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Our 2018 Young Beader Award winner, Paige Meseck

Learn more about the winner of this inaugural BeadDreams category, sponsored by Bead&Button magazine and Facet Jewelry!
Meseck Suit Yourself
When Paige Meseck learned she had won the first-ever Young Beader Award in the annual BeadDreams competition, she brought 14 friends and family members to the Bead&Button Show to see firsthand the blue ribbon sitting next to her entry.
SherrySerafini
Sherry Serafini
Sherry has a new book out this year called Inspired Bead Embroidery, check it out here!

That was pretty great. But making the day even greater: Spotting one of her beading idols leaning into the glass case to examine “Suit Yourself,” Paige’s framed bead-embroidery creation. It was none other than Sherry Serafini, who is renowned as a bead-embroidery designer, author, and teacher.

 

“There she was, looking at my piece!” Paige recalled. “It was really special.”

 

A friend urged Paige to approach Sherry. “I don’t know if you remember me,” she said nervously, “but I took my first bead embroidery class from you.” When Sherry learned her former student had won the young beader award, “She told me I was really talented and I shouldn’t stop beading. It was inspiring!”

Paige, 24, started beading when she was about 10. One day while on an outing with her mom in her hometown of Sheboygan, WI, they happened to step into a bead shop. Curious, Paige began creating things at home and visiting the shop for supplies. The staff took her under their wing, offering tips and suggesting classes. For a time she had a job there too. 

 

Throughout high school and into her college years, Paige continued to create beadwoven jewelry for friends and for fun. It helped, too, that Sheboygan’s an easy distance from Milwaukee, meaning she could attend Bead&Button Show classes. 

 

These days, Paige is living in Milwaukee and working as a project coordinator at a market research firm. She does less beadweaving and much more bead embroidery. In particular, she loves to create her own designs. “Suit Yourself” started out as a gift for her grandparents, who enjoy playing cards. She’s also concentrating on beaded French flowers, something she picked up at a past Bead&Button Show. She’s hoping to make her own designs in that technique, as well. And with one more year to be eligible for the Young Beader Award, she’s already formulating ideas for an entry.

Paige and parents
Paige and her parents at the BeadDreams exhibit at the 2018 Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

The Young Beader Award, open to beaders age 25 and younger, was introduced at the 2018 Bead&Button Show as a new category in the annual BeadDreams Jewelry Artistry Competition. Created in part to mark Bead&Button magazine’s upcoming 25th anniversary, it’s designed to showcase and encourage the next generation of beading artists.

 

Paige still keeps in touch with the people she met at the bead shop (formerly Abacus and now JSM Bead Coop). But she admits she’s the lone beader among her peers. Asked what might bring more people her age into the beading community, she admits she doesn’t have the answers. Starting young helps, she says, because it’s easier to learn when you have more time and fewer distractions.

 

Paige doesn’t have any interest in selling her work, preferring to get lost in the creative process as a delightful escape rather than a job. To her, beading is endlessly engrossing. “There are so many things you can learn. Even though you can be good at one aspect, there is always more to know.”

FIND MORE: bead weaving , embroidery

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