Stefanie Deddo Evans is a beader from the USA. I first met her shortly after I started work as editor of Bead and Jewellery Magazine. I was lucky enough to be able to publish one of Stefanie Deddo Evans’ designs, ‘Emerald Aisles’ bracelet, in my very first issue of the magazine. I loved the style of Stefanie’s work and we soon became friends as well as colleagues, so I’m really excited to be sharing this interview. I hope you will find it helpful and inspiring.
How did you get started in beading?
My beading adventure started in the early 90s with Christmas ornaments, which led to stringing and wirework, and then progressed to needlework and that is where I remain.
Did you have any formal training?
No formal training was around that I was aware of when I started beading, but there were plenty of books and magazines from which I am self-taught.
Is beading now your full-time career, or is it still a hobby?
Though I currently work a full-time job I do not consider my beadwork as a hobby. My intention is to work full-time creating more of my beadwork art and possibly taking a part-time job as a hobby!
What are your favourite techniques?
How would you describe your style?
I don’t know that I can define my style in specific terms, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoy designing pieces that appear to be complicated but are relatively simple in their creation.
Who, or what, inspires your work?
So many things influence me on a daily basis. My impossible-to-quiet mind fuels much of my work and for added flavour I often throw in bits and pieces I’ve gathered from movies, music, and books. I look to nature for help in colour combinations, but mostly I trust in what I consider appealing.
Do you have a favourite piece (or pieces) of work?
Every piece I make is my new favourite! If forced to pick from my creations thus far, I would have to say my first piece that was published in print is my favourite because of its simplicity. The colours are vivid and the beadwork is black which emphasizes the colours all the more; it just always makes me smile when I see it.
What is your beading space like?
A total and complete mess when I am in ‘design mode’ because I need to have all of my colours available which becomes quite overwhelming when there are so many different bead styles to choose from. If I have a design already completed I must tidy up my area so I can work with just the components used, then select and create alternate colour versions.
Do you teach beadwork at all?
Yes, I love to teach my designs! In fact, I am currently developing a series of courses that will integrate off-loom beadwork with mindful meditation. I truly believe that allowing creative expression to flow is healing.
Has your work been published anywhere?
I am pleased to say that I have had a number of my designs published in a variety of beading magazines, both in print and digital format.
Do you sell your work?
Though I prefer to teach others to create my designs either through classes or tutorials themselves, I do understand that not everyone enjoys bead weaving. There is an option to contact me through my website if someone would like me to create a custom piece.
Do you do other forms of craft as well?
Amateur photography and writing are the things that pop into my head first, though I don’t have much time for either of these. I have dabbled in sewing, knitting, cooking, gardening, and clay in the past but none have stuck like bead weaving. I do think I would enjoy creating beaded vessels and miniatures in the future and will one day explore those too!
Do you have any advice for people wanting to create their own designs?
First, one must have an unending supply of thread when designing! Take pictures of potential components when playing with the beads, especially if you have a short supply of a specific style of bead and need to take it apart to try something different – take pictures before you cut it apart! If you have ideas when you’re away from your beads try to sketch them out so you won’t forget them. Lastly, be kind to yourself and never compare your work to others because your creative expression is a unique gift to the world that only you can provide!
Do you have any tips for people who want to sell their work?
Know your worth and do not compromise your prices. Make sure you produce more in quality than quantity as that is what your reputation will build upon. Try not to react negatively to those who do not value your work, they just don’t understand the value, be gentle and explain why what you are offering is worth your price. They may still choose not to buy your piece, but hopefully they will remember the message and appreciate the work when they see it in the future.
Stefanie Deddo Evans trades as SDE Designs Ltd and you can find her kits, tutorials and teaching schedule on her website, www.sdedesigns.com.