I introduce you a beaded jewelry designer – Albina Polyanskaya (Ukraine – Kharkiv, november 2004).
Albina Polyanskaya – is not only a big beads – lover, a talented designer, whose creative work amazes by its original shapes and the variety of techniques, she is also an owner of the bead shop.
Albina, I am very impressed by your last works, they are done with so much love! How are such original bead creations born?
This autumn has a special influence on me – one after another the works on the autumn theme are created, just like mushrooms after the rain, the whole bunches of them appear. Recently, I have created a large collection of the “autumn works” and I still can't stop! But, on the whole, I do what I have an inspiration to, sometimes I am surprised “from what litter develop” the adornments.
Tell about your creative plans.
The plans for the future have a lot to do with my next works, many new ideas were born, I have already drawn a great number of sketches. I must confess that so far ideas have been leaving hands behind.
It's not enough that a pile of sketches lies on the table, for which material and the color range is already chosen, and design is already created. Besides this, the ideas of the unplanned works often appear, sometimes they are very labor – intensive and rich in techniques and ideas. In the last days I was in a “bead addiction period”, having given our many other affairs.
A lbina, how does the destiny of your works turn out?
I'm also very interested how the further life of some of my adornments turns out. Some of my makes even managed to get across the ocean and reach the USA, Canada, Ireland. And others, I hope, also make their owners happy, even though they didn't get so far – Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States, Moldova. Some adornments live pretty close to me, at my friends' homes. My passion to beads in its time easily solved the problem of presents for friends – these presents are original, elegant, they don't put one into an awkward position by their material value, but they are presious by their sencereness, which is put into work, and the memory about me and our friendship.
How do you find the owners for your works? Presents – are very nice, but doe's this creaft make a living?
It has always turned up that not exclusive makes, but their somewhat simplified variants were in much demand. I usually make adornments according to my irrepressible imagination, something like collection “haut couture”, and then I make the simplified variants of the ready adornments, which are more practical, so-called “pret-a-porte”.
These adornments are in a much more demand, than the exclusive ones. Probably, this is a specific character of the Ukrainian customer, I don't even know, but this is my personal experience. One can make a rather good living with beads, just like me, passing works to the shops and galleries of Kharkiv. I have tried to pass the works for sale to the Kharkiv's “mini-arbat” - a gallery of artists in the city garden, but I gave up this idea.
The works look much more advantageous and expensive (don't get dusty and don't loose their look) under the glass of the art shops, rather than on the hawker's stand at the street. There the all-round adornments of neutral color ranges, preferably without ethnical tendencies are also in much demand (it is not likely that you meet a lot of tourists in Kharkiv), they don't have to be voluminous or have a cheap look. But, on the whole, it is much more interesting for me to work as an artist, not breaking away for the mass production and not copying my own works. That's why I make a simplified model, work out the pattern, according to which my students do the make. I also make orders very unwillingly? Only in the case if the idea expressed by the customer interests me.
How many bead adornments did you manage to create?
I find it difficult to say the precise amount of my works done in 12 years, but it has already come to hundreds. As for me, very few makes get left, about a couple of dozens, mostly the freshest works and those, in which “the hand of the craftsman” is shown – voluminous, big, loud, which overwhelm by their splendor. Nevertheless, I couldn't give up their making, though I felt that I got “carried away”. I wear them myself, and sometimes my friends “borrow” them for the solemn occasions.
Albina, you wanted to unite the craftsmen of bead work of Ukraine. Did you manage to do it?
Yes, I hope I did. However, this mission is somewhat wider – to unite Ukrainian craftsmen of bead work with the colleagues from all the countries of the world. The visitors of our Web-site can get acquainted with the works of craftsmen from different cities of Ukraine, appreciate the level of their creative work and proficiency. There is one more function fulfilled by our site – to help Ukrainian bead-lovers to purchase high-quality and inexpensive materials for the bead work: beads, article stones, accessories, even literature related to beads. If in the large cities of Ukraine this problem is somehow solved, than in the sticks it becomes an insuperable obstacle for creative work, although the bead work-lovers happen to live in different cities and settlements, both large and small.
You have managed to organize a service of delivering Czech beads by post on the territory of Ukraine. Would you, please, tell about your shop?
I put a minimal mark-up at the beads, considering the transport and customs' spending, after all beads have to be transported across the border, but they are much cheaper in my shop, than in others'. I still have two profits in this business – one is that I can aroid to work with a wide assortment I bring, buying beads in small wholesale. I leave a small amount of beads of each kind for myself, anticipating with pleasure the makes, which will be created using it. I think you understand what it means for the craftsman – to have almost no limits in material. It's a constrain flight of fancy and inspiration, and an unbelievable pleasure from the obtained color combinations, the variety of texture of seed beads and beads.
And the second profit, which made me start the delivery of beads – is a disastrous position with beads in Ukraine. Reading the letters from different people, who received Czech beads by post, I realize that I did the right thing by organizing this business.
We will wait for the time when you boast of your new works – and we will be able to enjoy them with you!
Come to see the website of Albina Polyanskaya:
Interview by Irina Astratenko - November 2004 -