by Patty Lakinsmith
I have recently been diving into the world of bead weaving (mostly as a spectator so far), and have just learned of an artist whose work I find incredibly exciting. Have you heard of Laura McCabe? I've been reading her book, "Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving: Jewelry lavished with fringe, fronds, lacework and more", and am blown away by what she creates using seed beads and unusual elements. All of her work is masterful and stunning, but the minute I saw some of her woven pieces using antique doll eyes (she collects them) and semi-precious stone points (think punk rock studs), I was smitten.
The book combines lessons in the basics followed by guidance on making various components (embellishments) that can be used and combined in different ways in your work - a brilliant idea for encouraging individuality. Following this she shares a number of absolutely gorgeous projects, with gallery images added of other pieces she has made using the techniques.
What I like so much about her work is her willingness to go beyond the ordinary, to incorporate materials that wouldn't normally be used in jewelry. The resulting effect takes her work into another dimension, and makes her a handmade jewelry Rock Star to me. And if you like the jewelry, be sure to check out her sculptural pieces as well.
Who are some of your handmade jewelry Rock Stars? Who turns the ordinary into the extraordinary for you? Who breaks the rules in surprising and wonderful ways?