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Jody Young

Mothers of the Earth featured on the cover of The Jewelry Maker's Comprehensive Catalog 2010-11:

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Seed Beads
Category: Home Decor and Doll
Bronze Medal Prize Winner
Meet the Designer-Artist

Jody Young has a unique approach to art, combining natural elements, colorful beads, gorgeous components and an amazing talent that is now earning her recognition as a fine artist. Jody's pieces, known as the design line Bead Art-Worth, feature her distinctive raised textured beading technique, as seen in the cover art for the 2010-2011 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Comprehensive Catalog.

"I am truly grateful and honored that my work is being recognized," Jody states. "Beading comes from my soul."

A few years ago, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads was looking for a new cover artist for the comprehensive catalog. Team members Tim and Tom came upon Jody's creations at the Portland Bead Fest, where she was displaying the gorgeous "Mothers of the Earth" design. The incredible creation incorporates twinkling seed beads, sparkling crystals and four porcelain faces, handcrafted by Washington artist, Laura Mears. The wall décor design originated the evening of Jody's 30-year high school reunion. She and two friends were busy beading at a vacation lake house, lost track of time and never made it to the reunion. That night was the beginning of Jody's "Mothers of the Earth" design project and well-deserved recognition as a fine artist.

Share Your Background

Jody's journey into design began at 12 years of age with appliqué stitch, embroidery she learned from her grandmother and beads. A self-proclaimed rambunctious teenager, Jody spent many hours being grounded to her room, and used the time to practice beading. By the time she was a young teen, Jody was an entrepreneur--selling her jewelry creations to colleagues and business acquaintances of her father.

Seventeen years ago Jody left her career with her father's radiographic company and began work at a bead store. Eight months after that, the store closed and she knew she wanted to open her own. She put together a business plan, went to the bank and secured a loan. Her husband, Paul, came up with the business name and logo, and Jody opened "Beyond Beads Gallery," a specialty retail store featuring beads, crystals, findings, jewelry-making supplies and many other wonderful items. Three years after opening her bead store, she opened a second, "Beyond Beads North," which she has since sold. Jody teaches beading and stitching classes, including sharing new stitches she has created.

Jody finds artistic inspiration in the natural beauty and rhythm of life. Earth, water, air and fire are key elements in her designs. She uses the finest quality beads and a mixture of natural components such as shells, coral, pearls, stone, glass, crystal and more. Jody lets beads speak to her--she doesn't sketch out or pre-plan designs. "I never draw anything by hand. In the end, these pieces seem to come alive with the natural heartbeat of nature." Her designs are reflections and interpretations of elements such as nature, colors and friendships.

At Jody's first visit to the Bead and Button show, she kept the mindset that she was indeed an artist, and walked around the show introducing herself as a designer. It was at this show that she found a piece that inspired her to create her raised texture beading technique. Jody believes "the secret of success lies in following your dreams and listening to your heart."

Beading Success

Jody considers her first success to be Button Box Jewelry which was published in "Bead and Button Magazine's" April 1997 issue. The button box idea was inspired by her elderly neighbor friend, Sadie. When Sadie passed away, Jody watched as Sadie's family carted off box after box of her belongings to the dump. Devastated by the thought of Sadie's memories being discarded so easily, Jody offered to take the items away herself. She was able to scan the forgotten treasures, where she found Sadie's button box. Soon after, Jody met a Native American woman in a beading class who encouraged her to use the buttons, which she referred to as "precious stones," in her designs.

In the future Jody plans to write a book featuring her raised-texture beading technique.

View more of Jody's incredible designs in the Gallery of Designs and on her website:

Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

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