Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sue Horine In Her Own Words

Hello Everyone!
I have known about Sue Horine for some time now. Well her work anyway. There is a special spirit to her work and they way she puts it all together. So if you don't already know Sue I would like to introduce her to you.

Sue in her own words;

I was born in Pasadena, CA in 1954 to a mechanical engineer and an elementary school teacher. I always lived in my own little world. I dreamed of living in the mountains, away from the madding crowds of Los Angeles. I wasn’t a real social kid and would race home from school so I could plunge myself into some artistic project. In 1976 I earned a degree in Dietetics and vowed that I would never work in a hospital with sick people. So over the years I worked in Yellowstone National Park, the food service industry, a ski instructor, a bicycle mechanic, owned my own gift shop, and now work at as a plant nursery person. I also volunteer a couple of days a week as a k-9 evaluator/photographer for my local humane society at the county animal shelter. I enjoy hiking and camping in the desert and mountains. I live with my partner Mike, dogs Ted and Lizzie, cat Jackson, 11 chickens, and 80 year old desert tortoise, Mr. Tortie. We have 10 beautiful acres with a seasonal creek in Mountain Ranch, CA. in the foothills of Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California.

What is your art?
I do seed bead embroidery. Primarily I design necklaces, however, once in a while I do create some bracelet cuffs. Although I do find focal pieces that stir my soul, cabochons are the focal point of my work. Nature oriented themes and the landscapes I see in the cabochons are my favorite, however, all my pieces are based on the focal piece itself.

How did you get started?
My best friend in New Mexico taught me some beadweaving techniques in the 1980s. I made native American style earrings and peyote stitched key chains. I didn’t really pursue beading for many years because I had developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. I rekindled my interest in painting, drawing and pen and ink. In 2002 I had surgery on both hands. Around the same time I acquired many cabochons that were cut and polished by my grandfather in the 1960s. I knew I wanted to do something creative with them. It wasn't until 2004 when I got back into beading that I started with simple beaded cabochons. Now I have developed my beadwork with cabochons into painting with beads. I love the tiny beads and the detail they produce. Although I have been criticized that my work is too flat I am fine with that. We all need to have our own style and I guess at this time it is my style.

What do you like best about it?
Once I pick out the beads I am going to use, (by the way my projects can be packed up at a moment’s notice. Since my beading area is also the desk for our business, our personal lives, and my latest job as the trustee of my parent’s trust. I need to be able to put away my beading and attend to the real business end of life.) I also love that I can take a project all apart and start over, unlike painting and pen and ink. I love the feel and look of the beads but most especially I love the stones. Enhancing the beauty of a cabochon is what it is all about for me. I love seeing the finished product. Sometimes I just put them on a bust and display them around the house. I have even thought about just framing them and hanging them on the wall.

How do you get inspired?
Nature inspires me. I love cabochons. Some people buy shoes, I buy cabs. It always amazes me what beautiful art is created by nature. It is all in the stone or focal piece for me. I am most drawn to stones that look like landscapes. Natural colors just really draw me in but I am trying to branch out into the turquoise and pinks. The stones that remind me of a place I have been or an experience I have had are a dream come true for me. I lie awake at night sometimes and picture in my mind what the final piece will look like. What I can create with the focal piece is the most enjoyable part of what I do. Sometimes I just start beading and follow where the beads take me and sometimes I draw out a design.

Anything else you’d like to add?
My work has been published in Fire Mountain Gems catalogs, in the “Your Work” section of Bead and Button magazine twice, placed First and Second in the 2009 California State Fair in the Bead Woven class of the Bead Art Division. I sold a necklace to rocker Courtney Love and a water color painting to singer Judy Collins. I love the competition end of creating beadwork. It pushes me to do something different and makes me try to be a better artist. Sure, sometimes I am disappointed with the results of the competition but I have always been able to pick myself up and move on to bigger and better things. I guess, I really am a pretty competitive person. I just love my little beads and when I am able to get back to my beading my hands just get a warm feeling as I thread the needle and string the first tiny beads.

A note from Me, Nicole. Your work in my eye is not flat at all. It stems from traditional beading and I love the flow of it all. All of these pieces are for sale in Sue's etsy store.

Bead with Honor and Integrity


  1. WOW...thanks for "introducing" us to Sue. Her work is just stunning.


  2. Shazam Sue,
    What a delightful group of pieces, I like the idea of matching the surrounding beads to the stone. I did one like that and was totally surprised at myself. Sue does it all the time it would appear. Drool.
    Nicole thanks for the introduction to Sue
    Donna in WestOR

  3. What a fun and interesting inverview! Thanks for posting it.

  4. Sue's beadwork is so beautiful and inspiring. Great feature!

  5. I have been admiring Sue's work for a long time - it's amazingly beautiful! Thanks for an interesting interview!

  6. What a great feature! I loved learning more about her work and where it came from :)

  7. Fascinating interview. Beautiful work!!

  8. Thank you the post! Great to finally have Sue among Etsy Beadweavers, her work is spectacular!


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