|Meet the Designer-Artist
My name is Albina Manning. I was born in Yoshkar-Ola, Russia, a small town not far from Volga River. Ever since I was a child, I have loved doing anything by hand, especially knitting and sewing. I graduated from Mari State Pedagogical Institute and then worked for nine years as a certificated elementary and physical education teacher in my hometown.
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Although I really loved my work as a teacher of young children, in 2003 my life changed a lot! I met my soul mate Peter and moved to Arizona where we were married, and a year later our beautiful daughter Anya was born. Then a Russian friend living in Japan sent me a beautiful, red beaded rose as a Christmas gift. I thought, ''is it possible to make something as lovely as Mother Nature creates? Probably not, but sometimes copies can be worth that of the original.'' That is when I fell in love with beads and wire. My first experience was to make a beaded Money Tree. In spite of the fact that it looks like an old untrimmed tree and has a lot of ''technical'' mistakes, I still love it. I then discovered The Bead Museum in Glendale, Arizona where displays include the incredible beadwork of Lana May from Phoenix. Just ''down-the-road,'' I contacted Lana who inspired my jewelry-making hobby (which was a perfect fit for the stay-home-mom).
Now I enjoy teaching annually at the Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show. My work Bonsai Shakkan has been used by Fire Mountain Gems both as a backcover advertisement and inside their catalog. In 2009, I won the 1st Place Gold Medal award with Inka's Gold Necklace in Fire Mountain Gem's wirework category. I have been published in Art Bead Circle magazine as well as in an book Mixed Media Jewelry Techniques. In 2011 I got the 3rd Bronze Medal award with Nautilus Necklace in Fire Mountain Gem's wirework category. The latest success is my Coiling and Weaving Wire Jewelry Designs Series, a 3-DVD series devoted to working with round wire to create beautiful designs, was released in April 2011 through Wire-Sculpture.com.
View all of Albina's designs in the Gallery of Designs.