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5 questions with Sally Battis

Join us as we catch up with this kumihimo artist who has won two different Facet Design Challenges!
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Sally created a better Kumihimo foam disk a few years back. She describes it as "double thick, beveled on backside and has the slot numbers printed below the slots instead of in between."
 
This shot is Sally standing next to the shipment of boxes. She says the box is "Almost as tall as me, lol"!

Sally Battis is the epitome of the expression, “Age is just a number.” At age 55, she retired from the company she had worked at for 37 years. Rather than retreating into the lifestyle typically associated with retirement (I imagine long walks on the beach, lazy afternoons, etc.), Sally decided to pursue a new passion and thereby build an entirely new career for herself from the ground up: beading. Mainly self-taught, Sally’s work involves creating cord braid jewelry kits and 8-cord round Kumihimo bead kits. 

 

The owner of Sally Bead Jewelry, you can find her teaching and speaking at a number of bead events and before Kumihimo groups, all listed on her website. While Sally is self-taught, she cites the beginnings of her love for creating things at an early age: at age 13, she purchased her own sewing machine with babysitting money.

HOW DID YOU LEARN JEWELRY-MAKING?

 

I started with simple bead stringing, moved on to RAW, peyote, and other bead weaving techniques. Some classes but mostly learned by YouTube. Once I retired I visited a friend in Texas and she brought me to some local Bead stores. In store in Austin we saw a sign for class in Kumihimo and signed up. We made a beaded round braid in class and loved it. When we got back to her home we each made a second with the other's leftover beads. I was hooked.

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Witchy Woman, Sally's piece that won the Reader's Choice Award in the October 2017 Facet Design Challenge, A BUMP IN THE NIGHT. 
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Dragonfly necklace by Sally. The pattern is available here on Facet!

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN ESTHETIC?

 

I love chunky mixed Bead jewelry. I love how braiding with 7 cords gives you the flexibility to use many different style beads and different size beads, together in the same piece.

Sally Battis workspace
Sally's view - she says this is a "rare occasion where my desk is clean."


NAME TWO THINGS THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE WITH YOU WHEN YOU WORK.

 

My kumihimo foam disk and my 7 cord template! Oh it can't be just 2 things, can it? My kitty is always at my feet.

 

 

WHAT IS YOUR WORKSPACE LIKE? WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO BEAD?

 

My workspace is a MESS. I find creative minds are seldom tidy. If I clean my work desk, it doesn't stay that way for long. I am very lucky to have two homes. One in Connecticut and one in Arizona. I prefer my Arizona Bead room better. It's larger and I had a solar sun tube installed above my desk. It gives the best natural light to work in.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL PLACE YOU'VE EVER BEADED?

 

With Kumihimo braiding on the foam disk, makes it really flexible to work anywhere. I get the strangest looks braiding on disk with beads while flying. I had one gentleman sitting next to me watching. He couldn't figure out how the beads were coming out the bottom. I was dropping them down so fast when I moved the cords, he didn't see that part.

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Another Reader's Choice Award winner, this time from our MYTH AND FOLKLORE Design Challenge from April 2017. This necklace, called Hobbit Garden, certainly evokes a Tolkien-like mood with its color palette!

WHERE CAN PEOPLE SEE MORE OF YOUR WORK?

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FIND MORE: kumihimo , bead weaving

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