We’ve just released beautiful hand-painted ceramic beads from Damyanah Studio on our website and we are so excited to share them with you. Artbeads Chief Jewelry Designer Cynthia fell in love with these beads when she first saw them at the 2019 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. What makes these beads so wonderful is not only their artistry and detail, but the artist behind them. These beads are made by young artist, Damyana, in her studio based in Bulgaria. Damyana is the daughter of the artisans behind Golem Design Studio, so she worked for them for quite a while before deciding to start a brand of her own. We asked Damyana some questions about how she makes her beads, what inspires her, and more.
How did you get started creating your beads?
As some know, I am the daughter of the founders of Golem Design Studio, Vladislav and Kremena, and since I have been helping out a lot in the studio and actually working from a very early age, by the time I graduated from high school I had already gained a lot of experience and skills about ceramics. But at this point, I was sure that I was a lot more interested in illustration rather than ceramics. So, I left for London to study B.A. in Illustration. Not so long after that, it turned out this wasn’t really my place or thing and I made the decision to come back home. The difference was that then I actually had started missing the ceramics and had lots and lots of ideas on how to get started on my own ceramic line of pieces – not only jewelry components such as pendants and beads, but also hand-painted ceramic tiles and such, which I use after that to make bigger ceramic murals, mosaics, and ceramic paintings. I left London two years ago and here I am now. I feel that I am falling more and more in love with ceramics every day and wouldn’t change a thing about what I have chosen for my professional path. And believe me, this is not just about my parents or their help – yes, they have been so generous giving me all of the know-how they have. But I believe I have also grown a lot on my own during my creative searches.
What is the process for making your beads? How long does it take?
Everything that I made is all handmade and hand-painted after that. The process of making my beads and pendants is quite different from the approach most ceramic artists use – it is a lot closer to the original majolica technique, which is a classic Italian technique used back in the days for painting on ceramic tiles. This means I have actually three firings and three basic steps. First, I do the shape of the bead/pendant, then I do the first firing (the biscuit one). After that, I apply the base color (white or black, depends on the design that I am going to draw after that on the bead). Then, I do the second firing when they have just the base color. Only after this firing can I actually do the drawing part and fire again one last time.
It is not a short or easy work process, but I just love it and every time you open the kiln is pure magic, no matter how sure you are what exactly is going to come up from there.
What are some of your favorite beads you’ve designed?
To be honest, I will probably forever be in love with all floral designs. There is no such thing as too many flowers and I just can’t get enough of them!
Do you make jewelry, too?
So far, making jewelry is not exactly my thing or at least it is not something that particularly interests me, but this will probably change with time.
What’s your favorite place to create?
My studio, that’s for sure!
What inspires you? What keeps your creativity flowing?
Of course, I am following a lot of artists – not just ceramic artists but also a lot of photographers, illustrators, and all kinds of creative creatures that inspire me with their work or way of thinking. But, there is this other thing that I believe is more important for keeping your creativity flowing than just getting your everyday dose of easily accessible visual inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest, for example. I am talking about the importance of making our everyday life beautiful with every little detail in it; being brave and experimenting with ourselves, our style, our interior, our rituals, and habits. I believe this is not just another recipe for better mental health or something to get you through the day – this is an attitude and a lifestyle. If you don’t invest in your own well-being and creativity flow every day qualitatively, eventually it is going to get bumpy and it won’t be nice. I think it’s irresponsible for one to depend only on distant visual stimulation such as social media or others’ artwork to inspire. We should be our own inspiration. It all depends on us.
Damyana’s beads are amazing works of art and it’s obvious she is passionate about making them. Make sure to shop her beads here and tell us which ones are your favorites in the comments below!