Thursday, 23 January 2014

Introducing OLGA DILLOW

I would like the pleasure of introducing the delightful super talented Artist OLGA DILLOW with whom I have had the pleasure of working on the FOE 13 project.

  What is your name and where are you from? 
My name is Olga Dillow, I was born in Russia, but right now live in USA.

How long have you been practicing your art?
For a few years now.

 Is this (beading) the only form of art you do or are there more?
Right now just beading. I tried crocheting and cross stitching but did not like it as much as beading.

When did you decide to work in this particular (beading) media?
I started beading in 2005.

What made you decide to?
My neighbor showed me what she made with beads and I fell in love with it.

What is your specialty? (What materials, stitches, techniques etc) do you feel you have mastered so far?
I love to use different techniques, but I love bead embroidery most of all.

Are you primarily into beading when working in this field or do you attempt mixed media (using beads and other materials like leather, fabrics or sculptures etc?)
I love working with seed bead and semiprecious stones. And now I am exploring  the use of leather along with beads as part of my design.

 Is there any one person (artists, friends, family etc) that has been a big source of inspiration for you specifically in relation to this field?
No, not really. After I discovered seed beads as my perfect medium, there where a lot of designers that inspired me.

What is your ultimate aspiration in this field?To learn a little bid more, and more, and more....

Have you ever participated in any major projects or contests before?

How would you describe the experience, generally?
Every contest provided a different experience. Some were like “just a pretty game”, others were like “it is part of my life”, but mostly “it was part of my business”.

Have you ever received grants and awards before, for your work in this media?
Yes. In 2009 and 2010 I entered annual bead contests sponsored by Fire Mountain Gems and was awarded with Grand Prize Gold Medal in 2009 and Silver Medal Prize in 2010. Fire Mountain Gems published several of my pieces in their ads. You may have seen some of my work in some of the well known magazines such as Bead & Button and Ornament. In 2012 one of my necklaces was a Finalist at Bead Dreams Show. In 2013 my beadwork participated in BOBT‘13.

 Do you think grants and awards are important in this media?
I think awards are important enough. First, they reveal in their demand, the craftsmanship of an artist by the effort one assigns to the piece; one’s skill at the appropriate level and the mental energy of creating, not to mention the time and material involved. Secondly, the rewards and recognition gives one a sense of improvement and growth, sort of like being lifted to a whole new level and set apart from amateurs.

 Is this media your primary vocation, your second job or simply a hobby?
Right now it is part of my life and my business.

Where can an interested client find your work to buy? And if you don’t sell your work, will you be interested in showing your creation anyway? (share links to sites, blogs, shops etc where you work can be purchased or viewed, or if you are comfortable enough, share contact details of how you can be reached for a client interested in making a purchase).
I sale my work on Etsy , local craft shows, and every one can see and to buy/order my work on Facebook, just search for Olga Dillow

Why did you agree to participate in the FOE 13 project?
I think this is a great project for those who are self-confident enough to be part of a team of people, who think differently, yet come together to merge their various categories of work, in different media and with different materials. I think it's awfully hard to add your artistic interpretation to a unit already created by someone else and matching your very mood to this piece and have it work out well. In general, in my opinion, this is the job for the truly talented and I am pleased to be in their community

Tell us more about yourself – anything at all that you are comfortable sharing. We all want to know our favorite artists as intimately as they would let us know them and you are no exception.
Stories about oneself can be infinite and not interesting for the reader or listener, therefore I prefer to listen to others rather than talk about myself.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you that having had the opportunity of working with Olga and seeing some of her work, it has been an honour for me. Do drop b soon to see some of her work as well as find links to her online presence.

Thursday, 2 January 2014


Happy New Year!

It had been a delight to present the young and talented Megan Thompson here. As promised, below are some of her works and what she said about each creation. Enjoy!.

BLUE MOON by Megan Thompson
(Artist's intro to this piece:  This is my 4th soutache piece, a technique I am slowly improving. I made this piece for my own 21st birthday this year in June, where I had a “blue” themed party. I had recently started doing soutache, and I knew I wanted to create an awesome piece for my party. I made the cabochon from polymer clay using mica powders as an accent. The piece features several types of glass beads, and lapis lazuli. Soutache used: royal blue, dark blue, metallic silver.)

MASK by Megan Thompson.

(Artists intro to the item : I made this in 2011 for my sister’s 21st birthday, in which the theme was Masquerade Ball. It took a week of non-stop beading (I didn’t really sleep much that week) (at a normal pace it probably would have taken a month), and features various dichroic glass cabochon and 2 large glass cabochons. Technique: bead embroidery. Seed beads used: silver, blue, teal blue, blue iris, black. It was beaded on, and backed with, felt, and a mask base is sandwiched in between
 to give the defining shape.)
COLOURS OF AUTUMN by Megan Thompson

(Artist's intro to this piece: This bib necklace was my first ever bead embroidery piece. I used the basic pattern for a pendant in The Art of Bead Embroidery by Sherri Serafini and Heidi Kummli, and this is what came out. I was in an Autumn mood at the time so hence the overall theme. This piece sparked the start of my Seasons collection, in which I have/will be making a piece for each of the 4 seasons. Currently I have Autumn (this photo) and Winter (called Winter’s Fingerprints, a snowflake piece, available on my shop)).


(Artist's intro to this piece: Normally I don’t like steam punk, but a challenge I did in a beading group was “Steampunk” so I decided to get out of my comfort zone and try it. It was quite difficult to keep in a “steampunk” mood, as my normal style is usually completely different. I had to stop being “nice” with the design, instead completely changing it even though I was entirely uncomfortable with the design as it was so different to what I usually do. But I have been told by several people that it’s one of my best designs, so there you go; maybe I’ll have to give steampunk another go after all. There is a hint of blue coming through, because I love blue and can’t seem to get enough of it :P There are matching abstract butterfly earrings which can be seen in the listing of this piece in my shop).

UNIVERSE By Megan Thompson

(Artist's intro to this piece:  This is my second collar, and by far the better of the two. I’ve always wanted to make a collar. This one is inspired by a star burst, as I found several photos on the internet which look amazing. That, combined with my love of blue goldstone, which to me just seem to reflect the night sky, inspired and gave birth to this creation, which is quite possibly one of my favourite creations so far. There is a colour graduation from the middle to the outside of the collar, which is a mixture of blue iris and goldlined blue seed beads, and black is eventually introduced. There are several blue goldstone cabochons featured in this collar, plus a few black onyx cabochons and 2 purple cabochons. Pearls line the central cab. The colour gradation was really hard to get right and keep together, and therefore this is probably one of the hardest pieces I’ve ever created.)
Megan said "This is a photo of me wearing a bead woven piece called Twisted in Blue Brilliance. Made for a challenge with EBW “totally twisted.” Technique: spiral rope, peyote stitch (clasp, bezel), twisted fringe. This piece has since sold."

It was a total delight to work with Megan. Find her contact details below; for direct sales,.
She can be contacted at
Megan also blogs at which she tried to update when I can.