Tania Begg

Tania Begg

2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest

Tania Begg

2009 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest

Tania Begg

Grand Prize Gold Medal Winner
2008 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Sunny Florida

Describe your artistic style.
Highly detailed, neo-realistic sculpture.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Mother nature inspires me.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Beautiful stone beads give my sculptures a distinctive look, and personality of their own.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Zuri and Dakota

What inspired this design?
For ''Zuri'' the many sea turtles I encountered while sailing through the Caribbean with my family. For ''Dakota'' ... the Dalmatian jasper beads ... they are gorgeous!

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
When I see beads they evolve a vision of what they will be. This is usually a memorable moment of seeing an animal that left me inspired ... and filed away in the clutter of my mind, until the right combination of wire and beads are encountered.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
My experience in stone sculpture led me to the richness and texture to be found in beads. I had just completed a sculpture of an Indian Chief with a beaded feather headdress carved in alabaster stone. When I realized how much I loved the texture and dimension in the headdress, I purchased beads and started experimenting making whimsical animals, starting with lizards and working into insects, snakes, fish, cats and turtles. I know there are definitely dog sculptures in the future.

Do you have an artistic background?
I'm a self-taught artist who enjoys many art mediums from stone sculpture, clay sculpture, sewing, jewelry-making, painting, drawing, and even doll-making in the past. If I can create it with my hands ... I'm happy.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
My sculptures use an enormous amount of beads. I thought that bead shows were the only way. Until at one show a fellow bead shopper watched me draping strands of beads over my forearm. She pulled me aside and told me of Fire Mountain Gems' website. I was leery about ordering online. So very glad that I did. I love the quality of the river stone beads, they look like marble. They have played a part in many of my sculptures.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
My art is my passion. Spending hours and weeks on a sculpture is very normal. That is the time when I am most relaxed. The many stages until it's finally finished ... so rewarding! Thank goodness I have been blessed with a lot of patience. I am able to participate in many art shows and exhibitions, many of them juried. Winning or not, it's a terrific way to receive exposure for your art. It was about three years ago that I started to enter contests related to beads. In 2006, I was a finalist in the Bead and Button's Bead Dreams contest with my entry '' Whimsy Cat.'' Though last year was the highlight of my years as an artist, when I was recognized for my lizard sculpture Zena by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. I was so honored to have been awarded the 2008 Grand Prize Gold Medal Winner. What a thrill! Thank you.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I'm a member of two cooperative galleries here in Southwest Florida. They give me the opportunity to showcase and sell my art, while having others enjoy it! I do enter contests, it's a wonderful way to challenge yourself and grow as an artist. I also have a website: Taniabegg.com

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Every year I donate a sculpture to be auctioned off at a fundraiser called Arts for Act, an abuse center and treatment for women and children, plus many others throughout the organizations in my area.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Love what you do! Join art associations and art leagues. They can open many doors for you. Surround yourself with others who love art like you do!

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