Friday, June 8, 2012

Connect Magazine - Member Spotlight - Melissa Ingram Issue 21, June 2012

This month I was featured in the Connect Magazine which is a quarterly publication produced by the Bead Society of Victoria, of which I am a member. I wrote the article at the invitation of Christine Mole who is the Secretary for the Society.  This is the article.

My beading journey began 20 years ago when I happened across a bead store in Fremantle, WA. I went inside and was immediately captivated by the possibilities of what lay inside those clear plastic jars & tubes!! I still have the gold bugle beads I bought that day but oddly I have not really explored bugle beads very much. In those days my capabilities extended only to stringing and creating bead embroidery appliqu├ęs but in 2004 whilst I was expecting my first child I began my beadweaving journey. I tried to teach myself peyote, but was even unsure how to pronounce the word peyote! With no YouTube videos available to watch or beading tutors it all just seemed futile. I persevered, and finally mastered this wonderful versatile stitch and have been teaching myself beadweaving stitches ever since. My favourite stitch is CRAW and I am experimenting with Albion Stitch. I attended Laura McCabe’s 2009 and Marcia DeCoster’s 2010 workshops and really enjoyed the experience and have been beadweaving full time more or less since 2008.

I have designed and authored beading and polymer clay projects, tutorials and articles for Australian Beading magazine since April 2008. My beadwork has appeared on the front cover five times, an achievement I am very proud of.


In 2010 I entered the “Create Your Style” Swarovski’ Australian Competition. 3 entries were finalists in the Open Division and 1 entry was a finalist in the Creative Division.
Late 2011 I enthusiastically submitted 3 pieces of beadwork to Lark Publishing as there was a call for submissions for their book ‘Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry’. February 2012 I received amazing news that ‘Melbournian’ and ‘Magic Carpet Ride Cuff’ were included in the book. The book will be released on August 7th 2012, and is available to ‘pre-order’ through Amazon.com.


My beadwork necklace ‘Lashed Lily’ is currently in the US awaiting second round judging for the Fire Mountain Beads & Gems Swarovski Jewelry Competition. Lashed Lily is a sinister name I know but it refers purely to the Swarovski ‘Lily’ pendants used in the design. ‘Lashed’ refers to exactly that as I have lashed two ‘Lily’ pendants together.

During 2011 I was very disappointed having at not being able to complete my Bead Dream entry in time for the deadline. We had moved from Melbourne to Brisbane due to my husbands employment so life was hectic and it just proved too difficult to meet the deadline. The piece inended for submission was ‘Melbournian’ which evolved from my grief of having to move away from my beloved Melbourne. This piece was later selected for the ‘Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry’ book so the journey of creating ‘Melbournian’ actually ended very happily.

After being dissapointed in 2012 I worked for 5 months with 6 weeks of 4 – 9 hours of daily beading to complete my beadwork entry for the Bead Dreams competition and as I write this article ‘Tequila Sunrise’ a beadwoven fan neckpiece is awaiting notification results due out in April.

My other love is Soutache embroidered jewellery and I have been sampling and learning as much as I can for the last year or so. My other interests include Crystal Clay, Precious Metal Clay, Polymer Clay and Resin

In September this year I will be teaching Soutache and Crystal Clay workshops at www.aussiebeadingretreats.com on the Sunshine Coast, QLD.

What’s next for me....? I intend on exploring and experimenting further to push the boundaries of my beadwork and Soutache Embroidery.

My website is www.aussiebeader.com