Julie Powell Designs

My beadwork is a confluence of the world of textiles, color, and of adornment. I weave and embroider tiny glass beads, with a needle and fishing line, one at a time to create intricate cuffs, necklaces, and earrings. With a background in weaving, knitting, quilting, embroidering, and dyeing, I blend the colors and patinas of beads into flexible fabrics. The process takes many hours. Every single bead I pick up is a choice, one element in shaping the whole. The rhythm of touching each bead to the needle and pulling it through to connect to the next bead is meditative and fascinating to me.

I am inspired by the tradition of ancient crafts and textiles from all over the world. I take these traditions and push them into a contemporary direction, preferring to emphasize color and form rather than complicated stitches and patterning. I am inspired by the natural world, from the mountains and rivers to the oceans and sky.

I am enchanted by beads of all kinds, but focus primarily on small glass seed beads from the Czech Republic and Japan, as well as vintage beads from Venice and France. The surfaces and finishes of the beads, along with the myriad range of colors inspire me. All my work is done, bead by bead, with a needle and fishing line. I work in a stream-of-consciousness way. My pieces are worked off-loom in peyote stitch and herringbone.

The magic of beadwork is that the possibilities are endless. Though extremely time-consuming and intricate, the medium is flexible and forgiving. Each piece is an engineering puzzle, sparking ideas for new pieces with every stitch. My view of the world expands with each piece. I am always thirsty to create another.