The Crystal Burst
Meet the Designer-Artist
Accomplished beadweaving designer-artist, Laura McCabe, is Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' featured catalog cover artist for the 2008-09 Best Sellers Catalog with her spectacular neckpiece.
The Crystal Burst is a modern perspective on mandalic symbolism, brought to life with the sparkling brilliance of Swarovski crystal rivoli components and glass seed beads. You can find this piece, along with 19 other projects using Swarovski crystals and seed beads, in her first book Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski. The 144-page guide also includes general information on crystal history, materials, beading techniques and design.
Laura combines her love of Native American and African Zulu cultures with Victorian beading techniques to create elaborate works of wearable art. Inspired by her background in historical costume reproduction, and in conjunction with her passion for anthropology, her precision handiwork combines ancient world cultures with contemporary color and sophisticated details.
At the advice of friends, Laura started her own business, Just Let Me Bead, LLC and began entering beading and embellishment competitions to get her designs and name in the industry. At the young age of 24, she was published nationwide. Laura's artwork has been featured in galleries and boutiques throughout the United States as well as in international beadwork exhibitions.
"It was total perseverance," she says. "I just kept going and didn't look back."
With a passion for history and tradition, Laura taught herself off-loom beadweaving techniques to ''elevate beadwork to the status of Art, which it undeniably deserves.'' She is a collector of vintage beads from various world cultures. She uses her collection to inspire large, intricate gallery pieces, some of which take up to 400 hours to complete.
''There's something magical about beads. As objects, they're fascinating. I just love looking at them. Beads have such an ancient history, intertwined with humankind. I feel like I'm continuing the tradition in some manner.''
Laura maintains a working studio in Mystic, Connecticut, and teaches beading workshops across the US and throughout the world.
To view more of her elaborate beaded art, view her websites at www.lauramccabejewelry.com and www.justletmebead.com.
View all of Laura's designs in the Gallery of Designs.