Price honored as Artist of the Month

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This beaded purse was created by Joanne Price, Artist of the Month for February 2013. This beaded purse was created by Joanne Price, Artist of the Month for February 2013.

The Brigantine Beach Cultural Arts Commission is pleased to announce Joanne Price as the February Artist of the Month. A recent resident of Brigantine and formerly a long-time resident of Haddonfield, Price is a retired teacher and full-time crafter.

She has dabbled in calligraphy, cake decorating, watercolor painting (which she said was a disaster), macramé, needlepoint, crochet, knitting, soap making, crewel, stamping, and most recently, bead weaving.

Winters are quiet and long in Brigantine, she said, and beading is the perfect indoor activity for her. It is engaging, absorbing, creative, and relaxing. Working with small beads can be tedious, but the finished product is so rewarding and the process of creating is incredibly satisfying. It is a thrill to combine color, form, texture and style to create a piece of jewelry totally unique and ultimately very personal, and then see someone love it, want it, and buy it.

Most beaders string beads, crystals, and gemstones to make stunning accessories. Once the design is decided upon and set out, the actual process of stringing the components together to make the piece takes minutes. Bead weavers follow an intricate design pattern, generally use much smaller beads, and take hours to complete a single piece of work.

Often the basic stitches are borrowed from traditional Native American and African beadwork, but the styles, colors, and embellishments are strictly the artist’s own. Even when the pattern is copied from one piece to another, the beader is not a slave to the basic design. It is simply a starting point, from which the imagination of the crafter combines with the essence of the materials to create a piece of jewelry totally different from any other.

Although new to beading, Price has found a ready market both locally and in Pennsylvania for her jewelry. She has an exhibit in the Noyes Museum of Art in Oceanville, and has donated jewelry to help fundraising efforts for the Atlantic County Women’s Center and the Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat in Wyckoff, N.J.

When not beading, Price enjoys spin classes at the gym, long walks with her dog Sugar, playing bridge and mahjongg with friends, gardening and reading. She has a grown son, Erik, whom she considers the real jewel of her life, and looks forward to his May wedding to Brittany Schulz. She decompresses the minute she crosses over the bridge onto the island and experiences the blue of the ocean, the salt in the air, and the comfort of the place she now calls home.

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