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My name is Nadya Gerber, I was born in Gus-Khrustalniy City (literally, the city of Crystal Goose), Vladimir region, Russia, and now I live in the city of Neuss, near Dusseldorf, Germany. I'm lucky at birth, I grew up in a large, close-knit family and I have hard-working parents. I was fortunate to have devoted friends, to meet and work as an engineer in the glass industry under the legendary people management. I'm lucky with my husband and true friends in another country and lucky to know a material such as glass beads.
It was love at first sight: an open jewelry box with a woven beaded jewelry just turned my understanding of this material. The notorious "I want to learn this" suppressed all reasonable arguments. My Mom brought up view of the self-made style and a feeling to stand out and not to remain a black sheep; it made me try to weave attractive jewelry for myself.
First there was the development of techniques to duplicate the work of others, and then there was a desire to do things my own way and an attempt to implement any idea. "Where do you get ideas?" - my colleagues often hear this question. And everyone responds differently: nature, paintings, myths, and stories. I would like ever to reflect images and events - Cirque du Soleil, a concert by Vladimir Spivakov, a "Black Flock" book by Anna Akhmatova, and my walk across Amsterdam.
The first successful attempt in this direction was, in my opinion, my work "Russian Parisian." It seriously devastated my stocks when working on it: I used an original Swarovski crystal souvenir "A hat", pretty expensive lapis lazuli and lovingly chosen findings.
The more I work with beads, the more versatile it seems to me as material. It not only provides an opportunity to play with color, texture and create a jewelry piece of any size, but also it easily combines with other materials. At the same time beads is quite democratic and accessible; it's possible to create a piece for a kid and you can see beads in jewelry at fashion shows and in glossy magazines. In this, perhaps, its charm lies!
Everyone who entered a magical transparent, matt and shiny world of tiny glass beads can find in it for himself something of his own. Someone is developing children's creativity, some people are weaving another rope as a gift for a beloved friend, another person is making a bold attempt to conquer the world with haute couture fashion works.
Manufacturers of beads constantly make us happy with new products, which also extend the opportunity to realize our plans. I love the new items! At times, we expand the tila-magatama-rizo-rulla beads and such miracles are coming out that the very divine I am given! I like to see the creativity and style preferences in different countries. What one people consider the height of perfection, another thinks lack of taste.
Many Germans believe that my work is made in American style. My favorite bead artist is Heidi Kummli, I can look at her artworks for hours. The knowledge of beadworks of such artists as Svetlana Sametis, Angelika Motzkin, Huib Petersen, Zoya Gutina, Birgit Bergemann, Lyudmila Gubinova left an imprint on my beadwork. I love the bold designs of Tamuna Lezhava, the exact embodiment of a plot in jewelry by Alla Maslennikova and thoughtful perfection of lines in the works of Olga Shumilova.
Unexpectedly, I liked to take part in contests that force not only to mobilize the creativity, think outside the box and look for interesting ideas, but also give joy of the competition. I like to follow the competitions, the development of artists, especially young ones, and I'm always pleased with different visions of a given topic. My first major bead contest was "Fashion Colorworks 2011."
As an aspiring contestant, I got very useful feedbacks from the organizers that helped me learn and understand the points obtained and my ability to bring the idea. The second attempt in "Fashion Colorworks" last year was successful for me: my Somewhere In The Universe Necklace was found the most original beadwork. In the middle of a night such a crazy idea came to me that it was a sin not to use it!
Each year "Fashion Colorworks" has more and more participants and more and more interesting works have been submitted. Now objectives of the contest seem to me much harder and deeper than two years ago, and my approach to it is more serious.
The craze beads in recent years cannot be called fashion: beads count thousands of years, and stylish casual or evening beadworks can be made regardless of the time. The development of this craft as a hobby is largely due to a competent marketing by bead manufacturers that constantly change stock, and the age-old human desire for beauty.
In my work you can probably identify periods due to some external influence: interesting gemstones, new artists' discoveries, a visit to an art gallery or a country trip. I love working with ocean jasper and crazy lace agate. Drawings on a rock, as a rule, is the starting point for future work, looking at them I can see Klimt's circles, water lilies on a pond, cherry blossom, and even views of Russian St. Petersburg.
I always want to try something new and never say "never." I recently started bead embroidery and then fell in love with the combination of weaving with embroidery: bead embroidery provides a realization of the idea, woven elements give the airiness and lightness. I like the volume in jewelry. Probably because I'm pretty hard to do monotonous work I'm more successful in themed work.
The most difficult is to shift the images floating in my head at least on paper. To implement an idea, I can send a friend for the best umbrella in Belgium, quietly sneak in children toy suitable for jewelry, shamelessly cut to pieces a husband's jacket, beg a vendor on a flea market to sell an old film. To date, perhaps, I've got not enough skills to draw and I want to learn at least the basics of design and composition.
Maybe everyone needs a push in the works. It can be different: someone else's view of interesting work, words of girlfriend or respected artists. As all people, I can feel the desire to create and complete apathy and might have my ups and downs. Last year was very lucky for me.
My collection "Urban Sketches" won the Grand Prix in the contest in Kiev. Necklaces "Charm Of Eyes" and "Kern" took 1st and 3rd places respectively at the Pushkin competition in Moscow. Coffee For Breakfast Necklace reached the final of the IBA contest in 2012; Somewhere In The Universe Necklace was awarded for the most original work in Fashion Colorworks last year. This year also started with a win: Ivan Kupala Night (Monochrom) Necklace took the third prize in the OKTAbeads.eu contest.
Of course, participation in competitions provides an incentive for self-development, but I think the most important is to enjoy what you're doing now, and I want to create jewelry bringing joy to people. Everything is just beginning!
|Nadya Gerber, Neuss, Germany|