My turn I guess. Hmm....
My name is TeAntae (Tee-An-Tay). I come from a creative family so creating is in my blood. Specifically to beading, my original thoughts on the subject was that it was that gaudy, cheap looking stuff that I wouldn't be caught dead wearing. It was series of fortunate events
that introduced me to what beadwork could really be.
My brother broke a leather necklace he loved and asked me to fix it for him. I tried to explain that I solder, I don't string to no avail. At the same time I was planning my wedding and wanted something unique to go with my island themed wedding. There was a bead shop within walking distance of where I was taking classical guitar lessons so I figured I'd stop by and pay someone there to fix my brother's necklace. Then I noticed the pretty finished pieces and thought I'd also have someone make me something unique. When I approached the lady at the counter (turned out to be the owner) and explained my situation, she looked at me for a second and then flatly told me, "No." I must have looked shocked because she continued. "I'll show you how to fix the necklace and make your own but I wont do it for you." I protest that I didn't want to and would gladly pay but she wouldn't hear of it. She sat me down in a chair next to the counter, showed me how to restring the necklace and left me to my own devices. A short while later I was surprised at how easy it was and was curious what it would take to make what I wanted for my wedding. The owner came back and with a knowing smile, told me about a bead show coming up, what magazines to look into and sent me on my way.
At the bead show I found some lovely glass leaves made by a local artist (Donna Nova
) that matched the colors of the leis I had purchased for everyone to wear. Then I met another artist who was teaching a woven bracelet technique at a bead store also within driving distance. After all was said and done, this is what I made for my wedding:
(Need to retake this shot)
You'd think that would have had me off and running but I was still only a casual beader. Stringing something here and there but I still wasn't truly bitten yet. That was until I was at the American Craft Council show a few months later and met Valerie Hector. We chatted casually for a moment (there was a lull in the normal crowd around her booth) and she must have realized something in me because next thing I know she's grabbed one of her large postcards and is writing a long list of teachers, books, and exhibits that I must look into. The list ended up spilling over to a second postcard! I picked up the first book she said I should get, Creative Beadweaving, and fell madly in love with peyote stitch. Now my bookshelves are groaning, my bead containers are bursting, and I've found my passion... in beadweaving.
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!