Last time on the blog you met the second place winner from the 2011 Bead&Button BeadDreams competition. Today we would like to introduce you to the first prize winner, Vanessa Wailiko.
Vanessa is an international award-winning jewelry and fashion designer in Chicago, IL. Her pieces have been featured in national exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. More of her work can be seen on her website.
Take it away Vanessa and tell us all about your piece. (It is SOOO cool!)
"My “Red Lizard Vest” is my second clothing piece with scale maille. The pattern is similar to European 4-in-1 if you look underneath, with scales substituting for some rings. I love the reptilian look of scale maille. My inspiration behind just about all of my designs, is the desire to create a fashionable, wearable piece of art from unlikely materials."
Vanessa continues, “I make aluminum chainmail jewelry as my full-time job and have done so for just over a year. Since I always need something to do with my hands and I love variety, I also sew clothes and little plush dolls. I started out as a beader, so I also make beaded jewelry, sculptures, and occasionally an epic piece of bead embroidery. I also make attempts at writing fiction, but I keep all that pretty secret."
"I decided to enter the BeadDreams contest as part of my ongoing desire to challenge myself and take risks. Jewelry-making is the only thing I care to do right now, and I knew that even being chosen as a finalist was a good way of letting the world know that I was serious about being a designer. What I love about the BeadDreams competition is that the quality of other entries fuels me to do bigger and better work to enter the next year."
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Vanessa! You are super-talented and we just love your work. Vanessa will be joining the Bead&Button 2012 show as a first-time faculty member. You can read all about her classes on the Bead&Button website.