Location: Lakewood, Colorado
Website & Blog:
Amy Clarke Moore
Six Swans Flying blog
Hannah in Helen’s Hands (in progress)
Amy, how do you describe your work?
I describe my work as bead embroidery. In greater detail, it is bead embroidery using size 15 Japanese seed beads.
What is your creative process like?
New pieces percolate constantly in the back of my mind. They pop up unexpectedly and I try to jot them down while they are fresh. I keep notebooks and sketchbooks handy for that reason—but I also rely on my camera to help me capture ideas (since I start with a photograph that I’ve taken). Some ideas are harder to capture in a photograph than others.
Light of Mine (2003)
What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
I grew up in a nurturing environment where creativity was encouraged. My mom—a watercolor artist—rather than sitting us down in front of a TV, put crayons, paints, and clay in front of us. As a result, my brother is an artist (working in watercolor, oil, and acrylics), my sister is a photographer, and I am into everything fibery—from spinning, knitting, weaving, and felting, to embroidery and beads. I studied art and fibers at Cornell College (under bead artist Mimi Holmes) as an undergraduate, and earned my MFA in fibers from Colorado State University under the embroiderer, Tom Lundberg.
Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
I rarely leave home (even to go to work) without my bead case.
Tell Tale Apple (2003)
What inspires you to create?
Fairytales, mythology, children’s stories and books I’ve read generate most of the fodder for my work. I love stories that resonate throughout generations and across cultural divides.
What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
Beadwork is what I do to relax—it is what gets me through days that are frustrating and tough. If I’m struggling with a piece, I set it aside and start another one. I let my subconscious work on the troublesome piece—and usually work it out while I’m sleeping.
What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
Make things that please you. It is really easy to get caught up in trying to make things that other people will like—but if you can make things that make you happy, then that happiness and contentment will show in your work.
Heidi’s Iris (2005)
What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?
I’m a full-time working mother (and wife)—so there’s always a lot to do. My husband and I have a three-year-old daughter who is an amazing source of inspiration and so much fun. She’s already learning how to bead. During the day, I’m the editor of Spin-Off magazine published by Interweave Press. I love my job.
What’s your favorite book?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and all seven of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.