Unrelated to paper arts, but very cool!

I’m sure most of the readers of this blog have no idea that I’m the business woman for my disabled mother’s beadweaving artwork. I am the first to admit that marketing her work has taken a backseat to Gauche Alchemy the past few months. Still, I’ve got her Etsy shop, CK Originals, up and running, and there’s a currently empty blog set up, as well (not for long, though – I’m gonna update it tonight).


When I took on the task of marketing Mom’s work, I had no idea the time involved in learning and implementing an online marketing campaign. Still, I have always felt her artwork is nothing short of extraordinary, and I’m committed to getting it out there for the world to see and appreciate.

Each piece takes a minimum of a week to complete – sometimes longer depending on the intricacy involved and how well her hands and arms are cooperating on a given day. She suffers from post-polio syndrome and fibromyalgia, as well as various musculoskeletal and nerve problems. This woman worked so hard all her life, and now at age 56, her body just won’t allow her to push through anymore. Having the active mind she does and a touch of OCD besides, she would go crazy without something to focus on.

She learned to weave beaded boxes by absorbing Julia Pretl‘s book Little Bead Boxes: 12 Miniature Containers Built With Beads. After practicing on each of Julia’s designs, she started designing her own and hasn’t looked back since. She delights in creating forms and patterns of precise mathematical complexity – it keeps her engaged. And she’s quite prolific, which keeps me very busy. *wink*

Although I’ve been somewhat remiss in my marketing efforts, we’ve been getting some exciting opportunities! First, Leslie Rogalski, Editor-in-Chief of Step by Step Beads magazine asked to run a little featurette on the boxes (The “Findings” feature, for those of you who are familiar with the magazine)! That’s tentatively scheduled to appear in the May 2009 issue. THEN, she got an invite to submit a Call for Entry from MaryBeth Sherr, coordinator of ArtFirst! Here’s the description MaryBeth sent to me:

ArtFirst! is an international, juried exhibition and sale of original art and fine crafts by artists with physical and mental disabilities, presented by the Auxiliary of the University Medical Center at Princeton. ArtFirst!, through its annual 6 week exhibition in the public spaces of UMCP, seeks to raise public awareness of the unlimited creative talent of artists with disabilities; provide a venue for these artists to display and sell their work; and enhance the experience of UMCP patients, visitors, and staff with the inspirational work of ArtFirst! artists.

If you’ve read this far and are interested in purchasing a piece, I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret: I have about 50 boxes that have not been listed on Etsy yet. E-mail me at ckoriginals at cox dot net with any questions, and I’ll dash off some photos of anything I think you might be interested in. I’ll cut the price by the amount that Etsy charges (3%) since I won’t be selling through them if it’s not listed yet – what better motivation do you need than that? 🙂 These make wonderful gifts and work well as trinket boxes or keepsake boxes, ring boxes or jewelry gift boxes, or just pretty little pieces of eye candy!


One Response

  1. Love the beadwork! I used to work for my mom too who used to be doing loomweaving. I liked weaving the glass beads and designing them. I used to make bracelet cuffs that are supposed to be worn above the cuff of a long-sleeved blouse. Of course, that was eons ago. My mom is now into something else as well.

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