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My name is Galina Baer; I am 47 years old. I was born and lived most of his life in the city of Volgograd, located on the banks of the Volga. I have two adult sons and a little granddaughter Lisa. For the last nine years I have lived with my husband and one of my sons in Austria, in the country, which I never cease to marvel that inspires and amazes me again and again...
I grew up in a family of a Soviet military officer in an atmosphere filled with love and trust. In my memories of my life during this period is characterized by only two words - a happy childhood. Of course, as all girls I had cherished a box with a few trinkets and a couple of old beads in it. But then I had no idea that years later these tiny beads would take so important place in my life...
When I were at school, the circle of my interests was very wide - from vocal to karate, I had studied ballet and dancing for ten years and stopped only a few months before the birth of my first child. Even now, after so many years, I sometimes dance in my dreams! That's when I became involved in knitting and embroidery; it was the first step of my acquaintance with the crafts that occasionally brought a small income.
I was always interested in new things and I'm not afraid to start all over again... When I were 30 years old, I jumped the first time with a parachute - in order to see the sky the way my father, a military pilot saw it. In my 36 I got married the second time and went to Austria to understand that life is beautiful and everything is just beginning!
Being in Austria, I returned to my favorite knitting; my children grew up and I had more spare time. For several years I was engaged in knitting, but after "one hundred and fifteenth" blouses hanging in the closet I got bored and I wanted to find something new, and I started looking for. There were fimo, decoupage, mosaic work and painting on glass. Not being able to draw from nature, I experienced some difficulties learning those new media and looked for other opportunities to express my love for color and other forms. I am deeply convinced that if you put a goal, you must get close to it!
So, four years ago beads came to my life. First, there were not even glass seed beads, but crow and pony beads and gemstone chips, which I strung on a string and gradually learned to make something different and special from them. Do not you think it is familiar to you? Starting to learn new crafts, you are not noticing how you go into this process! Only if that is really interesting. It happened to me. My first rope woven according found pattern seemed so beautiful and awesome!
Now I had what I was looking for so long! I was lucky in the fact that my husband has fully supported me in my new hobby in the beginning of my journey - and now of course! I found and bought a few books on beading, one of them written by Carol Wilcox Wells is always on my worktable discovered on the Internet and my warmest dreams partly implemented into my beadworks are associated with that book. I discovered websites of interest, and all my free time was given to the study of techniques and all that is associated with the beads.
It's hard to say which artists are my favorites. There are many, and each of them has his own style that makes him a real master. I always try to understand how they can make amazing items from common materials. They have answered my questions, shared their knowledge and supported me on my way. I'm especially pleased that now I know some of those artists in person!
What a fascinating business is to discover strange new beading materials with particular interest to the stones, beads and findings! Each beadweaver is also keen collector! He collects his collection consisting of things that sometimes do not have anything with beading. Such findings fall into the hands of the collector and sooner or later will be used consistently in his work surprising the others with imagination and skills put into a piece of beadwork. Not surprisingly that I also collect these things and they are patiently waiting their time!
I do not draw sketches; I do not know how to do that. Once prepared a few tutorials to the publication, drew patterns and written descriptions, I felt respect to those who do it often. It's really hard work! Pictures of elements and the smallest details add up in my head into a coherent whole in the process of work and I can only follow them.
I do not always know that I will get in eventually, I can afford it because beading is not the main source of income for me, and it is my hobby, my vacation from everyday life and ability to express myself. Taking a custom order from a client, I always reserve the right to change something in the future work or I don't accept the order at all. The same rule exists for myself. If I do not see harmony in a beadwork and I understood it is not what I wanted to say the item will be ruthlessly dismantled even though it is fully completed.
Sometimes I will never continue working on this design; sometimes the end result will change beyond recognition... I keep going on learning, there are no techniques that I would not want to try. Almost every my new beadwork has a new technique that I discovered by the time of creation. So, I can say I am in constant search and it will be continued. There are so many interesting and unknown; many discoveries are waiting for me ahead!
