Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beadmaker Interview Julie Picarello, Yellow House Designs

What is your personal name, business name, website and location?
Julie Picarello :: Yellow House Designs :: El Dorado, California

What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use?
What is your favorite beadmaking technique?

I design focal art beads in polymer clay, using a loose adaptation of the Japanese ‘Mokume Gane’ metalworking technique. One of my favorite parts of the process is developing custom color palettes for each series of beads. I also love to find unique metal accents for the clay – vintage watch parts, snaps, model railroad parts, metal washers etc., and incorporating them in fun ways.

How did you get into beadmaking?
What are some of the important things you do for your business?

It’s funny – I’m not much of a jewelry wearer myself, but I’ve always loved the look of unusual, funky, hip jewelry…just on other people, LOL! I love the fact that the pieces I design are truly OOAK (one of a kind)– I can’t duplicate an exact piece even if I try, and to me, that makes every single bead and piece of jewelry special.

What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio?
What is a typical day like?

I turned my breakfast nook into my studio…I love it as it has a door onto the deck and big bay windows, so I can see the oak trees and the sky as I work. I don’t have a fixed schedule, but I’m usually in there before eating breakfast!

How do you stay inspired and motivated?

Hmmm…I think the better question may be how to keep from being over-motivated! Everything I see is food for inspiration…the colors, the shape, the material. I keep an eye on the ground for beat up pieces of metal and I’m constantly sketching new design ideas. The problem is finding the time to actually do everything I dream up!

What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment
your art beads? Do you design your own jewelry too?

I love the contrast of polymer beads in elegant, sophisticated color palettes paired with metal & found objects, trade beads, bone & wood. I also enjoy incorporating vintage chain and wire-wrap accents to create neckpieces and earrings.

What beady plans do you have for the future?
Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?

Writing…magazine articles and maybe a book. I’ve been promising to do this for the past two years! I’m also giving a lot more workshops this coming year, which I absolutely love. Teaching people how to create beautiful polymer beads is almost as enjoyable as creating them myself.

If you have a discount code you would like to give our readers,
please list it here, including the expiration date:

I usually have a hard time keeping inventory on my website, but I take special orders if people want specific color schemes and/or bead shapes that they don’t see in the shop. Be sure to mention the code “artbead” for a 20% discount through May 31, 2008.


Jessica Sharrah said...

stunning work!

Tari of said...

Julie's work is just beautiful. I love all the colors and graphic imagery she uses. Thanks for the interview Julie!