Vanya Norman

Vanya Norman

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Seed Beads


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
I live in Littleton, New Hampshire.

Describe your artistic style.
Off-loom weavings and web work geometric/modern.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Basically everything can inspire me; mostly archaic symbols at the present time.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love seed beads and gemstone chips the most, but will work with any bead that catches my eye.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Alien Landing

What inspired this design?
The TV show "Roswell,'' as well as other sci-fi movies.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
The major design I did on graph paper then I experimented with the bottom half.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I began beading at the age of nine (I'm 46 now). I was into art kits as a child and picked up a beading loom kit. The rest, as they say, is history. I've been beading ever since.

Who introduced you to beading?
I introduced myself. You might say it started with a kit, then I got books; but most of my stuff comes from experimenting.

Do you have an artistic background?
I loved art kits as a child and have a degree in interior decorating. I am mostly self taught although I take bits and pieces from things I read. I also do cross stitch and have adapted some of the patterns to beadwork.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
I saw an ad in a magazine and ordered the catalog. I can't order as often as I would like, though.

What other hobbies do you have?
I also crochet and do needlework, I draw and am into reading and music, and I also enjoy puzzle games on the computer.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It keeps me sane, as I am disabled. My dream is to one day have a bead store of my own. Right now I just bead for myself and family/friends, although I have sold a few pieces in the past.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
This year's beading contest is the first I've ever entered. I sold some headdresses at a local powwow (traditional Micmac headdresses updated with seed beads ), but mostly I just give my stuff away to those who like what they see (I never know what to price things).

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have given some of my stuff to raffles at the powwows to support ongoing events and Native artists.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Don't give up when others say you can't do something. Make your stuff for yourself first; if others like what they see, good, if they don't, then that's their loss.

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