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Bead artist Natalia Zolotova
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My name is Natalia Zolotova. I live in Balakhna, a small town on the Volga river in the Nizhegorodskiy region, Russia; I'm an electrical engineer by education. I inherited love to crafting from my grandmother, also Natalia. She was a simple village woman and knew everything: she could sew a dress for any occasion and a coat, knit a sweater or lace napkin, embroider a firebird. It was she who taught me how to handle a needle and hook, and other craft tools.

As I can remember, my hands were always busy. As a child I sewed and knitted for my dolls, and after getting married I've done so for my entire family. And then the kids have grown up and I had a lot of spare time that I was trying to fill in with origami, scrapbooking, cross-stitching, and other activities. Once on the Internet I came across a website by Albina Polyanskaya about beading, and fell in love with that craft. So, beads came into my life.

Beadwork by Natalia Zolotova
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Since I didn't have any beading experience, I had to learn. Beading school by Valentina Pomeschikova and classes by Galina Pchelkina gave me a lot and I am grateful to my teachers that they generously share their knowledge, experience and skills with others.

Who inspires me in my creativity? There are many excellent bead artists whose work I don't get tired to admire. Simply impossible to list all whose work touches my soul. And no matter that they are working in different techniques and create not only jewelry, but also accessories and objects, each artist has its own peculiarity. I try not to imitate recognized masters, and learn from them - learn to work with color, texture and form.

Beadwork by Natalia Zolotova
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Generally, when I create a piece of jewelry I have no single algorithm. For me, the main thing is to "see" the image of a future beadwork. Often it takes a lot of time. Sometimes a form of stone becomes the starting point, as it was with my necklace "Frosted Ornaments." I bought a triangular cabochon of moss agate and immediately understood how the necklace would look like.

When I worked on the Ametis Set, an ancient Greek legend became the basis; I wanted to convey all-consuming passion of Dionysus and the cold purity and chastity of the nymphs using colors and form. And sometimes it is quite simple: take the stone in hands and then a sketch of a future work is born. The process is quick and easy because everything has already been defined, so it was with my necklaces "Nereid" and "Keeper Of The Forest." But the sketch for me though is the exception rather than the rule.

Beadwork by Natalia Zolotova
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It so happened that my beadworks are mostly woven. I like the versatility and flexibility of peyote stitch and square ropes. I love the symmetry and crisp lines (I guess, because of my technical education). Sometimes I use some embroidered elements, most often irregularly shaped cabochons, which are difficult to weave around.

When all the basic elements are ready, the exciting process of assembly a necklace begins. And usually, the final result is different from what was intended. While working on an item I can alter certain elements several times, but if an error were detected in the final piece, I would come back to it after a while because I do not like to redo, I'm bored, it's easier come up with something new.

Beadwork by Natalia Zolotova
click to see gallery

2013 was eventful for me. Taking part in three competitions, "Bead Design. New Wave", "Bead Design 2013" and "Fashion Colorworks 2013" was a bit unexpected, but very rewarding. Though my beadworks didn't win anything, these demonstrations of beading skill gave me some experience, confidence and creative impetus. I like to create jewelry collections with the pieces united by one theme, technique or style. "Harmony Of Geometry", that I presented at the "Bead Design 2013", was the first in my plans. I hope that I make success.

Am I planning to participate in the beading contests in the future? Yes, certainly, despite the family activities, busyness at my work and a severe lack of free time. And I will learn to master new techniques! Beading is my second universe, the opportunity to visit dreamland. After all, the real magic is when miracle is born from tiny pieces of glass!

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About author:

Natalia Zolotova, Balakhna, Nizhegorodskiy region, Russia

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