Name: Nancy Sathre-Vogel
Location: Boise, Idaho
I’m Nancy, a long-time beader. As a professional teacher, I spent three years on the Navajo reservation back in the 1980s – and that’s where I learned to bead. Once my husband and I decided to move overseas to teach – first to Egypt, then Ethiopia, Taiwan, and Malaysia – my bead addiction got serious. Having access to phenomenal beads from around the world has a tendency to do that to a person.
In 2006, I made the decision to put both teaching and beading on hold for a while as my family and I spent a few years traveling on our bicycles. Altogether, we spent four years on our bikes, including a 17,000-mile jaunt from Alaska to Argentina. Now we are back in Boise, Idaho and are loving being part of a larger community.
How long have you been beading? Oops – I mentioned that one above. I started beading back in the late 1980s.
When did you first try bead embroidery as a technique? I remember the exact moment! We were flying from Ethiopia back to Idaho (a 35-hour journey) and I decided to use that plane time to learn how to embroider. Before we left Ethiopia, I glued a beautiful fossilized coral cab to some backing, and during the flight I played with my beads. I will say that piece is still one of my favorites.
Why do you like bead embroidery? I do primarily freeform peyote and bead embroidery – both allow unbridled freedom to go where the beads tell me they want to go. I love the organic feel of both of those techniques.
What are your inspirations and influences? Everything and anything. As we traveled the world, I was always inspired by what was around me. I can tell, simply by looking at a piece, where we were when I made it.
What are your favorite materials? I LOVE vintage and antique beads and components! I’ve collected interesting bits and pieces throughout the world and enjoy working them in to whatever I’m making.
What defines your style? Eclectic. Big time. I use beads and pieces from many different cultural regions, which means each piece is unique.
What are your future goals with beading? To continue to have fun. If I ever get to the point where beading is no longer enjoyable, then I’ll quit and move on to something else. I’ll go where my beads take me.