Virginia Blakelock’s career in beads has been one of firsts. Her work was first published in Threads magazine in 1988, generating the most reader letters of any article in that magazine’s history. Her book Those Bad Bad Beads was the first modern treatise on beadweaving techniques not from a Native American or craft point of view. In that book she was the first to describe flat Ndebele herringbone stitch and quadruple helix. In 1991 she was the first American to contact private Czech pressed glass bead makers and contract with them to produce beads for the American bead market. You have her to thank for the renaissance in that area! Remember Tiny Tim drops? Dagger pendants? Leaves and Flowers? Her company Beadcats, Inc. first brought them to market in the 90s.
Blakelock and her
business partner Carol Perrenoud were the first bead teachers at
Many of the
luminaries in the beadworld today were Virginia’s and Carol’s
students: Diane Fitzgerald and Carol Wilcox Wells to name but two.
Carol have taught at every
Bead & Button Show since it
Training as a painter
(she was featured in the
In “real life”, Blakelock has been married for 38 years and cares for 10 feline fur children, programs music and is the “tower person” for a community radio station (which she and her husband built), maintains the family fleet of old, (“but good”, of course) automobiles and trucks, and is currently helping her husband restore one of the 19th century farm buildings on their wheat farm in Eastern Oregon.
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