Beadweaving Artist Behind Moroccan Sunset Beaded Bracelet
Designer Q&A: Shae Wilhite
Shae Wilhite is one of the designers featured in February/March 2017 Beadwork. Her quick and easy Moroccan Sunset beaded bracelet is a simple peyote-stitched pattern that results in a stunning cuff of DiamonDuos. Get the pattern in February/March 2017 Beadwork.
We recently spoke with Shae about how she got into beadweaving, where she gets her inspiration, and the advice she has for other beaders.
Q: How did you get started beading?
A: My sister-in-law gave my mother and me a crafting book that had French beaded flowers in it. We went to a bead store to buy high-quality seed beads, and when I saw what was possible to make with beads, I was hooked. We never did make the French beaded flowers.
Let Nature and Beads Be Your Muse
Q: Where do you get your design ideas? What inspires your creativity?
A: Color is usually my jumping off point for any project. You can find amazing color and shape combinations in nature, art, and architecture and that’s usually what inspires me.
Q: Do you plan your designs in advance, or do you just let the creativity flow?
A: I usually start with a plan and then see where the beads take me. There are so many shapes and sizes of beads (especially with all the new multi-hole beads) that they sometimes tell me where they want to go. Usually when I try to make a design exactly how I planned it in my head, the beads refuse to cooperate and I spend more time ripping it apart than anything–so I’ve learned to let the beads take the lead!
Q: How do you get out of a creative rut?
A: I try learning something new, such as a new stitch or using a new bead. I resisted learning cubic right-angle weave forever (I had convinced myself it was “too hard”). Once I mastered the stitch, I made six new designs. I guess it’s time to learn something new again!
Moroccan Beaded Bracelet and Beyond
Q: How do you approach the use of color in your designs?
A: If I were creating just for myself, everything would be a variation of turquoise and copper. But since I’m designing for more than just myself, I’m always trying new combinations and looking for that surprising POP. I always want to stretch my color palette.
Q: What’s your favorite stitch or technique, and why?
A: I truly love them all, but I run to peyote stitch a lot. It’s such a versatile stitch and works great with a wide variety of beads, including two-hole beads. It’s one of those stitches that works well whether you’ve just started beading or have been beading forever.
Q: What was the inspiration for your Moroccan Sunset Bracelet?
A: As soon as I saw the shape of the DiamonDuo beads I knew they would look fabulous woven together, like the Moroccan tiles on the walls of an Old World bazaar. I pulled some really fun color combinations together and Moroccan Sunset was born.
Q: What advice do you have for other beaders?
A: Don’t be afraid. Be brave and be bold. Choose colors you love, even if you aren’t sure they go together. Try something new, even if you’re scared. If you make a mistake, make it confidently! Nothing bad will happen–the earth will still turn, the sun will still rise, and your family will still love you. My mom always says, “It’s just beads.” So have fun; it’s just beads!
Let Shae’s bold style inspire you!
And please share your own designs with us, either as submissions for publication in Beadwork magazine (email [email protected]; instructions will be requested if your original design is accepted), or just to share on our website (email me at [email protected]).
Get the Moroccan pattern in Beadwork today!