Name: Meg Thompson
Please introduce yourself to the readers: I’m Meg, 20 years old (in June). I’m a University student here in Australia studying science, with dreams to be a medical researcher. I love music (I play flute), reading (I have the makings of a library already!), writing and, of course, beading! I come from a family of 6, 4 children. I love God and thank Him every day for this beading gift.
How long have you been beading?
I’ve always been into beading as a kid. My first project was a memory wire bracelet. But I’ve been doing it seriously, with a passion (obsession?) for about 5 years now.
When did you first try bead embroidery as a technique?
About April/May 2011. I saw a bead embroidered collar in an issue of Bead and Button magazine and wanted to make one. But I couldn’t work out how to do it (I had ideas about large peyote stitched components, or netting, I never guessed fabric would be involved!). A friend put me onto Etsy, and I searched around for items like the one I’d seen. And found Kinga Nichols’ shop! I asked her about one of her collars and she put me onto a book called “The Art of Bead Embroidery” by Sherri Serafini and Heidi Kummli (so that’s what it’s called… Nothing to do with peyote stitch at all :P) I ordered it from Amazon, read it, and that was it! I was hooked. My first ever bead embroidered project was “Colours of Autumn,” part of my Season’s Collection.
Why do you like bead embroidery?
I like the freedom it gives me to design anything I want and for it to come out how I want it. With bead weaving I feel restricted by not knowing how to manipulate stitches, etc, to design some brand new piece, like I see so many people do. But with bead embroidery, I can! Also, it seems to work up faster than bead weaving, which is great if I ever need something in a hurry (most of the time…).
What are your inspirations and influences?
Nature is good inspiration, I love flowers; the colour of a cabochon, matched with a few other beads, is enough to sprout a whole design in my head; the shape of a focal bead or cabochon; the patterns in gemstones; a picture you see somewhere; an event in life. I have a soft spot for blues, especially teal-blues. And I love beading for a cause. Themes are great inspirations, like the Bead Fest theme. When making gifts for people, a great inspiration is the person’s personality; making something that totally suits the receiver in every way brings such satisfaction and pleasure.
What are your favorite materials?
Seed beads!! I love seed beads, always have. Before I got into bead weaving, I remember writing myself craft shopping lists to “buy bigger beads” But I never did. I also love gemstones (my favourites would have to be Blue-Goldstone and Lapis Lazuli), and polymer clay (a skill in which I am slowly developing).
What defines your style?
Fun and stylish, I like to try new things, and venture out of the “norm.” I don’t really know how to really describe my style. It’s simply ME. Mostly dainty things, or at least having some dainty component, usually show up in most of my work. I’m not typically a wild girl. You’ll find a lot of my work is very symmetrical; I find it hard to branch out and do abstract.
What are your future goals with beading?
I want to develop bead embroidery further, and start trying newer techniques such as negative space and crazy shapes, for example. With bead weaving in general, I’d love to be able to feel totally comfortable with it that I can start designing my own COMPLETE designs, instead of pulling designs for a million different sources.
I’d also like to further develop a skill in polymer clay, as I love the stuff and would love to be able to be competent in it. And I also have desires to learn lamp working; think of all the things I could create then!! And then, once I’m good at all these things, I’d like to be able to use a combination of all these techniques! And I’d love to be able to write a book. J
I have plans of making beaded dolls dresses and houses, more wall hangings, bags, maybe the odd beaded quilt, and of course jewellery, in the future. Recently I went to Venice and I came home with 10 Venetian mask bases, which I plan to make beaded venetian (or other) masks from (I made a mask in August last year and it got me so hooked). I don’t believe that beading, especially bead weaving and bead embroidery, is just restricted to jewellery making. It is that, and so much more…