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Bead jewelry artist Miriam Shimon

My name is Miriam Shimon and I live in Israel. For as long as I can remember I have loved being creative and over time explored many different venues of artistic expressions, but it was only two and a half years ago that I by chance came upon a bead weaving class and decided to give it a go. It was absolutely love at first sight, I never knew that one could make such awesome things with all those tiny beads and to me it was a whole new world opening up, exciting, fun and extremely gratifying.

Bead sparkling beauty by Miriam Shimon
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I was extremely fortunate to learn from one of the most talented artists I have ever met, Angelika Motzkin, whose work Opal Fantasy made the final of the 2009 Bead Dreams in the Seed Bead Jewelry category. From her I learned not only all the basic techniques but more important how to think outside the box; and she has been instrumental in helping me find my own unique style of design as well as encouraging me to start teaching myself.

What started out as making simple and fun jewelry quickly became a challenging adventure into more laborious and elaborate designs, learning from each piece of jewelry and gaining experience and insight into the many aspects of jewelry making. Though I've tried my hand and many different styles and techniques, bead weaving remains my first and foremost passion.

Bead sparkling beauty by Miriam Shimon
click to see gallery

I love to experiment with many different types of design but I seem to naturally gravitate towards the more vintage and romantic looking jewelry and often take my inspiration from nature themes. Flowers, leaves and branches are especially favorable to me but I like to venture out into the unknown as well and make up new designs as I go along.

My creative process can often seem quite disorganized, I rarely draw my designs in advance, rather "doodle" with my beads until I come up with something that looks interesting, always thinking "What would happen if..." , while trying to look at new approaches to old techniques. I don't usually plan in advance what I want to make, often I get an idea that is either based on a certain color or shape and just start from there.

Bead sparkling beauty by Miriam Shimon
click to see gallery

As I make mostly necklaces, I always start with the center piece and work my way outwards, not knowing what the strap or chain will look like before it's almost done. As for embellishments, they are always added as an afterthought, piling up in abundance, I am still learning how to edit myself to maintain a balanced finished design, a task I still find difficult to master.

My favorite materials are Toho and Delica by Miyuki seed beads because they are so wonderful and uniform to work with. Many, if not most, of my designs also feature a lot of various pearls and Swarovski crystals, especially Rivoli, which I love for their sparkly addition to any piece. And of course Fireline! I am absolutely incapable of working with anything else!

Bead sparkling beauty by Miriam Shimon
click to see gallery

I use many different techniques in my designs, often mixing them up in same piece of jewelry and my favorite part of creating is seeing how all these techniques can be combine in a harmonious way. Key point is never being afraid of trying something new, - there is no "right way" to do this! It's all about having fun and enjoying the craft!

Over time I have encountered so many remarkable talented bead artists that each have been a great source of inspiration, far too many to mention all of them here but among my absolute favorites are Nan C Meinhart, Melanie Potter, Marcia Decoster, Patrizia Tager and Cynthia Rutledge.

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About author:

Miriam Shimon, Israel
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