I love the very first preparations for the work and the selection of materials. When I open my sacred boxes, jars, bags and all those lovingly collected treasures appear on my worktable I find that I don't have enough the most important things! Sometimes I know exactly what I want to do, and sometimes this is a mystery to me. Prior to starting a new design it may take several days, and sometimes the material is chosen for several months. It all depends on my mood and desire; I have no deadlines and no boundaries!
I use all types of beads in my beadwork but I give preference to Japanese beads as more quality. I've got favorite colors and shades and my reserve of such beads is constantly replenished. I buy almost all materials in online shops, sometimes taking help of my friends for the acquisition of something special. From time to time I receive gifts from friends - that is another story! I never would have believed that a small bag or box of beads could cause such a storm of joy before I experienced it. So, buying the materials is another fascinating aspect of my hobby.
I live in the mountains a few kilometers from the city, and every day I see through the windows of my car a true tale where each piece of land is filled with the warmth of the sun and light! Admiring the flowers of Alpine meadows, I can see how much they are multicolor and ideal. Even in winter you can see trees that bloom beautiful white flowers! Could not that find a response in my soul? Especially after beaded flowers by Lyudmila Gubinova I saw in Prague I realized there is no way back!
So, I created a collection of "flower" beadworks, photographs of some of them with tutorials were published in "Wonderful Moments" in earlier this year. This lovely collection is constantly updated with my new works because the world of colors is an inexhaustible source of inspiration! I don't aspire to detailed design of a flower; I just listen to the voice of my heart... The biggest award for me is to get letters with the words of thanks and see the work done by my published patterns. I'm happy when my work pleases not only myself!
Last year having learned of the Fashion Colorworks contest hosted by Zoya Gutina and MyLovelybeads.com, I first did not think to take part in it thinking I wasn't quite ready for big international bead competitions, but seeing the color combinations being offered for beadworks, I decided to choose that was close to me, and to give it a try. Thus was born my most favorite work to date, the necklace "Ice Symphony". I still remember every element of it!
When I wear it I feel incredible feelings. And let my work didn't bring me victory, it didn't matter, it has been a victory over my fears and uncertainty. Anything is possible if you want that! The rules of Fashion Colorworks suggest the use of certain color combinations, and it is not just interesting - it's fun! Predefined colors in the 2012 contest were discovery for me and I decided to once again participate in Fashion Colorworks. Soon we will see all beadworks participating in the contest and learn the results, and I look forward to this point.
Now, having a very small beading experience, I can say that the beadwork is not only my favorite hobby, it means making new friends and meeting people who share with me a love to beads. Not surprisingly that today I have friends living all over the world. We talk occasionally and see each other at the shows and meetings, missing each other and waiting for new meetings, which must take place.
Last year in Hamburg I met Zoya Gutina and Svetlana Sametis, the artists whose work I really admired in the beginning of my acquaintance with the beads and still love now. I want to say a special thank to them and to Zoya's husband, George Gutin for their patience and unselfish willingness to share knowledge and experience, as well as their faith in me.
There, in Hamburg, I once again met those who have been at our previous meetings in Prague and Germany, and made new friends. I'm always glad to meet so many interesting and passionate people. The Beaders Best Bead Show was an unforgettable event! I met my best friend, Julia Bahmayer, who also doesn't imagine her life without these little magic beads and always and everywhere supports me in my new home country, in Austria, and it's great!
This year I have been participating in the Pop Art bead contest hosted by Perlen Poesie Magazine and very pleased that my entry was juried into the final. I do not know if my beadwork will be awarded, but I'm quite calm about the fact that the work of another artist will win. I will congratulate him from all my heart! It will mean my time to win contests yet not to come. Hence, the best I have yet to come! The only thing I regret is that I can do what I like beast of all just a couple of hours a day. But those few hours a day make my life brighter and better, and fill it with special meaning!
|Galina Baer, Linz, Austria|