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Interview with beadwork artist Suzanne Golden
Jewelry designer Suzanne Golden (New York City, USA) is well known not only in the United States, but in Europe and many other places as one of the most creative contemporary bead artists. A maverick fashionista, her unique, instantly recognizable jewelry designs incorporate stark graphic patterns, bright colors, and a bold scale. Suzanne was so kind that she agreed to answer our questions. Thank you, Suzanne!
1. Dear Suzanne, tell us please a couple of words about you.
I am retired after having worked at the corporate offices of Estee Lauder for 22 years. I am single and live in a small apartment overrun with beads, clothing and shoes.
2. When and how did you begin beading? Who or what introduced you to beading?
About 17 years ago I discovered beading after taking a workshop with David Chatt (http://www.davidchatt.com) in New York City.
3. What was your first beaded item? Do you know where it is now?
When I felt I had enough knowledge of all the stitches, I beaded over small glass bottles and made a series using various stitches. They were then published in Bead and Button in the Reader's Gallery. They currently reside in a box in the bottom of my bead closet.
4. How do you describe your beadwork? Why did you choose this type of art?
Beading was the perfect medium for me to express my artistic ability with the use of primary colors and bold, playful styles.
5. They say, your bead art is pop-art style. Do you agree with them and why?
I don't mind being referred to as "pop art." I leave it to others to describe or analyze my work.
6. What are the sources of your design inspiration?
My inspiration might come from a picture, clothing or something colorful and then I try to interpret that into a beaded piece of wearable art. Color is my biggest influence. I see everything in the world, from people to nature, in terms of color and it inspires me to create.
7. How much time does a new piece of bead art take you?
It can take anywhere from 12 hours to over a month.
8. Could you tell us please about your favorite materials and techniques?
I am currently using peyote, netting and right angle weave stitches. My choice of materials varies from seed beads to crystals to acrylic and plastic beads.
9. What is your working environment? Do you listen to music or watch TV?
I work at home in my apartment at a large "J" shaped desk. My computer is right next to me and is always on, as well as my television, which is right in front of me.
10. Please describe your working process. How much planning is involved in your work, or do you design as you make?
I always have ideas... It's just a matter of translating the idea from my brain into an actual piece. Experimenting is also part of the process.
11. Is it possible to improve one's ability to pick up the most appropriate color combination, to define the sizes of beads for a project or is it purely intuitive?
I have no idea what is "appropriate color choices." I work solely from whatever pleases me.
12. What is your favorite part of working with beads?
I really don't have favorites of anything. It's more about the moment for me. Some days I like designing, some days I like beading, some days I like the color green...
13. Do you want to give a try to new techniques? Which ones?
Being a technique junkie, I'm not aware of any new beading techniques per se and think I've tried them all. However, I am going to try my hand at Kumihimo at the Bead and Button Convention in Milwaukee, WI, in June 2012.
14. Beadwork of which modern artists do you like and why?
I am in awe of Christine Marie Noguere's stunning bracelets (http://www.paradise-enow.com) and I very much admire the graphic work done by Jean Power (http://www.jeanpower.com) and that of Eva Marie Keiser (http://www.keiserdesigns.com). Also Merle Berelowitz (http://www.msmaddiesbeads.com) has a very lovely and sweet way with flowers in her work.
15. What responses do you get to your work?
According to Facebook, I think people like my work!!! A picture of my showcase at an exhibit in The MAD Museum (NYC) was posted by Eva Marie Keiser. I got 170 responses at last count and they are all positive.
16. Do you participate in any contests, shows and exhibitions?
Yes. My work is currently represented by the Charon Kransen Gallery that is one of the top contemporary jewelry galleries; I participated with him in The Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair (SOFA New York). I have also participated in the LOOT Show at The Museum of Art and Design for the last two years. I have entered Bead Dreams (Bead&Button's Annual Bead Artistry Contest) several times and made the final in 2011 (Ring Around the Daisy Bracelet), 2010 (Fish in Bloom Bracelet), 2009 (Evolved Bracelet), 2007 (Bauble-Licious Necklace), 2006 (Welcome to Hawaii Necklace), 2005 (Orange You Glad Bracelet). I listed just a few events.
17. What else would you like to tell us?
I am passionate about creating wearable art, and beading allows me to take my creative ideas and combine them with my love of fashion. I enjoy all aspects of beading from the idea, the work and seeing the final result. Getting published and accepted in prestigious art shows has also given me great pleasure.
Thank you, Suzanne! We love your beadart and wish you best of luck!
|Suzanne Golden, New York City, USA|