Learn About Color with Bead Weaving Artist Debora Hodoyer
Debora Hodoyer is an art lover, a musician, and a traveler who was born and raised in Sardinia, Italy. She fell in love with beads and developed her own style over time, trying to combine ancient traditions with hints of modern style. Her colorful and fun Wish Upon a Star Bracelet is the February/March 2017 Beadwork cover project. Debora recently shared with us how she got started beading and the unique way she gets her color inspiration.
It All Started With Some Wire
Q: How did you get started beading?
A: My adventures in the beading world started with wire! I was looking for a hobby to keep my mind busy, and I had noticed that although I loved earrings, I couldn’t find any that I really liked. So I decided to make them myself. I bought wire, pliers, and beads — mostly Czech pressed-glass beads in a compulsive number of different shapes, as well as round stones. I started making wire-wrapped earrings. I soon decided that I needed some smaller bead to embellish my earrings, and I stumbled upon seed beads. I immediately fell in love with those little beads, and I’ve never looked back.
Inspiration and Inner Vision
Q: Where do you get your design ideas? What inspires you?
A: I think my inspiration occurs on a subconscious level. I’ve always been involved in arts disciplines, and I’m surrounded by a beautiful natural environment. When I sit at my work table with beads in front of me, inspiration just comes to me as I look at the beads’ colors and shapes. It seems to happen like magic. This whole process is accompanied by music; in fact, I always listen to music when I’m beading.
Q: How do you approach the use of color in your designs?
A: I’ve always been told that I have a gift for matching colors; however, I don’t spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect color palette. I don’t even refer to a color wheel. I only follow what I call an “inner vision” for matching colors. It’s almost as if I can see the color palette for a specific design in advance. I then just proceed, only making little changes during the beading process. The most important thing, to my eye, is the equilibrium between different shades and finishes. This skill of mine has greatly increased since I started publishing my designs in beading magazines. This is because I need to create different colorways for my jewelry, and I must visualize the final result in my mind before I order the necessary beads.
Q: Do you plan your designs in advance, or do you just let the creativity flow?
A: It depends. I don’t usually plan my designs in advance, but sometimes I force myself to work on an idea if I think it’s worth developing. Most of the time, I don’t have a finished design in mind — just a lot of works in progress. I just let my ideas and hand movements flow, creating sort of prototypes that I complete at a later stage.
Q: How do you get out of a creative rut?
A: When I realize that I’m getting into a rut, I simply take a break from my beading. I find it helpful to rest my mind and look at my work from a different perspective. Sometimes I need to distance myself from my work to approach it again in an innovative way. This process could take hours or days, but I know it’s a necessary step to start again in a fresh way.
Q: What’s your favorite stitch or technique, and why?
A: I’m not sure if I have a favorite stitch. I love the hidden potentiality of every stitch — I truly enjoy all of them. My favorite technique at any given time depends on the beads I’m using and on my state of mind (as does everything in my life). I find bead embroidery, cubic right-angle weave (CRAW), herringbone, and chenille stitches to be very comfortable and relaxing. However, I mostly use circular peyote stitch for my creations.
Wish Upon a Star
Q: What was the inspiration for your Wish Upon a Star Bracelet?
A: I was sitting at my beading table on a cold winter day and, as always, I was letting my creativity flow as I worked with the beads. Some beads were already on my table, and it started with three size 6° seed beads worked in circular peyote stitch. I then developed the design of the first bracelet component by using and testing several different mixes of beads until I was satisfied with the result. I discovered that alternating the components between connections with one Silky bead at the top and then two Silky beads at the top gave the bracelet dynamic movement and an eye-catching design.
To see more of Debora’s designs, check out her Etsy site, Crown of Stones.