Prizewinning Beadwork from the 2013 Bead Star Competition – Tomorrow Is the Last Day to Enter!

Tomorrow is the last day to enter your designs in the 2014 Bead Star competition! Still not sure if you’re ready? Take a look at the lovely work from one of last year’s winners, Kat West, and her elegant entry in the glass category:

Emergence by Kat West. Photo: Steve Meltzer

I had the pleasure of competing in Bead Star 2013 and winning first place in the glass division. My winning entry is named “Emergence”, and it features a fabulous stalactite drusy that grew in an underground cave, cut by Mark Lasater of the Clam Shell.

I captured the drusy with peyote stitch, attempting to maintain the lines of the stone, and finished it with a simple peyote rope so as not to detract from the focal piece. A freeform, circular stitch closure hides the magnetic clasp. There are subtle tourmaline accents, and I added a safety chain made with crystal and seed beads.

I look upon the very complex contemporary beadwork one sees in many competitions with awe and amazement. Such an endeavor is on my long “Projects To Do Someday” list. In the meantime, my work remains simple; an interesting piece made for an interesting person, not the showstopper that overwhelms the beholder. For that reason, I was quite delighted to have won first place in the glass division in 2013. Astonished, would be more accurate. Later I noted that many of the submissions were simple and classic. That truly pleased me. After all, we have all seen images of ancient jewelry from a variety of cultures that could still be worn today. Something, in other words, that is enduring.

If you’re considering entering the 2014 Bead Star competition, I would encourage you to participate. This is a golden age of the bead arts. Mass produced, high quality beads can be sent almost anywhere on the planet, in a very short time. Unusual and one-of-a-kind beads are not for royalty anymore with this unparalleled explosion of creativity. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s creations in Bead Star 2014!

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