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I'm Tamuna Lezhava, I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, and I still live in this sunny and beautiful city. I often ask myself the question: Why beads?? The answer is very simple - all comes from my childhood! My grandmothers owned many great kinds of crafting skills, and one of them was a fashionable and popular dressmaker in Tbilisi. Watching how to create incredible things: jewelry, clothes, I did not even suspect that all this will be so important in my life...
Almost every day I work, creating new and new designs, and each time I want not to resemble the previous ones and try to do that, I don't like replicating the same ideas. And, incidentally, I cannot understand beadworkers of meticulously repeated design finds, even if they clearly express the style of the artist who created original jewelry. The reason is simple: design ideas and the style have been worked out for years and are unique to the artist, so I think that every creative person has to find something different that would make him remarkable and outstanding.
I'm often asked about my customers, and sometimes I am advised to create jewelry for the "average woman" - I do not know what it is! Every woman is beautiful in their own, unique and inimitable. The main thing is to find the queen in each woman! I'm trying to highlight her eccentricity, originality, and individuality. My woman, my client is a clever, self-actualization, bold beauty that is always in the spotlight. Sometimes she is a little pretentious, but in any case - an extravagant and not like at all!
I like working freely, when I'm not limited by the commission though in any case I take into account what the desired color gamut of a piece of jewelry is and what is its functional purpose. I basically never repeat already created items, so every my beadwork is unique, as there is only one, though my jewelry articles share a common aesthetic and a common identity - that is my style of beading.
Selecting materials and accessories, I cannot restrict the principle, "they are incompatible." I just love to combine different materials: glass beads, Murano glass beads, Swarovski crystals, large crystals, and metal pendants and chains, different strips of velvet, silk, organza... semi-precious stones: pearls, onyx, coral... When I see interesting stuff for myself, I think I already know what kind of jewelry I would have made of it. I never make preliminary sketches, working on a beadwork, it is in my head, I see a piece in my thoughts and there is no need to do sketches, but while the idea comes to live it changes a little bit.
My jewelry is complicated in technique and design; I like combining several different types of weaving in the same work. On average, it takes me from one to three weeks to create just one piece depending on the volume and complexity of the work. At one time, engaged in painting, I consider myself an artist-colorist, and this skill became very useful in beading. It is possible that combinations of colors in my jewelry annoy some people, but in my perception the world is multi-faceted and incredibly multicolored, and I am trying to convey that in my works; bold and creative approach are valued in art, especially in the fashion world.
I am a theoretical physicist by education. Despite the fact that today I'm not busy with science, technical education only helped me in my new profession: I have a good perception of space, I like 3-dimensional jewelry, and so I'm not interested in embroidery. Weaving is an opportunity to get any volume, which is to my liking.
Looking through the catalogs of the world famous beaded jewelry designers today as it was several years ago, I admire as a child the beautiful creations by Laura McCabe, Eva-Maria Keiser, and Natasha St. Michael. Thanks to their talent, beadwork moved from the category of folk crafts to the category of creativity and art; they are great artists!
Over the past few years I have had solo exhibitions at the gallery "Baia" in Tbilisi in 2007, 2009, and in 2010 I also participated in the exhibition Bead Fest 2009 in Moscow. I'm very pleased that the media actively covering my solo exhibitions, articles about them were published in different magazines: Amarta, Tbiliselebi, Droni.ge. Just a few days ago my jewelry was showcased in a fashion show by Georgian designers "ANOUK & BICHOLLA" at the Ukrainian Fashion Week in Kiev.
In May I intend to take part with my jewelry in the fashion week in Tbilisi (Tbilisi Fashion Week) and exhibit new beadworks in the showroom. In the future I want to start modeling clothes, and I think I will. Having a fashion house is my old dream, and maybe I can put it into practice!
|Tamuna Lezhava, Tbilisi, Georgia|