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In my previous professional life I was a Librarian. I loved the work but I always felt the presence of an artist within me. I began doing beadwork in 1993. That year, while on a vacation trip with my husband, I was in a bookshop in Sedona, Arizona. I happened upon a book that took my breath away - The New Beadwork by Kathlyn Moss and Alice Scherer.
In it I saw pictures of some beaded beads and I became fascinated with this miniature art form. But how to make them??? Back then there were few classes or tutorials. And it was before we could find info about almost anything online. This, as it turns out, was very fortunate for me. I was forced to find my own way to creating beaded beads, developing my own aesthetic.
I already knew peyote stitch and so that was what I used and have continued to for 20 years. I also use wood beads as an armature. Working within the confines of this ancient bead stitching technique, taking my cues from the wood bead shapes I could find, and getting color inspirations from the vast and never ending array of seed beads in the world, I have spent all these years exploring and creating beaded beads.
I began doing art shows and selling my work pretty quickly. Around 1996 I worked up the nerve to start traveling to the big bead shows. I got asked to teach a lot and so I taught workshops. This was all very rewarding and exciting, but also rather exhausting after a certain number of years.
So, in 2007, along with a dear friend and fellow art jeweler (Tana Mclane of CityRusticJewelry.etsy.com), I opened an art gallery in my hometown of Tallahassee, Florida. I loved it! But exactly one year later the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy. There is no more optional than spending for art. After struggling through 2 more years we sadly closed the gallery. But lo and behold I had learned a few more things about the art biz!
I also saw that with the coming of age of Social Media that online commerce had become much more possible for an artist. So I put all this together and I opened an online shop - TheBeadedBead.etsy.com where I sell my beaded beads, jewelry, tutorials, kits and beading supplies. So now I get to spend every day in my backyard studio surrounded by my beads and my husband's fabulous garden. I create beaded beads, I write tutorials, have learned how to do some pretty decent product photography and I market it all on Facebook. It's a brave new world and my adventures in being a bead artist and entrepreneur continue!
I made new friends and knew other bead artists working in the same field as I do. I particularly love the beaded beads made by Gwen Fisher and Florence Turnour of Bead Infinitum and Cindy Holsclaw of Bead Origami. For many years I've admired the work of Valerie Hector, Jacqueline Lillie and Axel Russmeyer. These 3 were my earliest inspirations.
My plans for the future are really to stay on the path of evolving my work in beaded beads. Doing business online is a huge challenge, as I was not born into the Digital Age. I love being a part of the international online community of beaders and bead artists. Social Media is allowing us to communicate in a way never possible before. I'm also a grandmother of 6 and I have a wonderful husband of 42 years. Family and art - that's my plan!
|Sharri Moroshok, Tallahassee, Florida, USA|