Beadwork Designer of the Year Q&A with Artist Kassie Shaw

Kassie Shaw is a 2017 Beadwork Designer of the Year. Her Vortices Bracelet, featured in February/March 2017 Beadwork, is a fun component-based piece with a clever hidden snap closure. We recently talked to Kassie about how she got started beading, how she gets out of a beading rut, and the inspiration for her 2017 DOY projects.


From the Beginning

Q: How did you get started beading?

A: I took an arts class in college that required a craft project as part of the grade. I stumbled upon beads as a result and have been beading ever since.

Finding Your Muse

Q: Where do you get your design ideas? What inspires your creativity?

A: I get inspired by a lot of different things. The beads themselves can be inspiring, especially new shapes and colors. I also get inspired by geometric designs that I see day to day. I even get inspired by my mistakes–sometimes a piece that has been cut apart will reveal a shape that I really like, and I’ll try to build on that.

Kassie Shaw, author of Beadweaving Beyond the Basics, is a 2017 Beadwork Designer of the Year. Her Vortices Bracelet, featured in February/March 2017 Beadwork, is a fun component-based piece with a clever hidden snap closure.

Vortices Bracelet

Q: Do you plan your designs in advance, or do you just let the creativity flow?

A: I don’t usually do a lot of planning. I may have an idea of what shape or color I want to use, but often I don’t know where the piece is going until it’s almost done.

Off the Beadin’ Path

Q: How do you get out of a creative rut?

A: I usually have to bead myself out of a rut. As long as I have ideas, I’ll keep on beading them until I run out of steam. Then I’ll try to move in a completely different direction, by changing stitches or using different bead shapes.

The Color Wheel is Your Friend

Q: How do you approach the use of color in your designs?

A: I love color! I admire monochromatic designs, but I prefer to have a lot of contrast and bold color in my own work. I love to use orange and teal or red and purple together–colors that seem like they wouldn’t look good together at all sometimes make the most striking pieces of beadwork.

Passion or Obsession

Q: What’s your favorite stitch or technique, and why?

A: I used RAW and RAW variations in my book, Beadweaving Beyond the Basics, and I’m still quite obsessed with those stitches. RAW is so easy to manipulate and embellish that the possibilities seem endless.

Kassie Shaw, author of Beadweaving Beyond the Basics, is a 2017 Beadwork Designer of the Year. Her Vortices Bracelet, featured in February/March 2017 Beadwork, is a fun component-based piece with a clever hidden snap closure.

It’s All in the Beads for This Beadwork Designer

Q: What was the inspiration for your 2017 DOY projects?

A: While participating in the Starman TrendSetters program, I was given the opportunity to work with many of the two-hole beads on the market. My favorite continues to be the SuperDuo, but I also really love crescents. I tried to let the beads inspire me to design projects that would be unique and fun to create.


See more of Kassie’s work at The Beading Butterfly, and watch for the rest of Kassie’s Beadwork Designer of the Year projects in upcoming issues of Beadwork magazine.

Lavon Peters

Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine

Lavon.Peters@fwmedia.com


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