Get to Know Bead Artist and Instructor Nancy Cain

Have you ever wanted to learn the secret to making self-supporting peyote stitch projects? Master bead artist Nancy Cain has been exploring this fantastic technique using one of Planet Bead's favorite off-loom bead-weaving stitches for creating self-supporting beaded structures. We're pretty excited here at Beading Daily to have Nancy presenting a live webinar next week! Read on to get to know more about Nancy and her journey into off-loom bead-weaving:

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

Where are you from originally, and where do you currently live? I am originally from Los Angeles. I have lived in Colorado for over 30 years.

What do you do besides beading? (What’s your day job) Beading is now my day job! I was a stay at home mom having quit my job as a graphic artist in 1993. My youngest is heading off to college in Fall 2015.

How and when did you start beading? There was a $600 beaded watch band in New Mexico that I couldn’t afford so I went to my local bead store to inquire about making one. They had a class that following Saturday! I made 147 of them!

Do you prefer to work from patterns, or draft your own? Early on, I followed one pattern then I went freestyle. I did take classes to learn the basics and took a classes from national teachers to understand more advanced techniques and styles of teaching.

How would you describe your personal style? Eclectic. I tend to follow technique rather than a design flavor.

What other creative pursuits do you enjoy? I love to write. I also love to make things period whether it is a reindeer from sticks and wood with my mom and dad to making various art project with my kids.

Tell us about your beading studio… what kind of space inspires you? My studio is in my home. I took over the dining room. It has two ceiling skylights and a big bay window. I have a 100 year old drafting table from my graphic arts days and a large roll top desk for my computer. I have peg boards on two walls that are covered with my beads. These are my sample beads that I work from. Seeing them on the wall lets me design easily. I also have several tubs of current projects. My back stock and kit building materials are in another room.  My walls are covered with photos of my children as they have aged and their fabulous artwork and fabrics from Japan. I have magnets and gifts from all my travels… Russia, Finland, Alaska, Japan and a lovely little woodland fairy out of wool from Estonia.

What’s your beading secret weapon? Curiosity, knowledge and understanding what is going on with peyote is the key! Also, I think using an appropriate bead for your project. I can spell disaster if you don’t know what bead to use. Even deciding between a super round bead versus a sort of round bead.

How do you stay motivated on long projects? Beading projects can vary. My largest project was a commission piece that took over 250 hours. I had a tight deadline so I had to just focus and stay steady for the duration. I usually design several pieces simultaneously so when I hit a road block on one or am not sure of the design direction, I will switch to another one. Most times, while I am working on one I will understand what was needed in the other project. I believe in the power of the subconscious. Sometimes a simple walk around the neighborhood can clear your mind to allow it to process.

What has been your favorite project recently? My favorite project is the Bead & Button Master Class curriculum. I am having a blast!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve made for a client? I think my Northern Lights necklace.

What would your dream studio look like? I think my dream studio would have more beads on the wall and space for about 10 students.  I think it would be perfect if it had a manager to take care of business details so I could bead more!

How has blogging and owning a business influenced your process? I don’t blog but having a business has definitely influence my process. I have to stay fairly organized and make sure that I don’t spend too much time running the business and not beading. Beading is the reason for the business so without it, there is no business. It is a hard balance sometimes. I have to give myself permission to not be perfect.

What’s your current beading soundtrack? I love Pandora. It is an eclectic mix of folk, rock, blues and rap.

Anything else you’d like us to know? You know, I have spent so many years discovering the why and what of peyote that I thought I had a solid knowledge of just about everything there was in the basic foundational structure of peyote. I like to give myself personal challenges or puzzles to solve, so in early 2011, I decided I wanted to try to make a peyote stitch bezel with positive and negative space. Normally, peyote stitch follows a form that is positive only. I wondered why not have it do negative or inward space as well? I chose a Swarovski star as my form – five outward points and five inward points. What I discovered what that one of my rules about twisting beads in round 3 was the key! I broke one of the rules and discovered there is a parallel universe to all my rules. That is when I thought I don’t even know what I don’t know! I could work peyote stitch forever.  It is humbling to awaken to knowledge and the arrogance of thinking one could possibly know everything about anything! I wanted to do cartwheels down the sidewalk.

Get ready to add some new dimension to your peyote stitch projects when you learn how to create structural, self-supporting forms with bead artist Nancy Cain in Techniques For Structural Peyote Stitch on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 1 p.m. EST. Register now to reserve your seat, and even if you can't attend the live presentation, you'll be among the first to be able to download the recorded event and watch it as many times as you need!

Bead Happy,




Post a Comment