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5 questions with Design Challenge winner Susan Sassoon

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Shibori Buttons, by Susan Sassoon, the winner of the Stringing, Fiber & Cord category of Facet's Design Challenge for July. 

Susan's beading journey began in 2011, after 25 years of being an architect. At first it was just for fun, but after two years of beading, she started getting requests for patterns and classes. Her work has since been published in Bead Style, Beadwork, and Bead&Button magazines.

sassoon 1

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING?

I’m fairly new to jewelry making but I’ve enjoyed crafting and creating all my life. Although I started beading as a hobby, sometimes it seems as though it’s taken over my life. I participate in many beading groups, I teach occasionally, and I write up some of my designs as tutorials that I sell on Etsy. When I decide to retire from architecture, I’m sure I’ll be beading full time!

HOW DID YOU LEARN JEWELRY MAKING?

I saw the work of a friend of mine and was so in love with her work, that I asked her to help get me started. She gave me some beads and taught me my first few stitches, and then I found many YouTube videos, beading websites and blogs, books, classes at my local bead store, and Facebook beading groups that taught me the rest. As I learned, I often veered from the patterns and went in my own directions.

sassoon 2

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK?

The bead shapes and colors often inspire me - I choose a variety of beads that look pretty together and then figure out what to make with them. I also find inspiration by looking at the work of other bead artists - there’s always a new technique or stitch that I want to try.

WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU USE IN YOUR WORK?

Mostly glass beads: Japanese seed beads, Czech beads, crystals and pearls. I combine these beads with fishing line, wire, soutache, macrame cord, leather, chain mail, you name it…. I love a bit of sparkle (but not too much!), and anything that is purple, turquoise, gold, bronze, silver and black.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON?

I’ve been playing with a lot of the new shaped beads lately, and also working on some Hubble stitch projects. On my list of things to try next include more Shibori work, a beaded sphere, Diamond Weave and a Supercoiled beaded rope. Also, I am selling my finished pieces on my Facebook page, and I sell my beading patterns in my Etsy store

FIND MORE: buttons , fiber , necklaces

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