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Master Club - Svetlana Shironina

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Daily Russian newspaper of Latvia “News Today” about the embroidery with seed beads by Svetlana Shironina.

“To cast seed beads” – is a kind of work, which brings joy but not money.

Svetlana Shironina spends about a month at embroidering a small still life with seed beads, sitting with tambour for 5 hours a day. It's impossible to earn living by this handicraft, but it is such a delight – to see how an elegant mosaic comes to life row by row and a plane pattern turns up voluminous and rich in color.

Svetlana became fond of the bead technique when she was a child. Back then she was living with her parents in Yakutia. And it's a tradition to decorate all the objects of the national clothes, which are made of deer's fur there – parkas, high boots, mittens – by ornaments of the large seed beads and pieces of leather. The everyday clothes of the Yakut needle-women turn to the true works of art – you won't take your eyes off them! Later, when Svetlana 's family moved to Latvia , their Yakut friends often visited them. One acquainted needle-woman brought Sveta a special needle and a box of seed beads. It was of great deficiency in those times. In order to get seed beads of different colors Sveta had to destroy large beads.

Now the selection is vast! There are lots of varieties of these tiny beads: plastic, glass beads, there are also mat, shining, pearl beads… depending on the method of processing. However, just like in olden times, Czech seed beads are hors-concourse. It is of the high-quality, plane and has the richest color range. You can't buy Czech seed beads in Latvia . Sveta orders it in Moscow or Saint-Petersburg, sometimes her acquaintances bring it from Europe .

For example, in order to make a rose leaf look like living in embroidery, itought to select 7-8 like colors of one shade of green. This way the surface of the leaf will sparkle with natural plays of chiaroscuro. Sveta considers needlework with the seed beads to be her hobby. Recently she began to exhibit her works – her mother insisted: there is no more vacant place on the walls at home, where she could hang another bead masterpiece.

Svetlane had an exhibition at the Arts Centre “Needle” not long ago, now the models of this labour-intensive beauty can be seen in the Baltic Centre of phyto- and flora design at Marias 16, which is in Riga in the Upishu Centre.

•  Svetlana , you spend hours poring over each stitch. Does the tension and stress hurt your eyes?

•  On the contrary, all my school friends are already wearing glasses, but my eyesight is only getting better. This is a very good training for the eye muscles. And also a rest for my soul.Besides embroidering with seed beads, Svetlana loves to knit and crochet. Masterly things come out of her hands.

This passion began in those times, when fashionable women showed miracles of inventiveness in order to make an original model during the total deficiency. In spite of the plenty of goods in the present days, girls of the 80-s looked less standardized, thinks Sveta. Every one of them was spirited in order not to like everybody.

Svetlana thinks that handicraft needs to be returned to schools. The lesson of handicraft – is not a subject of minor importance, as it is meant to be now. A girl, who works with her finger-tips knitting or embroidering patterns, thus will develop her right hemisphere, which is responsible for the spatial perception and creative imagination. A boy, who has once made a stool by himself, will not break a chair, made by someone else – in the park and near the house. Handicrafts train one's character in the creative direction. Svetlana was lucky: her mother - a teacher and an author of textbooks of Russian language for the primary school classes – has taught her daughter to work with different materials, to feel their significant possibilities. Svetlana polished her skill in the “Ritausma” art studio and was given a rank of the applied art's master.

Author : Natalija Sevidova

Daily «News Today» (Latvija) 13 october 2004. -


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