June Workshop Designer Feature


Nancy Deem 


Designer Interview

How did you find beading, and what do you feel was the “hook” that has kept you beading?

            When I was in first grade, I loved stringing wooden beads on shoelaces!  Took me a lifetime to reignite that passion in 2000 when I found classes in Atlanta.  Learning new techniques continue to stretch my imagination in different directions.

 Do you now, or have you in the past, done other forms of creative works, and if so, what mediums?

            Sure, it’s in my DNA.  Mostly it’s been sewing, cross stitch, crochet, knitting – but those are all in the past now – the beads pretty much pushed everything else to the side.

 Who are your beading “heros” and why.

            Every teacher I’ve had the pleasure of taking classes with; they always inspire me.

 What's the best piece of beading advice you've received, and from whom?

            That’s an easy one.  NanC Meinhardt’s admonition: Always ask “what would happen if …?’

 When did you begin designing tutorial pieces?

            The first piece I designed was right after I learned herringbone, which came right after peyote.  I still have that piece and wear it often.

 Your pattern illustration – do you draw your own diagrams?  Do you use a particular program? Do you use photos?  Do you have a graphic design background?

            I use photos.  For me, they’re easier to follow.  Or maybe it just because I’m not smart enough to use a graphics program.  Something I keep promising myself I’ll work on – but the beads get in the way.

 Is there a particular piece of beadwork or series that you are particularly proud of?  If so, why? (please include jpg(s) if possible)

            Right now, I’m pleased with the work I’m doing with Swarovski pearls – working title “Pearls Reimagined”

 Do you have beading designs that feature unconventional beading materials?

            Sadly, no.  I’m a basic round bead, one hole kind of girl.

 Can you tell us a bit about your creative process, sources of inspiration, work flow, etc?

            I usually “see” what I want to accomplish and go from there.  Inspiration?  Hmm, learning a new technique, colors, vintage jewelry, nature – and on and on.  I really prefer the classic, vintage look.

 Do you have favorite stitches?  Least favorite stitches?

            My favorite stitch is the one I’m working with at the time.  Least favorite?  Can’t think of one.

 What are you working on now?

            I have a picture in my head, working its way toward my hands.  It includes pearls and crystals, of course.  We’ll have to wait and see!

 Do you have a favorite type of thread, needles, or other supplies?

            I work with a lot of crystals, so mostly Fireline 6 or 8 lb.  My favorite needle is the Tulip size 11; I can make several passes through 15⁰ beads with it.  And I can use it so much longer than other needles – well worth the price.

 Is there something you absolutely must have for beading or designing?

            TIME!  More of it.

 Any closing thoughts or advice you'd like to share with our members?

            Just “Bead Happy!”

 Where can our members view your work and find more of your patterns?

            I’m not “out there” in cyberspace, but I do teach.  If I’m wearing something you like, I either have a pattern or I can create one if it’s something new.