period, I'm in the field of creativity and art.

I can comply with requirements and be even higher than people's expectations, but whether it can bring harmony to the soul and happiness? I'm not sure. Something that we want to do we understand being a child. Often it's intuitive and illegible feeling. Since my childhood, I've known that I was interested in creating something with my hands, but what?

I was fond of everything: scrapbooking, knitting, embroidery, macrame, sculpture, drawing... All, perhaps, is impossible to enumerate. Also, I liked music and studied in a special school. Music fascinated me truly, deeply and passionately, but my fate turned quite differently. I studied at university, worked, noted my career and non-career achievements, trying to find some time for creativity, but gradually imbalance grew up.

Beadwork by Olga Arsentieva

I got married, then my son was born, and at that time, oddly enough, I had more time for my hobbies. It so happened that one of them received an impetus to development. Once a relative of mine came to me and pulled out a forgotten and tiny bag with beads, and at this point as if something clicked inside me.

I always loved the jewelry in my childhood and I had a box with my "treasures", my mother's friends has given to me broken jewelry, and I carefully folded it into my trunk. Thus, beading meant two interesting things for me: the opportunity to create with my own hands and to make jewelry!

Beads are surprisingly flexible material, it reminds me of sand, from which, like a sculptor, you can "sculpt" simple things and create masterpieces. For the latter, of course, it is not enough to learn basic techniques, to watch beadworks on the Internet and to read the random literature. You require knowledge in the field of color, composition, and even useful to know the rules of perception and human information processing.

Beadwork by Olga Arsentieva

The wider scope and richer the inner world of the artist, the more interesting and professional his work. Although, of course, the result of creativity depends on what the initial and the final goals of the "journey" are. This topic could be discussed for a long time, I just want to add that everyone puts his own goal in front, defines or cancels the scope of his work.

What are my priorities when creating jewelry? Often I follow the requirements of my customers, I want my jewelry to be worn every day, not only on major holidays and exceptional occasions, in order every day was marked by a small event. My signature is a small elegant form, it prompted me to expand the framework of familiar techniques. You can create almost any form freed from dictates of the material.

This freedom of choice at first even put me in a dead end. What to start from, what direction to go, if there are many ways? Many inspiring moments! Some of my pieces in my favorite technique I have created on the basis of old patterns. Once upon a time, I bought an imitation of ancient women's jewelry with beautiful ornate patterns.

Beadwork by Olga Arsentieva

Out of curiosity, having been engaged in research, I set out on travel back in time to learn more... After that I wanted to recreate all inexorably in beads, but how? The idea evolved gradually through me, as delicate spring grass. It took time to think, explore and create a stylized versions of such old patterns in beads. Now I see where I need to move on.

And generally speaking, inspiration for my jewelry designs is different: colors, shapes and textures of all that surrounds me. I love to play with colors, often a favorite design can be repeated in a different color combination. I use not only beads, but also gemstones, Swarovski components, other materials such as organza, wire, etc.

Beadwork by Olga Arsentieva

I buy the materials on the principle of "like-dislike" and sometimes don't imagine where I would use them. I can turn, for example, a stone in my hands for ten minutes. If I "feel" it and "understand" it, I buy that gem. I draw sketches, if necessary, very carefully, in detail, but sometimes I am guided only by my internal representation. I am always very pleased when my idea complies with the end result. I don't have favorite colors and materials, my choice depends on my mood, but the exception is the bright red color, it's very "sluggish" in work, and I rarely use it.

I believe, that to improve skills an artist has to constantly learn. I taught myself, and although I've got some recognition I clearly understand that I need to further expand my range of knowledge both theoretical and practical; there are many interesting areas that I want to learn and try.

Beadwork by Olga Arsentieva

I've seen many interesting works of other artists designed professionally at a high level, I truly admire them. I hit all the time possibility of human hands of different people together with their artistic perception, when a variety of materials as a result are true masterpieces! I wouldn't like to list all the names because it's very long and a pretty impressive.

I've never made jewelry in a bad mood, in this case, I know, nothing worthwhile comes out. Finished piece of jewelry, whether simple or intricate, but made with joy, I need to twist in hands a little, admire them, look at it with pleasure, curiously consider details, roll with it before the mirror several times, move from place to place - to make "a ritual". I cannot explain why I need that!

I do not consider participation in contests my main goal, now I just do not want to. If there is a desire, I know that everything will turn out. Nevertheless, I periodically participate in exhibitions, and it allows me to see live masterpieces and meet other artists, it's like fresh air and gives rise to my further progress!

Beadwork by Olga Arsentieva

Speaking of exhibitions specifically, I took part in the Minsk City Exhibition in 2007, in "The Palette of Soul" in 2008 and 2009, in "Colors of Soul" in 2010 and 2011 - the exhibitions organized by the Marina Dukhan. At the invitation of Galina Grebenschikova I participated in "Magic Trunk" exhibition in Moscow this December. My works were rewarded and photos of them were published in "Women's Magazine", I've got a radio interview and a few interviews in Internet.

I want to say a special thank to my husband, Maxim, he often helps me in everything, always and everywhere! My mother, like a true woman, likes my jewelry, wearing them with pleasure and also always helps me. Thank you, Mom!

In conclusion I would like to note that the biggest reward for me are eyes of my customers shining with happiness. I hope that I bring a little more joy and harmony in this world by my beadworks, and it gives me deeper meaning to my work than mechanical combination of different materials together!

My gallery on

About author:

Olga Arsentieva, Minsk, Belorussia

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