Sunday, April 30, 2017

Interview with March "Greenery" Challenge Winner

Interview by Patti Parker

Albeny Weibel of AlbenaArtDesign

Q: First I would ask you to write a little about your background such as where you are from and live now, and what your occupation or life focus is.
A: I was born and grew up in Bulgaria. There I graduated at the Music Academy with Piano and Oboe. As a musician, I came to Switzerland, where I still live since more the 20 years. I’m married here and have two children. As my daily job, I’m selling electric appliances, such as Hairdryers, Microwave-Ovens and others…
I can’t live without beautiful things around me. I need music, flowers and colors. Flowers, for me, are the food for my positivism and optimism.
My jewelry is always a mirror of this. They are always like a duel between strong colors.

I love everything romantic: Sunrises, sunsets, romantic evenings and moments. This everything flows into my work.

Q:. How long have you been making and selling your work?
A: I’m not working with beads for a very long time- maybe 2 years. But therefore, I started very intensive. And I am so happy, that one month ago, I opened my shop in Etsy, which you can find here:

Q: What inspired you to start working with beads?

A: The first thing I started to do besides music, was painting pictures. There everything started. I event had the chance to show my paintings in exhibitions here in Switzerland, what went very successful.

Then I decided to create more flowers. But this not painted ones. So, I started to model them from sugar paste. This was the moment, when I started to decorate cakes with sugar flowers.

These were a lot of experiments, giving me a lot of experience, which I decided to use for making flowers from leather.

A: I first started to work with beads was, when a local fashion designer asked me, if I could make him a necklace for his new wedding collection. Then I started to watch a lot of tutorials with beading techniques and started to try. Every time I finished something new, I started to get more and more excited and confident. In the end, I succeeded to create my first wedding necklace.
This was the moment I really started to work with beads. Here is piece of the wedding jewelry, I made for the fashion show:

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?

A: My most favorite materials to work with are beads, leather, Shibori silk and Soutache. I always experiment with new materials and techniques. 

Q: Which techniques do you enjoy using, and what are the things you like to make most?
A: Mostly I use stitching and embroidery for creating my jewelry.
One of the biggest challenges and joy for me are leather flowers. The way they start to live and bloom during the process of making them. How they start to shine after I painted them all the shades and shadows to make them look real.
Sometimes I combine the above materials with macramé or tatting.

Q: Describe your design process.
A: First I start with a drawing. That’s a quite long process, to figure out all details. Sometimes I start with one idea, but the result is completely different. It’s very flexible and organic process. 
Q: Are there any favorite places that have influenced your designs?
 A: One of my most favorite places, inspiring my work, is my balcony at home.

Every year it looks different. But always, it’s full with flowers and looks like a real garden Eden. I really love to watch, how the flowers grow and I enjoy all the beauty and greatness, nature gives to us. I really admire the range of colors, nature has to offer.
Every time I see a flower, I always imagine how I will transform it into a piece of art, made from leather or beads. To me, nature is the biggest inspiration.

Q: Which artists or beaders do you admire?
I’m very lucky to be a member of a Bulgarian group of beaders, named “Beautiful Bulgarian beadwork”. A lot of the members there have so many great ideas and creativity. There I learned a lot of new things, when I started to work with beads. And I have to admit, that the Bulgarian beading school is very good.
Another artist I really admire is Serena Moreno. She was a great inspiration for me to start with beads, shibori and soutache.
A great help were also the beading tutorials of:
Gina's Gem Creations

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