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Cynthia Rutledge

November 3 - 11, 2018

Samples are on display at Alaska Bead Company


It's a treat to again have Cynthia return to Anchorage!  She comes to us after an incredibly successful Masters Class workshop at the Bead & Button show, which she will be teaching here in Anchorage--the three day "Beadwork & Metal--Meet in the Middle"  workshop (aka as the "box class).  We hope you enjoy this year's offerings!

Gabrielle’s Muse

Saturday, November 3 - $95.00
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kits will be available for purchase the day of class

About this Project, Cynthia writes . . .
“Today, known only as Chanel, the House of Chanel denotes elegance, class and a style, developed over time, that revolutionized the dress of the modern woman.

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883-1971) was born to working parents, but as life has other plans at times, Gabrielle (age 12) and her two sisters ended up in a religious convent and orphanage. From such humble beginnings, but well trained in sewing at the orphanage, Gabrielle went on to making it her mission to change the way women dressed. She felt that women were wearing what men had designed and she wanted women to change their relationship with their bodies and their way of life, offering freedom from corsets and the restricting underpinnings of her time.

Gabrielle invented the "little black dress," trimmed down the style of hats, and invented the iconic boxy jacket. She was the first designer to have perfume made for her, the famous and everlasting Chanel N°5.

Gabrielle's Muse: An Elegant Sautoir is a blend of styles. Mixing the look of the long pearl necklaces and mixed chains that were a standard iconic style of Coco's personal style, my design flows from this inspiration right into the art deco period.

A puffy square-shaped central component with a beautiful CZ cushion cut nestled inside; an open three-dimensional rectangular shape, and a puffy square-shaped pearl drop make up the pendant. Pulling from the design of the pendant, the chain is made of smaller rectangles, squares and pearl cabochon links and worn long, in the style of a sautoir. Coco said, "Keep your heels, head and standards high," so I think she would be pleased.”

Techniques used:  Peyote stitch, tubular and flat, with increasing; peyote stitch, odd count; flat
Bezel work; picots, and embellishing techniques

Skill level:  Intermediate to advanced

Click here to sign up!


Butterfly Kisses

Sunday, November 4 - $95.00
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kits will be available for purchase in class.

About this project, Cynthia writes . . .
“Did you ever give someone you love butterfly kisses when you were a child or to a child when you were an adult? Eyelashes softly fluttering on a loved one’s cheek always made me smile. But did you know that real butterflies can give you butterfly kisses as well?

I have been to two butterfly conservatories in my lifetime, one at Calloway Gardens in GA, on my own, and one in Key West, FL with my husband, Mark. He loves photography, so he was in his element at the Key West conservatory.  Apricot & pink plumed flamingo's (Rhett & Scarlett), tons of brightly colored birds from around the world, a pair of turtles and over 70 varieties of butterflies make their home among a host of beautiful flowers and plants. The saturated color of everything was intoxicating!

We spent over two hours in the heat of the conservatory enjoying the vibrant show of nature's diversity. When we left, Mark said that he felt that the time spent was one of the best times he had ever had! For me, the experience is always rejuvenating. As a designer, I am always looking for inspiration for the next design. Those couple of hours filled my head with color combinations and design possibilities. While there, two huge electric blue butterflies landed on my arm, so I got to see how awesome they were close up. I like to think that they were butterfly kisses from butterflies!

Butterfly Kisses has a double rope of pearl-filled netting ending with a pretty clasp. The central flower has a three-dimensional center that is highly embellished with little spikes, pearl petals and peyote stitch bottom petals. It is brightly colored and gave me the impression of a breath of spring.”

Skill level:  Intermediate to advanced

Click here to sign up!


Beadwork & Metal - Meet in the Middle

Friday – Sunday, November 9-11 - $285.00
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day

Required materials fee: $130.00

In June, Cynthia taught this class as a Masters Class at Bead and Button.  We are thrilled for her to bring this three-day class to Anchorage!

About the project, Cynthia writes . . .
“The best of both worlds come together in this workshop to explore the process of creating miniature boxes.

In the 18th century, Grand Tours were the rigor for the royal families of Europe, as well as, wealthy young men experiencing life before settling into the demands of having a family, and couples on their honeymoon. Many travelers commissioned miniature boxes, called souvenir boxes, to remind them of cities that they had visited or a spectacular event that they witnessed, like a circus act; or to document the excitement of a fox hunt. Some boxes were commissioned to show off an ancestral home, castle, or palace. A lymnerist (miniature portrait painter) could be commissioned to paint miniature portraits of children, family and friends, making these little boxes keepsakes. These miniature works of art were the aristocracies form of souvenir collecting.

In this workshop we will explore techniques that lend themselves to a variety of box shapes. Using seed beads and Delica beads, fine patina copper sheet, CZ's and pearls, tiny cup-chain, specialty findings, and embellishing and finishing materials, you will create your own souvenir box. Once the box body is underway, we will work on options for embellishing. This portion of the workshop will be really exciting, as there will be lots of samples to look at and plenty of materials to work with to create a one-of-a-kind souvenir box.

The format of this intensive workshop will include a lot of freedom to explore and create, along with a lot of samples to show options and results.  You will learn how to measure and cut the metal, punch holes for adding the feet and embellishments, and setting small CZ's successfully.  As you move into the embellishing stage of the project, I will be on board to assist with decision making and how to approach the process of embellishing along with color theory.

Techniques used: Peyote stitch, even count and with increasing; bezel work; setting CZ's in fine metal settings; cutting metal shapes; punching holes in the metal for attaching feet and embellishments; embellishing using a variety of stitch options, techniques, and materials.

Skill level:  Advanced

If you previously paid a deposit, click here to sign up!


If no deposit paid, click here to sign up!


About Cynthia Rutledge . . .
Cynthia is a contemporary artist and teacher focusing on beadwork as her medium. She specializes in peyote stitch and off-loom weaving techniques with an emphasis on developing sculptural unsupported shapes in beadwork. Her work has been exhibited in national and international shows and has appeared in Nicolette Stessin's Beaded Amulet Purses, Carol Taylor's Creative Bead Jewelry, and Carol Wilcox Wells' Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide to Classic Off-Loom Stitches.

Cynthia writes:
"My attraction to 3-dimensional shapes has created a fascination for me throughout my life and has fueled my creative spirit. My choice of beadwork as a primary medium has followed that same fascination. As my beadwork has evolved, my work seems to always lean towards the building of shapes and forms that are functional and wearable.

The choice to use beads as my medium was primarily influenced by my love of color. Beads reflect and absorb light, hold shape and dimension, and in so doing, offer chameleon-like qualities. It is not always the end result that is the most important to me, however. The process of working with beads and thread is meditative and calming, which allows time for reflection. Engineering each piece is always a challenge that thrills me, as well as giving me the power to make the decisions that need to be made for each piece. The more I experience the wonderful qualities of beadwork, the more I realize my relationship with beads will always be one of learning, experiencing and sharing.

The decision to teach grew from my personal desire to share my love of beads and all the wonderful things that can be created with them. The commitment that I have to teaching stems from my desire to share the knowledge I have gained while developing my own skills in this medium. Ultimately, my mission is to help to keep this art form alive and well."

In early 2016 Cynthia released her first book “Timeless Beadwork Designs,” a compilation of 15 gorgeous projects that reflect the beauty with which Cynthia approaches her designs and the generosity with which she teaches.  Learn more about Cynthia at her webpage.