My favorite bead artists: VALERIE HECTOR

I have decided to introduce beaders that are not simply my favorite ones, whose work I can admire for hours. BUT, these designers fulfill visual needs and beauty for me. All of them had a deep influence on me, for sure. Obviously they raised their work to an artistic level.


The first one I chose is VALERIE HECTOR. She creates jewelries through her modern eyes, yet she makes wearable pieces.

As many of us she met beads as a child. She has funny stories about child her childhood jewels pretending to be a princess with necklaces of beads. However, this fondness of beads pushed her to be the artist she became later.

Interesting Shapes

I met Valerie's work more than 10 years ago. I remember, seeing her photos made my eyes got wild open. Her shapes and vision of how beads should be together suprised me. Normally, few of contempopary artists make my heart beat faster, but somehow, Valerie made its way to do so. Her 3 dimensional works are unique. I even made one of her designs. I tried to make one of her bracelet designs, for which I bought plenty of silver beads. RAW is not my favourite technique, though, for the sake of the bracelet I spent more than a week to make it. I spent a fortune on it just to make a poor imitation of her work :-)

Valerie's fantastic bracelet                                   My verions of it about ten years ago:-)
She makes interesting forms, yet simple lines. Beaded beads that turns into a flower or a colorful necklace. That certainly adds an extra hint by using designed silver components.


Valerie uses 925 sterling silver components. Each of them designed by her. Big clasps, interclairs and beads are her specialities making her designs so unique. She also builds up different forms from gemstones and faceted beads.
The colors are mainly red, silver grey and turquiose. I like those colors. Even the silver components are tarnished giving a deeper color to highlight the shapes.


To show her dedication she reserached beadwork history and technique. She even helped Luis Sherr Dubin to refresh her book about bead history. In the past few years she has been researching Chinese beadwork. Her papers, "Chinese Bead Curtains, Past and Present" and "Mainland Chinese Export Beadwork" were published in 2013 and 2017 respectively, in Beads: The Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers. "Bead Netting and Plaiting Techniques in the Peranakan World" was published in the 2016 issue of Beads. She discovered that Peranakan beadworkers invented many complex techniques, significantly enlarging the global repertoire.

Links to all three papers may be found on the Publications page of this website, courtesy of Karlis Karklins, Editor of Beads: The Journal of the Soceity of Bead Researchers.
At the invitation of Karlis Karklins, she recently completed a paper for the Spring 2018 issue of Bead Forum. Entitled "Beaded Shop Signs in Republican Beijing (1912-1949)," the paper summarizes information published to date on this very obscure genre of mainland Chinese beadwork and reproduces four images of beaded shop signs.

For more wonderful work visit Valerie's website: