We asked Valorie of VC Artisan Originals a few questions about her company as part of VC Artisan Originals’ September share-sponsorship of Social Market for a Mirrix 2014!
About VC Artisan Originals: VC Artisan Originals is a great place to find off-loom beadweaving instruction tutorials. Whether you’re a beginner level or an advanced level beader, there are over 40 original design tutorials available in my Etsy and ArtFire online shops. Many of the tutorials feature the new, popular, 2-hole Czech beads. If you love Super Duos and Preciosa seed beads, this is the shop for you!
How did your business get started and how has it developed? I created Valorie Clifton’s Artisan Originals (a.k.a. VC Artisan Originals) as a small Etsy business to sell my beaded and metalsmithed jewelry. It was really popular amongst my co-workers when I worked in an office setting. I gradually added metalwork and wire work to my repertoire. After 3 years of selling jewelry online and 2 years of showing in a local juried art gallery, I decided to completely revamp my business. I had been teaching jewelry making at the art gallery and discovered a love of teaching. I decided to stop selling finished jewelry and to focus solely on teaching others. I now design, write and publish my own beaded jewelry tutorials for sale in my Etsy and ArtFire shops. I teach off-loom beadweaving classes featuring my original designs every month at local venues, and many of my designs are taught in shops throughout the northern US and even in New Zealand! Very soon, I will have some wire working/light metalsmithing tutorials available. It’s very rewarding to bring the art of beadweaving to others and I’m so very happy I made the change.
Do you have any classes coming up? I teach several classes per month at the Danish Princess Beads and Jewelry store in Milton, FL. Ialso teach a class on the 3rd Saturday of every month at the Santa Rosa Arts and Culture Foundation’s Dragonfly Gallery, also in Milton, FL. I’m also a very proud member of the Wubbers University faculty, where many of my classes are published online.
Anything else you’d like to share? My website acts as a “hub” and as a portfolio. You can see some of my designs in beadweaving, metalworking and wire-working; you can also find download links to free tutorials I’ve made available, free Super Duo graph papers I’ve created, and even links to my online shops.
Please take some time to visit www.VCArtisanOriginals.com
After several redesigns from my last post, the remake I came up with, I was finally happy with. Thursday morning of this past week, I found a moment to warp the loom. I was very precise and accurate this time, as I didn’t have time constraints. I decided to do this split loom in round Miyuki beads, instead of Delica beads. I have done 2 split loom pieces before and one was Czech seed beads and the next one was Delicas, so I thought I would try Miyuki rounds this time, and quite glad I did! The loomed bead ‘fabric’ feels absolutely luscious in my hand. It is super soft and beautifully supple.
This is a work in progress photo from a few days ago.
Initially, I wanted this to be a full around the neck wrap (no closure, just put over your head), mounted on lambskin. Since I have finished the work and an hour or so ago took it off the loom, I have decided I would put a closure on it, still mount it on leather, except I found amazingly gorgeous and even more supple goatskin in my leather stash. So goatskin will back this piece and it won’t be as ‘stiff’ as lambskin would have been. The lambskin I have is soft and supple, but not as much as the goatskin. By putting a backing on this, this will also allow fringe, if I should chose to, and I think this will also make it more sturdy for longer durability, less fragility to the owner.
I have woven in a bulk of the threads. The threads I have left to weave in are going to be stitched directly through the leather and tied off on the back side. When all of that is done, I will add a second leather back and put them together as I would a bead embroidery. I bought 2 gorgeous buttons for the closure today. Not sure if I will use one or both yet. Below is what it looks like right now.
It is a nice length. I didn’t use pure white, the white is a gold-lined white opal in color with opaque black as the contrast. I am going to try to finish it this week, but for now I have to put it down for a few days.