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Bead artist Victoriya Katamashvili

Interview with bead artist Victoriya Katamashvili

We're very pleased to meet and to talk to Victoriya (Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia) again. Last year she was our guest in the newsletter, but our life goes on, and now we're having Viktoriya as a winner of the Fashion Colorworks 2010. Many of you have already known her by bead tutorials we publish every month in our newsletter. Anyway, nice to meet you, Victoriya!

1. What interesting events have you participated in last time?

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

In May the Russian Academy of Arts held the Philanthropy International Award 2010 Exhibition, where more than 150 juried artworks of 40 artists were presented. I was lucky, and my beadworks were among items of 18 artists in Arts and Crafts category, including Russian Leaf Brooch, the picture of that was first published in my tutorial in newsletter in April last year!

Another exciting event, Bead Design Exhibition, was in December 2009 in Moscow. During my beading career I created a few ensembles consisting of clothes and beaded accessories, and three of them were showcased in the exhibition.

2. If so, additional question: do you create these ensembles only for exhibitions? Do they have "another life"?

Of course, they go live! The Day Ensemble from the Day and Night Collection was worn by my daughter for the school ball and for our city mayor ball, she put on The Day Ensemble from that collection for the school graduation ball this year. I think the dresses looked even more spectacular than clothes from boutiques.

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

3. We know you accept custom orders. Which of the commissioned works do you remember best of all?

First, I'm glad to work with the local fashion designer Tatiana Iordan. Our collaboration is always promising. Making her ideas live I find something new in materials I'm used to work with.

The most interesting project was accepted from another fashion designer, Olga Koroleva. She was commissioned to design clothes for bridesmaids of a Russian bride in London. Try to imagine, the groomsmen costumes should have been designed by another artist in Scottish style! Olga asked me to create Russian style tiaras (kokoshniks) for bridesmaids; I did my best and made them using wire and beads; the tiaras featured Russian churches domes. Olga sent me feedbacks from London, "Your tiaras made furor in the center of London!" It meant success.

4. What else except beadwork you'd like to mention?

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

A year ago I started online project named Rainbow Shop. That is non-commercial website presenting arts and crafts artists from my region, it will also tell people about the local history of arts, our museums and exhibitions. I work on the project with my daughter, and we hope that our website will be going a sort of the regional encyclopedia of applied art.

5. You have participated in the arrangements of the Fairy Beads contest in your region. Could you tell us about that please?

It was my idea to organize a beading contest in Nizhniy Novgorod supported by the Fashion Crafts Magazine from Kiev; it helped promote the magazine in my region, and attracted local beadworkers. This year we continued our cooperation, and the contest made better success: there were more categories and more entrants. My goal was to inspire regional artists in participating in public events, to allow them trying their skills in contests and exhibitions. I hope, soon they will enter international competitions like the Fashion Colorworks.

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

6. What do you think are deficiencies and advantages of your contest?

I think the nice features of the contest were its simple rules (only geographical limit) and lots of categories. Besides, the contest was online, that's why it attracted many artists. The problem was that the contest started in the beginning of summer, vacation time. Lack of information became another problem, and not all beaders had Internet access to info.

I think our contest had to be themed. As the Fashion Colorworks proved, a contest with a theme when participants are limited in their choice of design is more complicated, but more interesting. Maybe it makes sense to setup categories for hobbyists and professionals. Entrants have to determine their skills level by themselves. I exactly know that some of the beginners are afraid of entering the same competition as experienced beaders.

7. Does your contest have any perspectives?

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

I think, yes. My intention is to give artists a chance to enter an interesting contest where they could showcase the beadworks made especially for the contest. If you think the perspective is a large annual contest with the exhibition gathering artists from our region, I can say it needs a lot of time and money. It would be great to hold such events not only in Moscow, but I'm not ready for that. First of all, because I would have to forget about beading, dedicating all my spare time to organizational work.

Then, I don't have a team that could resolve all exhibit problems. And at last, sponsors and beadworkers are attracted by the name of the contest hostess. So, for now I want to increase the number of participating beaders including beginners, then we'll see!

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

8. You have prepared tutorials for our newsletter for two years. What's your point?

The most important - I love that! Writing tutorials, making step-by-step pictures, designing sample pieces give me better understanding of techniques and teach me to express my thoughts clearly. To tell the truth, I learn myself when teaching, and the best example of that are my two St. Petersburg Chain tutorials (version 1 and version 2). I hope my tutorials help beaders learn techniques. Besides, I was invited to be an editor of a Russian craft magazine, where I also publish my tutorials and projects monthly.

9. Do you receive messages from beaders asking to explain tutorials you publish?

Not many. I'm trying to write tutorials that would be understandable for every person. I think, if I don't get requests regarding step-by-steps, it means it's easy to learn. Sometimes I receive requests to send the entire tutorial, maybe such people don't want to copy and paste from! That's a joke. Sometimes I get emails with thanks, as a rule, not from Russia but from abroad. And only once a man (!!!) sent me an angry letter saying that it I could place any tutorial on one scrollable page. I was smiling reading that email!

10. Do you know that some of your tutorials are well known in the world?

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

It means that I have reached my goal! I exactly know that my Russian Leaves tutorial is popular. Two other St. Petersburg Chain publications are also known. I have seen a few very nice beadworks made according my tutorials, for example, here, here and here.

All my tutorials are free; I don't make money publishing them. And it's always nice to see that artists mention my name and give direct links to the online tutorials on I'm glad to get any feedbacks, as positive as well as negative to understand how I can improve my tutorials, I value people's appreciation. I'd like to know which of my tutorials are useful and which ones not. So, I'm asking the readers who use my tutorials; send me your feedbacks and suggestions!

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

11. Do you have enough time to do everything?

Painful question! Of course, not! Every month I work on the next tutorial for my lovely newsletter I have to think about technique, draw step-by-step patterns, make step-by-step photos, describe every step, and create a few pieces using this technique. It takes so much time! To design my entry for the Fashion Colorworks and be in time, I had to write two tutorials in April; and I submit my beadwork just before deadline.

12. Your contest beadwork that received Best Use of Materials Award differs from the other your works. What inspired you?

The image with the sea, sandy coast, the word on the sand, fishing net, and the bottle with claim for help came to me immediately when I first saw the contest color combinations. The word should have been HOPE - hope for help, and that hope of sailors had to come true!

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

When I designed my beadwork, I discovered watching TV that sand had to be pinkish, and the edge between blue and turquoise colors of water should be pretty sharp as a line! It was very interesting to know, I've never paid attention to that in real life.

TV-picture was just like I imagined and I was proved in my thoughts. I have looked for proper materials, and only at the end of May my sister found beads that I needed. When I finished the necklace I had a feeling that some more should be said, and I wove the bracelet with the steering control. Surviving after a shipwreck, sailors dream of that again!

Beaded jewelry by Victoriya Katamashvili
click to see gallery

13. Could you share with us what you are planning?

First of all, I will enter the next Fashion Colorworks! I also want to continue my Veil Collection. Galina Pchelkina, the editor of the Wonderful Moments of Beading Magazine ("Chudesnye Mgnoveniya") said, "Beautiful idea! Keep going!" That inspires!

Of course, I want to improve my beading skills learning from other artists. After online classes taught by Galina Pchelkina I have already created two sets starting beaded jewelry Four Seasons Collection. I will definitely continue my publications, and I want to ask: if you have a theme for the future tutorial, feel free to write to, I'll create it; I'll do my best!

My beadworks on
Fashion collection with beaded accessories

About author:

Victoriya Katamashvili, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia

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