June Malone: Southwest Inspiration and Designs
June Malone, a landscape architect turned beader, is a true artist who celebrates the continuity of creativity. In this journey, she has made a transition from designing natural outdoor spaces to creating hand-stitched pieces of jewelry. In her jewelry design, she incorporates imagery from the land and cultures of the Southwest to create truly stunning, wearable works of art. June is a master of color and pattern with an incredible sense of both form and function. In this interview she explains a bit about her inspiration and designs; find more projects inspired by the tones of the Southwest in Interweave’s Fast & Fabulous Southwest Inspired Pattern Pack.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Because of my training in landscape architecture, I’m influenced by the colors found in plants and nature. My creative energy is especially enriched by the images and cultures of the Southwest.
Q: How else has landscape design influenced your beadwork?
A: In landscaping, I used plant materials that varied in size, color, texture, function, and form. I can see that the design principles I learned in landscaping are more relevant than ever in my three-dimensional pieces. For example, when planning a landscape, I was taught to not show everything at once, but rather to create surprises for individuals as they walk through the design, and I see this more and more in my beading.
Q: What draws you to Native American imagery and designs?
A: As a child I read about Native American culture and how Native Americans would take from nature only what they needed to survive. Their desire to be one with Mother Earth strikes a chord with me in a very spiritual way and grounds me.
Q: What influences your design decisions?
A: The relationships of bead colors to each other are a key factor in all of my designs. I have more design ideas than I can execute at any given time, and I usually pick the ideas that challenge me and are most fulfilling when finished. I also think about whether I will make a project into a kit or not. If a design is going to become a kit, I need to be able to write clear instructions.
Q: What is your approach to commissioned pieces?
A: When I am commissioned to design beadwork for an individual, I follow the same process I used with my landscape clients. It’s a collaborative process that at times requires compromise on the part of either or both sides. It ends with the customer being satisfied with the results.
This article was originally published in the August/September 2015 issue of Beadwork magazine. See more of June’s work at www.enchantedbeader.com and www.enchantedbeadsbyjm.etsy.com. For more Southwest inspired beading visit Interweave Store. Photos Courtesy of Carl Malone.
For more about making your own beads at the Interweave Store.