When Gail DeLuca found her niche in the art world, she didn’t stop there. She decided to share her talent of creating unique bead jewelry by opening the White Fox Bead Studio and teaching classes.
“When I woke up at night thinking of new designs and techniques, I knew that I found my niche,” DeLuca said when she described her love of creating artistic beadwork jewelry.
DeLuca, an art major at Roosevelt University in Chicago, was shopping for her niece’s birthday gift when she was on a business trip in Washington D.C. She walked into a bead shop and became enthralled with the colorful beadwork jewelry. She selected the birthday gift, picked up a magazine about bead weaving and immersed herself in a new world of beadwork jewelry.
“I always thought beadwork was just about stringing beads,” DeLuca confided. After trying the bead weaving projects in the magazine, she learned that crafting intricate beadwork jewelry takes skill and creativity. She mastered those prepared projects and soon started combining techniques and experimenting with materials to create her own jewelry designs.
Precious Metal Clay (PMC) is one of the materials that DeLuca has incorporated into her jewelry designs. DeLuca, a certified PMC artisan, said she enjoys working with the putty-like mix of silver power, water and binder to make silver jewelry.
“There’s no end to what you can do,” DeLuca said about PMC. She said it can be molded like clay, textured and layered. It is fired in a kiln, and the end result is 100 percent silver jewelry that you can put on a ribbon for a necklace or can put on hooks to create earrings.
Classes using PMC is just one of the offerings at White Fox Bead Studio located in the Wiley Boring Center in Maryville. DeLuca also teaches courses using the basic Peyote stitch for bead weaving. Other classes help students learn how to choose the needle, thread and seed beads to create unique designs.
Customers at White Fox Bead Studio have a wide assortment of glass beads to choose from. Fresh water pearls, semi-precious stones, vintage glass beads and Czech glass beads are just some of the glass beads that are available. DeLuca offers such a wide variety of beading materials that many customers from Georgia, Florida and Alabama include a stop to White Fox Bead Studio with their other tourist stops in the area.
“My goal is for it to be the premier bead shop is this region,” DeLuca said.
DeLuca will be demonstrating her artistic flare for beadwork jewelry and selling an assortment of necklaces, earrings and bracelets at the Foothills Fall Festival.
“If people leave with a little inspiration, I’m happy,” DeLuca said.