"I am interested in creating a kind of fabric using glass beads with a needle and thread. The colors and myriad surfaces of seed beads and stones play upon each other in endless combinations and moods."
Julie Powell came to beadwork by way of woven, knitted and embroidered fabrics and is drawn to the interplay of color and texture, fashioned into the small forms of cuffs and necklaces. While enchanted by beads of all kinds, Julie focuses on glass seed beads and natural stones. All work is done, bead by bead, with a needle and thread. Most pieces are worked off-loom in peyote stitch. Though extremely intricate, the medium is flexible and forgiving. Each piece is an engineering puzzle, sparking ideas for new pieces with every stitch.
Each piece begins with a bead soup of delicious elements of color and texture. Combinations are chosen to evoke a color story like a Turkish rug, a sunset in the Southwest, a tidal pool, a Chinese red lacquer box. At times a piece is centered around a focal gemstone or a piece of glass. Other times the design evolves through repeating components and elements like a quilt. Each bead is threaded one by one in embroidery or peyote stitch in a linear format, a grid, or a rambling sculptural technique. They are strong and light, structurally sound.
Julie is a self-taught bead artist. She has developed her techniques through many hours of practice and experimentation.
Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Colorado, Denver, 2009
Plaza Art Fair, MO, Kansas City, 2011, 2012
Des Moines Arts Festival, IA, Des Moines, 2012
Kimball Park City Arts Festival, UT, Park City, 2010, 11, 12
Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, TX, Fort Worth, 2011
Art Fair on the Square, WI, Madison, 2011, 2012
Museum of Art and Design, The Store, New York City, NY, 2010 to present
Denver Art Museum, gift shop, DEnver, CO, 2010 to present
Ragazzi's Flying Shuttle, Seattle, WA, 2010 to present
Tallulahbelle's, Kansas City, MO, 2011 to present