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From my early years in Austria, to my current home in the USA, my world travels, education, and life itself, have been further enriched by the ability to express myself artistically. It has been a long journey to the medium of beads, but well worth it. Beadwork allows me to remember, to forget, to forgive, and to have a universal voice. I am thankful for the many who live their art and who taught and shared with me their way of life; expressly to the matrons of my informative years, who were very talented and enterprising.
They taught me by example and by lesson how to be resourceful and to rely on imagination and intuition. They excelled in clothing construction (sans patterns), culinary skills and the ability to see great humor during most difficult of times. Their homes were warm, elegantly arranged and embellished with inherited and needle crafted fineries. There was always delicious food cooking and music from the great composers in the background. Fresh cut flowers on dustless furniture in beautiful crystal vases rounded the senses. There was also an abundance of fine stationery and writing instruments, which intrigued me, the most.
These wonderful teachers encouraged my curiosity, which was fortunate for me, because "how" was and still is my favorite question. How is this made, how can I do it, and sometimes how can this be?
From the age of five, needlework was a regular part of my studies. I would watch my mother and marvel as her graceful fingers moved swiftly across fabric leaving a trail of the smallest most precise stitches. And I was mesmerized by the beautiful colors. My fingers were so clumsy and the stitches uneven, but I quickly learned that persistence is a virtue. I soon performed stitches worthy of fine fabric application rather than the coarse "practice" cloth. With those sessions came stories of family, heritage, and tales of myth.
I remember asking my mother how she knew what designs to make, and which stitches to use. I was told, just become a master of the stitches, and they will tell what to make. What a frustrating answer for young mind, but I trusted and continued to learn and practiced endlessly. This bit of amazing advice drives all my creativity and is invaluable... and it is how I design.
It has been over ten years ago, that the world of beads and I were introduced through an unforeseen event. My father-in-law passed away suddenly. My mother-in-law decided to move from her home of over 50 years and my husband and I thought a replica of her home would bring her peace. I offered to do a needle worked depiction and my husband looked over some photos for a model.
On the way to purchase canvas and threads, a new storefront piqued my curiosity. Yes, it was a bead store and within a couple of hours, and many dollars later, assortments of beads and "How To" books came home with me. Needless to say the beads took over the project. The six months of meditative hours spent learning and working with my newly found medium, not only made gentle the mourning, but also changed my life. The artistry of creating beadwork became my passion, all consuming, and transitioned into my vocation. Many hours each day are spent architecting designs, discovering new techniques, and yes, mastering the stitches.
I love everything about the wonderful meditative process, learning, discovering, and of course the challenge. The excitement during the creative tension that brings forth a new design is my favorite. It is so energizing. The interplay of colors, textures, and dimensional possibilities intrigue me. No matter how many times I start over, beads or thread break, or when a design stops working, it is all good. The more a design struggles to become, the more I learn. Not being able to bead 24 hours a day is my greatest frustration. My slogan is "When I am not beading, I'm sleeping", and it is nearly true.
I am often asked what inspires me, for which any answer is cliche, because everything from architecture to zebras (A-Z), inspires me. But I do not bead by the inspiration of the five senses, but by the essence of "given" inspiration. I just bead, bead, and bead some more, all the while listening to what wants to be made. Often times I will wake and an entire project has been designed. I go straight-a-way to my beading bench and make what I have been given. That is truly a gift for which no words can express thanks. When you see my body of works it is very diverse, and the only common thread is my attention to layers on layers of detail.
My Wish for my Works:
Beadwork opened a wonderful journey of artistic exploration and possibilities for me. Through color, detail, form and function, I am able to express what words cannot say. It is my hope that my interpretations will inspire and bring joy to others as well.
|Eva Maria Keiser, Boise, Idaho, USA|
|E-Patterns and Tutorials:||www.keiserdesigns.com/KDC_Learn.htm
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