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Bead artist Rumyana Rakovska
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My name is Blush Rakovska (nickname in the Internet is "rstil"); I live in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. My grandmother was great in crafting, but while she was alive and wanted to pass me her skills, I did not show any interest to it (a lesson for the young!). I was studying at the institute and wanted to shine as a "techie" (I've been working as an engineer at the National Palace of Culture for 32 years). I have worked in the men's team, where as a specialist I was appreciated very much and where I felt I was looked down upon. And I finally realized that I would always deal with a silent "technology is not a woman's thing" and the work of men will always get a higher rating.

Lacework by Rumyana Rakovska
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Once going through grandmother's things, I found her laceworks, which delighted me. I wanted to learn making such things - but the grandmother was not there... Gradually, I was fascinated by lace and a step-by-step mastered all available techniques. First I have learned crochet using the German magazine "Handarbeit". Then I went to the courses of bobbin lacework, then tatting. And all the time I did not stop to wonder about amazing lace, which decorated the old grandmother's handkerchiefs... No one could tell me about that kind of lace technique.

And by chance I watched a TV show where a craftswoman was making "grandma's lace"! I found the artist, got in touch with her and began to learn the skills of needlelace. By the way, the Dutch queen has a blouse made by a local designer and decorated with my laces in this technique.

Frivolite with beads by Rumyana Rakovska
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With the advent of the Internet in my life, I became interested in the characteristics of lace weaving in other countries and spent on various sites on needlework a lot of time. One day I accidentally got on the website, and from that moment my bead history began. It was not easy to find a high quality beads in Bulgaria at that time, the shops sold only simple Chinese beads. I have looked at the work of Russian beadworkers and was upset with my ugly items quite unlike their exquisite work... But it was hard to stop!

I could not resist and have tried all kinds of beadwork that all my friends made: weaving, embroidery, etc. (except, perhaps, the French bead flower technique, I do not know why, maybe it requires a different state of mind). But with a special attention and enthusiasm I have considered graceful creations by E. Stepnaya and N. Libin in tatting with beads technique - for hours!

Frivolite with beads by Rumyana Rakovska
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In the Internet I met talented and generous highly skilled bead artists having the experience of working with frivolite with beads who were ready to share their knowledge, and I made the first attempt in the new beadwork for me. My hobby has turned into a passion, and I dedicate it every free minute - even when traveling in the taxi to work I do not part with the shuttle!

I have to confess that the closest liking to me was the work of Alla Vizir. Long, long time I tried to make my beadwork the same texture, the grace and brilliance, which feature the work of Alla. Maybe subconsciously I was creating in my works elements, similar to the previously seen in other people's work, but who can boast that all inventions are his own? And then I realized that it was useless and necessary to look my own way.

Frivolite with beads by Rumyana Rakovska
click to see gallery

I love working with neutral colors - white, gray, black, and with metallic threads. I usually do not draw sketches because I love improvisation... It can happen sometimes that a lace element has been lying in my box long time and suddenly - like lightning - an idea comes of how and where to apply it better, make it more elegant and beautiful, and the result is a necklace!

Who helped me to find my way? All craftswomen, who I met in the network, a book by Anna Bystrik on embroidery, Wonderful Moments Magazine, a book by E. Stepnaya, "beaded lace" by Colette L'Hopital-Navarre, the wonderful website, - if I try to list all of them I'll probably miss someone or something, so I give up the attempt.

I participate in the competitions not often, but won the first bead contest in Bulgaria. I regularly participate in exhibitions at the National Museum of Ethnography and in the Ethnographic complex "Oreshak". I'm more successful as a lacemaker than a beadweaver, but both my creative activities bring me joy!

My beadwork on
Samples of my lacework

About author:

Rumyana Rakovska, Sofia, Bulgaria

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