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Bettye Monzo

Butterfly Egg

Bettye Monzo

Round Pot with Snake and Tall Pot with Snake
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2013 featuring Seed Beads
Gold Medal Prize Winner
Category: Home Décor and Doll

Meet the Designer-Artist


Where do you live?
Sedona, Arizona

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
My earliest memory of any type of design was on one of my family's annual camping trips at age 6, when I sat down with a pile of rocks, twigs, flowers, feathers, grasses and dead bugs I had collected, then tied them all together to make a necklace. My Father taught me to closely study bugs, fish, birds and reptiles, and often mentioned that they looked like they were made out of beads. While my Mother taught me about plants and trees, the shapes of the leaves, how the buds turned to flowers and/or fruit, and would mention how the rain and dew on them looked like diamonds. This all lead to my love of nature and step 1 of my designs.

Step 2 came ten years later at age 16 when my teacher entered me in a contest for Southern California students at the Chouinards Art Institute. I won and attended Chouinards for a year where my eyes were opened to a whole new world of art and design. Where I was given freedom to create and was taught to use my imagination.

During the next 40 years I had received my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Interior and Architectural design, where I worked and studied continuously all eras of design and materials. Also during which time I acted like a magpie picking up anything that sparkled, and stashing it away for later. When time allowed on weekends and camping trips I would play with my seed beads and still tried to combine them with twigs, rocks, and feathers (no more dead bugs). When finished I would throw many of the pieces back on the forest floor because Step 3 taught me that art is in the process of creating/doing. Step 4 was very clear when I went back to my old University and taught my philosophy of function first, design second.

And finally Step 5, when I moved to Sedona a few years ago, retired, and had time, nature, and boxes and boxes of beads, rocks, feathers, etc. I told myself to just do it. So imagine my shock when I entered the Fire Mountain contest and won a prize! To sort of quote Sally Fields, "You liked it, you really did like it."

Other areas I've spent much time with are water colors, embroidery, crocheting, sewing, violin, guitar, photoshop, rendering, and gardening. Gardening is where the best bugs are, like my friend Bob a carpenter bee that I made a home for outside the front door, and who I have to remind the dogs not to eat.

What medium do you work with mostly?
I mostly work with Beads, and the Delica® and Toho are my favorite.

Why did you become enchanted with this style of jewelry-making?
It's like painting in three dimensions.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Butterfly Egg

What inspired this design?
A marble egg, nature, and a love of Art Deco

How did it come together?
I started with a rough sketch on an index card, which the final piece looks nothing like.

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