School of Beadwork Founder
Melanie Potter left a long-time career in the software industry to combine her creativity and business skills to further the art of beading. Her Arts & Crafts background began with training in couture sewing at an early age of twelve. Her sewing led her to create designs and patterns for elaborate and diverse projects from costumes to her own wedding gown. Sewing remained the focused passion of her creative outlet until she encountered off-loom bead weaving.
With an experienced eye, Melanie brings her couture sewing background and sense of color theory and design to developing aesthetic ways of using beads in unique, contemporary jewelry. The possibilities of producing three-dimensional structural forms from a variety of bead types, shapes, sizes, and colors are endless and offer a wonderful creative challenge.
Melanie’s desire to share her knowledge and passion through workshops and retreats led her to form School of Beadwork to offer just such opportunities. School of Beadwork develops exciting and glamorous programs to bead in unique environments such as vineyard and sea side settings. It also serves students and teachers by nurturing the expression of creativity, encouraging the cultivation of community spirit, and educating in the art and discipline of beadwork.
Melanie also collaborates with noted author and bead artist Carol Wilcox Wells to bring to market both Melanie’s and Carol’s elegant beadwork designs in kit form. This partnership provides beadworkers with convenient kits that contain everything necessary to easily recreate both Melanie’s and Carol’s beautiful and elaborate designs including step-by-step illustrated instructions as well as quality supplies. You can find these kits at www.schoolofbeadwork.com.
Four of Melanie Potter’s Top Classes
LOTUSES OF THE NILE
©2005 by Melanie Potter
Ancient Egypt was rich in symbolism. Their hieroglyphic script and art expressed much about their culture, people and ideas. This piece was inspired by the many depictions of lotuses found in their architecture, jewelry and royal regalia.
There are two sizes of lotuses to create a balance in the composition of the necklace. Chevron chain stitch with an increase develops the flared shape of the lotuses and netting creates the petals. The embellished bale that holds the lotuses on the chain is created using peyote stitch. The beads that run the entire length of the chain are embellished with details on the edges. The clasp is tucked inside a lotus.
© 2007 by Melanie Potter
The word plaid is Gaelic and refers to the a garment with a tartan design. Plaid weavings, symbolized by stripes of varying widths and colors crossed at right angles, have been around for centuries. This unique technique is used in creating the Plaid Dominoes. You'll learn to layer seed beads of different colors and finishes to create a plaid pattern which is a recurring theme throughout this bracelet. This workshop will also teach you to construct this bracelet using dimensional right angle weave and embellishing it to provide structure and support. Additionally, you'll learn to connect the dominoes using a chain construction that provides a flexible turn in the bracelet to easily shape it to your wrist. The toggle closure of the bracelet provides a functional way to connect the ends and serves as well as an ornamental element in the bracelet design. This is sure to be a bracelet you'll enjoy wearing since its attractive to wear and the ergonomic design is very comfortable.
©2007 by Melanie Potter
This dainty bow is stylized after the Louis XVI style which exudes and aire of pomp and circumstance. Using a variety of netting techniques the ribbon is formed and molded to create the wings of the bow and the tassels. The tassels graduate into points to allow for faceted briolettes to dangle in a staircase fashion. The bow is outlined using square stitch to provide for strong definition of the edges and support. The center of the bow features a Swarovski Rivoli embellished with Roses Montee crystals. The bow can be worn as a pin, pendant or hair ornament
© 2007 by Melanie Potter
Inspired by the vintage ornamental draperies that were suspended and fastened in a curve between two points, this collar mimics the grand and elaborate swags of eras gone by. The swags are fastened at each end and embellished with a bezel-set Swarovski crystal Rivoli. This piece is created in chevron chain stitch using various techniques throughout the collar. The Swarovski Rivolis are housed inside a bezel that utilizes circular chevron chain, herringbone and peyote stitches. The closure is a simple lasso on the last Rivoli. This piece wears comfortably and is a show stopper.
Please visit Melanie’s website and see more of her glorious work at www.melaniepotter.com