Can you tell us a bit about your background? I was born and grew up in Denmark. When I was 18, I decided to take a gap year in Israel to explore my roots and ended up loving it so much that I decided to move there permanently. I live in a small rural community that is very family oriented and quiet. I love waking up the the sounds of birds chirping in the morning, far away from the city hustle and bustle. For many years I worked as a professional make up artist in the movie and tv busi- ness. It was a job that enabled me to play with colour and texture and be creative.
Over 10 years ago now, I had my first encounter with beads at a little store and I fell in love with the medium immediately. I have never looked back, and beads - in all their aspects - are now my main occupation.
What materials do you commonly use in your work? I use mainly seed beads in my work, but fell in love with soutache when I first saw it on Russian Army Ornaments, and was fascinated with the intricate swirls and designs. It’s been a wonderful journey to explore this interesting medium and my work is now divided between half seed beads/half soutache. I love the colours and textures together and often mesh the two techniques in my work.
Have you formally studied any relevant courses? I have never had any formal education in beads, but I’ve loved art in all its aspects all of my life. Besides beads I also paint, draw, work with clay, do creative writing, knit, crochet - anything that I can do with my hands and express my love for all things creative.
What would you say you’re most known for, and do you have a piece you’re most proud of? I think I’m mostly known for my soutache work and my floral inspired pieces. I don’t know what piece I’m most proud of, but probably one that has combined these two specific elements.
Do you make a lot of finished jewellery, and has anyone (we might have heard of) worn your jewellery? I make a lot of finished jewellery, less than I would like to these days because of time restraints, but I still sell my jewellery online and very much enjoy doing this - especially custom orders. I have made jewellery for quite a few well known people, although sometimes I only know in retrospect because most often their stylists are the ones to do the actual shopping.
Where do you take your inspiration from? I get my ideas from architecture and nature. I’m extremely keen on colours and texture and how they blend together. Anything can provide inspiration, from city life to the ocean or a field of wild flowers. I like to study my surroundings, and often carry with me a notebook where I either sketch ideas or write down thoughts that will later inspire me for my next creation.
Do you have a favourite design? My favourite design is always the last one I have made; I love it and then move on to the next. But if I had to absolutely pick just one piece, it would be a flower necklace I made for the Bead Dreams competition a few years ago.
Do you teach? I have been very fortunate to be able to teach around the world, mainly in the UK and America. I am always happy to share my knowledge and I absolutely love to see what my students make. I enjoy the interaction and all the love that is shared in the beading community all around the globe. It’s a true privilege to be able to take part in that. I have met so many amazing people through my work, and I think it’s a special gift to be able to say that I can’t wait to wake up every morning and go to work. How awesome is that?
Have you ever written any books or been published in magazines? I have not yet had the time to write a book, although I have been offered the opportunity to do so more than once and I would certainly love to do it at some point, but it’s not on the cards at the moment. I have written many articles in magazines and I hope to continue to do so.
Describe your workspace. My work space when I started out was always my kitchen. My cupboards used to have food and dishes in them, but I found that I had taken over most of the space with beads, crystals, fabric, soutache and countless boxes of fun stuff.
It became a bit crowded now and I've built a studio as a new addition to my house. My family were so pleased that I finally have a confined space where I can freely host my creative mess.
Do you work by yourself or have you collaborated with anyone else? I work by myself but I do love collaborations. I have some very exciting things in the works at the moment and I can’t wait to show them off in the near future!!
What are you working on at the moment? At the moment I’m mainly working on workshop samples and writing a lot of instructions, but every now and then I manage to work on new and exciting things. For example, competition pieces that push the boundaries in all ways and which I need to challenge myself to always improve, reinvent, and move forward.
What goals are you aspiring to? My goals are to continue doing what I do now. Create, teach, travel and love. I have been so fortunate to be able to make a living off something that started out as a hobby. It’s hard work and I never work less than 12 hours every day, but I love every minute of it. I eat, sleep and breathe beads and my hope is that I can continue to do just that for many years to come!
What have been your biggest personal challenges, and accomplishments? I think without a doubt my biggest accomplishment has been raising my autistic daughter Iris, who is now 26 years old. I dedicated most of my life to her care and wellbeing, and watching her grow up to become such a beautiful and happy soul is indeed a better accomplishment than anything else I could imagine.
What advice would you give to other beaders? Always remain true to yourself! Do your own thing and never be afraid of making mistakes, but use them as a jumping board to create something new. Practice makes perfect! If you apply yourself and dedicate yourself to the cause, you will succeed. Most important of all, enjoy and love what you do. Nothing is more important than that.