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Using An Historical Perspective as my muse to Design and Bead:

I can’t imagine designing without the muse of history.

I marvel at what wonders, created by people, have been left behind for those in the future to enjoy. These treasures and wonders of the world are a window into the past. Maybe that is why I love to travel to distant places, why I love museums for distraction, and why my work would pale in comparison if I didn’t have this passion.

Paintings document diverse lifestyles, from those of the very wealthy to the poorest of the poor.

Still-life paintings show us everyday items used at table, like goblets, plates, watches, table covers, and the array of foods available at the time. Portraits show hairstyles, jewelry, garments, and accoutrements of the sitter, while some paintings just steal your heart.

This book is the result of my inspiration to design and bead, using as my muse famous paintings dating from the late 1400s to the early 1900s.

Wide ranges of artists’ styles and compositions, and diverse color palettes and subject matter, have made these paintings among my favorites. To design a piece of beadwork to go with each painting has been a very humbling but rewarding experience. The masters that created these priceless works of art have left us in awe of their abilities. I wanted to create beadwork that, in a small way, was a testament to their amazing skills, and to thank them for the richness they have added to my life.

Each of the 15 new designs in this book uses multiple techniques and beautiful materials to create a timeless style of jewelry that never goes out of fashion.

Elegant earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and a brooch make up this collection of work. Each design has two color ways (one has three) to give you a lot of options when either working from my color palettes or striving to design your own.

The jewelry designs in this book are there to inspire you to bead with passion.

Finding what inspires you to create is a glorious experience, and it is my honor to be able to share a bit of my process with you. Blessed are we who see so much delight in these little beads, for what is done with love is done well.

—Cynthia Rutledge