An Interview with Chris Maj of ‘Beadn4fun’
Being one of the crew of ‘The Unpronounceable’ whose home dock is the Steampunk Share Page on Facebook, I get to see lots of wonderful Steampunk Creations. Recently, something was posted there that quite took my breath away and I was introduced to a new term: ‘Beadpunk’.
Now, I cannot claim to be a massive fan of seed-beaded items. However, this item shows an incredible level of skill and patience. I love the assymetrical design and the colour choices. It moved me to go and explore her Etsy shop and I’m very glad I did!
1. How did your shop get its name and what was the main inspiration behind opening your shop?
The name Beadn4Fun came about because I wanted to portray my crazy-stupid love for beading and how happy those tiny little seed beads make me! I was a bit concerned it would sound like I don’t take my craft seriously, but instead I think it says how lucky I am to do something that allows me to explore my creativity on a daily basis.
2. What do you create and do you have a signature product? If so how did it come to be?
I work primarily with Japanese and Czech glass seed beads using bead embroidery and bead weaving techniques. One of my signature techniques is to use a focal piece (clay, metal, glass, semi-precious gemstones), surround it with bead embroidery (rows of beads sewn to a backing) and hang it as a pendant from a beaded rope. Another of my favorite techniques is creating a Cellini spiral necklace. It’s a beadweaving technique called Peyote stitch done with 3-4 sizes of seed beads that creates a corkscrew effect.
|Bluecopper is an example of my work with semi-precious gemstones…this one is a Pietersite.
3. Where do you find your inspiration and what makes you different from the other people that make what you make?
There are a LOT of beaders out there so it’s tough to stand out. I’m very inspired by colors, nature, and art. I almost always name my work, big or small, and have a backstory of how it came to be.
(I love that too, stories seem to grow with the work, don’t they?)
|Greenraku and Directions both use Olivia Dowdy Brown Raku pieces (This piece is ‘Directions’)
4. What do you enjoy most about your craft?
I love the ability to capture the beauty I see all around me and interpret it through beaded color and design into a piece of wearable art. And I love the friends I’ve made, customers and fellow beaders all over the world.
5.What is your best advice to newbie Etsians just opening their shops?
My advice to an aspiring Etsy-ist is the advice that was given to me…Open up a shop, stick something in it, and get on social media to find like minded craftspeople either on Facebook or in an Etsy group. You will learn as you go along…and keep learning!
6. What are your top 3 favorite shops on Etsy and what do you like about them?
Besides shopping for new beads, my absolute most favorite thing about what I do is using art from other crafters and in my beadwork. I literally have a drawer full of pottery and raku items from Olivia Dowdy Brown www.etsy.com/shop/Odddesignsnc. I get lots of my Czech seed beads from www.etsy.com/shop/PiecesParts. And for sheer “OMG how did she do that with beads” moments, I go to www.etsy.com/shop/crimsonfrog.
|Samira is a collar I made in March for a “Scheherazade” challenge in our Etsy Beadweavers Team. It sold immediately and I won the challenge!!
7. Where else (other than Etsy) can you be found online?
You can most often find me on facebook www.facebook.com/cbmaj or www.facebook.com/beadn4fun, and on my blog chrismajbeadn4fun.blogspot.com/
8. Do you have any coupon codes / special sales / upcoming or current promotional events going on in your shop?
I don’t currently have any specials running, but I do offer discounts a couple times a year. I also love to create custom work.
Thankyou Chris! I wish you much success with your shop and many happy customers. Do let Cap’n G. and the crew know of any more Steampunk creations you come up with over at the Steampunk Share page. Keep on beading for fun!