When I first became interested in jewelry design, I remember being really intimidated by the projects in Beadwork magazine. My attempts at peyote stitch were frightening, and tubular herringbone was a fabulous mystery yet to be explored. Today, Beadwork is one of my favorite sources for inspiration.
My favorite feature is The Challenge, were the editors set out to create interesting beadwork from a pre-selected set of beads. Each design is unique, for each editor combines the challenge beads with their own stash, and their personal style. I love seeing the different styles of beadwork using the same set of beads. It’s a great way to explore the endless possibilities available to creative beaders.
Recently, readers have been invited to participate in The Challenge as well, and the mystery beads for each issue are given to lucky beaders to create with as they will. Participants are drawn at random, and their finished work is featured along with the designs of the Beadwork editors.
As much as I love The Challenge, I don’t yet have the courage to enter into the draw, and I feel like I’m missing out on a great opportunity for inspiration and creative growth. That’s why I was so thrilled to learn about the Use the Muse contest.
Beadwork contributing editor, Scarlett Lanson, has created a beading challenge that anyone can sink their teeth into. The concept is very similar to Beadwork’s The Challenge, because the contest is open to designers of all tastes and skill levels.
Here’s how it works: beaders can purchase a beading kit which includes all of the materials pictured above. Also in the package is a mystery component, called the Muse, which must be used for a design to qualify for the contest. Beaders can use any techniques or other materials that they choose, allowing for maximum creativity. Prizes are awarded in a variety of categories, including the overall grand prize - a fabulous treasure box filled with delicious beads.
This is a really exciting opportunity to flex one’s creative muscles, to experiment with new materials, and to interact with other beaders. If you want to learn more about Use the Muse, and how to participate, visit Scarlett Lanson’s website The Beader’s Muse.
Good luck to all Muse Users out there!