Rebecca Bechel

Rebecca Bechel

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Pearls, Organic Beads and Kato Polyclay™

Bronze Medal Prize Winner

Category: Necklace

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Elmwood, Wisconsin

Describe your artistic style.
My artistic style is very random. Sometimes I enjoy clean lines and symmetrical patterns, other times random bursts of color and texture seem to spill out.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I am always inspired by the things around me. I see shingles, I think 'peyote stitch'. I see flowers, I think, 'I have beads in those colors'. I see a vase or a wallet (or anything really) and I think, 'I should add beads to that!'

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love seed beads. The way you can make them shape and color in any form of your imagination is magical. The process of working with seed beads is soothing and rewarding.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Siren's Lure

What inspired this design?
I started with the flower focal component and somehow the rest just poured out. This is a true example of 'letting the beads speak to me'.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
This is one of the rare pieces I sketched out before I began and actually stayed pretty true to my sketch.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I am often asked this question and can't really give a direct answer. I've always been a crafter, but can't seem to pinpoint the time at which I discovered my life overflowing with tiny containers of beads.

Who introduced you to beading?
My grandmother did wonderful bead embroidery. I remember being in awe of her work when I was a child and am still struck by the beauty of her work.

Do you have an artistic background?
I come from a pretty crafty family, but have no formal artistic education. Everything I know about beads I learned from reading, researching, and trial and error. I would love to take an art course and am constantly striving to expand my artistic abilities.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
You know the little catalogs you send with every order? I was participating in a craft show when the lady a few booths down asked if I wanted her extra catalogs. I was in complete amazement while thumbing through. So many things I hadn't seen before and so many resources! I wish I knew who that lady was so I could thank her for introducing me to Fire Mountain Gems.

What other hobbies do you have?
My hands can't seem to sit still. I love to crochet infront of the television or while listening to a book. I've also dabbled in and enjoy cross stitch, plastic canvas, latch hook, and several other crafts. I love to read, but that's hard to do while you're crafting.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I am hoping to be able to join the Upper Midwest Bead Society in 2011. I think I could really learn a ton and would have so much fun being surrounded by people who are just as addicted to beads as I am.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
My husband will tell you that I would eat, sleep, and breathe beads if I could... he's probably right. I bead to support my habit and make a little extra cash. I'm working on making beading my full-time career. I get frustrated when I can't find enough time to bead and am anxiously waiting to be able to quit my part-time assembly job.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I attend local craft shows and art fairs as well as several county fairs in my area. I also have an Etsy site, I own a small gift shop in an even smaller town where I display my jewelry and other handcrafted goodies. So far I have entered three Fire Mountain Gems contests and will continue to enter every year... it's so much fun!

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I'm hoping to learn more about charity fundraisers when I join the Upper Midwest Bead Society. What could be more rewarding than beading to help people in need?

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Show up at your beads and let them speak to you. Show up every day! Don't be afraid of making 'mistakes'. Be proud of what you do!

View all of Rebecca's designs in the Gallery of Designs.