Texas Kumihimo Retreat
August 11-14, Houston, TX
Meet your TKR 2016 Instructors!
I started designing jewelry over 20 years ago while working at the US Postal Service. I worked very long hours and sometimes 6 days out of the week. I could only dream of creating while sitting at a noisy machine. One day I asked GOD to give me a job (because as a single mother I had to work) that allowed me the freedom to create. A few years later I became a REALTOR! Freedom began! Years later I realized that my prayer had been answered! I can now freely create! Kumihimo, Soutache, and Bead weaving are my favorite techniques. I have had the privilege of being published in Bead and Button Magazine, Beadworks Magazine, and Beading Daily.
I started with Kumihimo several years ago by taking a class at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee. This class taught me how to setup and use a marudai. Several necklaces later, I tried a Kumihimo square disk that Cousin Corporation of America gave to us Creative Circle Ambassadors. I learned how to make a flat braid. Getting braver as I went along, I tried a thick round disk from Sally Battis and went on to make dozens of bracelets and necklaces, as well as key chain holders. When I opened my storefront for Need For Beads three years ago, I decided to specialize in bead crochet, Kumihimo, and Soutache/Embroidery jewelry-making. My store is stocked with supplies from around the world, and I am now teaching classes in NH, MA, and TX.
I saw a Kumihimo demonstration on Jewel School on JTV one day. Being a retired high school math teacher, something about the geometry and patterns just spoke to me! So I ordered the kit, watched the video a few times, read a few books, and I was hooked. I taught my first Kumihimo class to the club I started, Buffalo Beaders Meetup Group, in February 2012. I have taught the basic 8-warp round braid, as well as an 8-warp beaded bracelet several times, both in my group and in a community setting. Now I am looking forward to taking my love of Kumihimo, and my love of teaching, on the road; Texas, here I come!!!
I have always been interested in fiber as a creative medium, and my creative work has been focused on the tactile and organic nature of fiber and related materials. The work I have done during the years has been pushing the boundaries of the expected definition of body adornment and 3D objects. This has often been accomplished by actively involving the user through the concept of “transformation” – the idea of actively engaging the user with shaping and transforming the art piece. Thus making the user part of the creative process. Giovanna Imperia Designs was established in Houston in 2008 as a small offshoot of my textile design work – a place where other textile artists could find the unusual materials I have been using. I have taught workshops on Kumihimo since 2001 and have been published in various textile and jewelry publications in addition to my book "Kumihimo: Wire Jewelry."