Barb Maddox

Barb Maddox

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Beading Contest


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Springfield, Illinois

Describe your artistic style.
My favorite pieces are those that I create with as little planning as possible. I enjoy letting the piece lead me--freedom, perhaps.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature is my muse. When I do a commissioned piece, I get inspired by the customer's likes and feelings.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Delica® seed beads, rock-like beads and focal beads.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
My favorite piece so far is named Peace for Laren. It is my favorite because of its colors and the execution is my best work yet.

What inspired this design?
My friend in Florida asked me to make her friend (Laren) a bracelet. This woman teaches Avery Dressage, and Laren loves the peace symbol. Aleta told me about Laren and as she was talking I kept seeing stars in my head. I went home and searched the internet (what a wonderful resource) for peace signs and hippie images and came across Peter Maxx. That was the basis for the background graphics, and there they were, stars!

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started small with stretch bracelets, found out about Fire Mountain Gems and was inspired to try earrings and necklaces. One thing led to another and…

Who introduced you to beading?
I don't remember who made me pick up my first issue of Beadwork but I am sooo glad I did!!

Do you have an artistic background?
I have an artistic dad who encouraged me to draw. I have a B.S. in interior design.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Bead magazine. I love your company and your catalog. The service is the best. You have so much to select from.

What other hobbies do you have?
Sewing, knitting, gardening.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
If I could, I would bead all day, every day but in reality we all know we can't. I have a great husband and lovely daughter in college. I bead to create beautiful things. I would love to make it a full-time career.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I do like to donate pieces to charity. Our God-given gifts should be used to help others.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
In general, aspiring artists should persevere. It takes time to experience your craft and learn from those experiences. Take inspiration from other's work but always be original.

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