Diane McPhee

Design Idea CACM Mask

Ying Yang
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2012 featuring Seed Beads

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Port Orchard, Washington

Describe your artistic style.
My recent work focuses on hand-sewn beaded masks, each using hundreds of glass beads to create a one of a kind three-dimensional work of art. I have a website: handbeadedmasks.com.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Color and light inspire me.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I like working with crystal seed beads because of the way the light dances around them.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Ying Yang

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
After years of being devoted to pastel art, I stumbled upon the love of beading. My daughter gave me the beads she had been collecting and I began with one necklace. And then I couldn't stop!

Who introduced you to beading?
My daughter and a friend who had taken a class on making necklaces.

Do you have an artistic background?
My degree is in Art and Multicultural Studies.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I have followed your brilliant ads in many beading magazines.

What other hobbies do you have?
I play the piano and read quite a bit.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I belong to an artist group that meets monthly to share their art. There are bead artists among us.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
The intimacy of working with glass beads creates a quiet time, a meditation, where hours pass unawares. As a piece of beadwork is evolving, I have to decide on color, size, and type of bead to use. I watch to see relationships emerging. Beading is a labor of love.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have entered juried shows and have been overwhelmed with the positive response.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I recently designed a birdhouse for a fundraiser. Hours were spent embroidering hundreds of glass beads into a butterfly and gardens to create a luminous effect.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Do what you love!