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My name is Patty McCourt; I was born in Colombia (South America). My first language is Spanish and I still have my accent when I speak English. I got married to a British geologist, left Colombia in 1985 and moved to England. I live in Nottingham with my husband Bill and my two lovely daughters, Katerina and Stephanie. I have traveled a lot because of Bill's work and enjoyed meeting and learning from other cultures and people. I was lucky enough to live in Indonesia where I took a course in making batik and loved every minute of it; I have also lived in Jordan and Ecuador.
Ever since I can remember I have loved art and craft and to make things. When I was a child I helped my mom make quilts from fabric samples, I also learned at school in Cali (Colombia) how to crochet squares to create throws. I have painted in acrylics, learned how to craft batik and to make mosaics, as well as silk painting and tapestry weaving! I love cooking and I am an avid book collector. When I went to the university, I wanted to study architecture but was persuaded to take accountancy to support the family business.
I felt attracted to beads and beadwork while studying and completing my degree in 3-Dimensional Design at the college in Nottingham. I became obsessed with those pretty little things and the rest as they say is history! I have a diploma in Custom Jewelry Making and in Textile Techniques; and a City and Guilds Teacher Training Certificate. I have taught beadwork in adult educational center for over 8 years and I have used my expertise and creative talents to take beading in many new and different directions... just ask my students! I am passionate and enthusiastic about beadwork in all its forms.
I always find inspiration in nature and like looking for natural patterns that are interesting and intricate. I love creative process; it is exciting for me to start researching an idea, looking for textures, shapes, patterns and colors. I normally begin with writing words that will remind me later of my ideas, sometimes it happens in the middle of the night, so I keep a pen and paper next to my bed, and then I sketch and draw my ideas.
I also have a room full of craft and beading books and magazines as visual reference in a wide range of languages, Korean, Russian and German to mention a few of the ones I can't understand. I also find inspiration over the Internet in websites, blogs and social networks. I love color and my advice to everyone is that if you see a color combination you like take a photograph of it, it will inspire a piece of jewelry or something like that later.
I am a member of The Bead Workers Guild (UK), The Bead Society of Great Britain, The Starman Trend Setters Design Team (USA), The Living Threads Artists Group (UK) and The Beading Clinic. The last one is an exclusive and fun group that I formed to help beaders around Nottingham solve their beading problems and finish their UFOs (UnFinished Objects). We also provide workshops, share ideas, socialize and just have a good time.
I give lectures, demonstrations and run beading classes widely, both nationally and internationally; and create design projects for different magazines. I adore traveling around the UK and the world trying to learn more about fascinating world of beads and beading. I have exhibited my beadworks in the UK and I still continue to be amazed with beads and the beautiful pieces the artists create with them. I like taking part in competitions to get my creativity and ideas flowing - I really love challenges!
As I said, I love traveling and lately my schedule has been hectic. I visit the USA quite frequently and my most recent travel was to Tucson, AR, where I taught classes with my great friend Dale "Cougar" Armstrong at the Bead True Blue Show and had a wonderful and unforgettable experience. I've also been at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, WI, as well as at the Beaders Best Bead Art Fair in Hamburg, Germany, organized by Perlen Poesie Magazine, at the Creativa Show in Dortmund, Germany, and at the Kiev Bead Fair.
I'm the owner of a craft business (BeadbyBead) based in Nottingham which is the result of my love to beading and the idea of supplying my students and beading friends with the latest products and quality beads from around the world. I travel around United Kingdom participating in bead fairs and events selling those products to the ever increasing circle of beading enthusiasts, which also helps fund my beading adventures overseas.
My future travel plans involve the Czech Republic, Spain, the USA, Germany, Canada, Australia and Japan. I'm looking forward to attending the Bead and Button Show in June where I will provide beading demonstrations for the TOHO company team at their booth, and I'm excited about that! My dream is to return to my native Colombia to exhibit and teach my beading.
|Patty McCourt, Nottingham, England|