Bead artist Margo Yee pursues beading with an unerring eye for detail and endless curiosity. The results surprise and delight those who come in contact with her creations.
I first met Margo in a bead class during which we experimented with free form beading over filigree. She immersed herself in the learning of an idea and it morphed into an amazing creation, a natural and frequent Margo occurrence.
When prompted to pick her theme for the year in another class, Margo chose gratitude. She then proceeded to complete an over-the-top necklace.
On her website, Margo describes the effect of her designs:
“A synergistic response to motion …results when vibrant colors, reflecting light, are combined with varied textures to draw attention to the most expressive part of a woman, her face.”
“Margo designs necklaces to focus the observer on the interesting facial character of the female who wears the necklace, bringing additional sparkle to the wearer as the woman moves, but not in any way competing with or outshining the wearer. So it is interesting that one of the hallmarks of Margo’s necklaces is multiple focal pieces. The artist designs the necklaces, so the observer’s eyes deliberately bounce or skip from one beautiful area of the necklace to the next, so the necklace is interesting even when the woman turns her head and the necklace is viewed from the side!”
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is a beautifying, problem-solving wandering that allows me to take a breather from the complexities of life and get lost in a singular focus for a while. The repetitive process of beading is like a sleep that refreshes me. Tools and jewelry making materials or components form the framework for many of my pieces. Other artists have generously shared their techniques with me, expanding my repertoire. The beads left over on my bead mat frequently form the basis of my next piece. It’s like of like a brandied fruit starter that just continues to evolve as different fruits (beads) are added.
I am fortunate that I have an adequate supply of beads, cabochons and slabs and colored wire which allows me a lot of choice in what I’ll use in a piece. I remember first buying Beads at NM Bead & Fetish and the woman there told me to be sure to buy enough, so I wouldn’t have to run out to buy beads in the midst of a project. It was great advice.
How did your passion for creating jewelry begin?
My interest in making jewelry started with a summer school art class the summer before I started 8th grade. My first pieces were copper enameling. Seeing classmates melting silver scraps, I made a silver pin. The teacher liked it and entered it in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Art show. My parents, who were not artists, but were encouraging, suggested I transition from enameling to silversmithing.. I remember it was not an easy transition as I loved color and viewed silver as monochromatic.
As an art major in college I frequently didn’t have adequate resources for materials, so I feel grateful to be able to create now with more freedom both in terms of having a good inventory of materials and time, as I’m retired. It’s not necessary for me to sell my work to be able to continue to create.
What impact do you want to have with your work?
My work is not statement making, just designed to enhance the wearer. It’s amazing to think that someone would select to wear a piece of my jewelry, when they could wear anything.
Margo, an active member of the Bead Society of New Mexico, also serves as Classes and Special Events Manager for the not-for-profit organization. In December, she and Kenny Hallstead previewed the bird bead class they will present at Beadfest 2017 in Santa Fe.
There’s still time for you to register for Bead Bird, a special presentation of Beadfest Santa Fe 2017.
Don’t miss an opportunity to play. Explore the whimsical side of creativity with bead artist Margo Yee.
Disclosure: I had the opportunity to participate in the Bead Bird class and can heartily endorse the experience. Meet Ratana, my bead bird.