Laura Luepke is a jewelry artist with a background in painting, drawing, and sculpture; mediums she worked with and trained in as a young woman. Her passion for beading emerged while making the transition from completing her master's degree to beginning a PhD in history. At the time, Laura thought she was looking for a hobby that would allow her some space for artistic expression. However, beading quickly became much more than that, as she realized she had discovered the artistic medium that truly speaks to her.
My designs and favored techniques emphasize an interplay between intricate detail and bold visual impact. I am particularly drawn to compositions that produce a balance between harmony and asymmetry, and incorporate negative space as an integral element of the design.
Beads speak to me because they offer rich possibilities. The variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and finishes are a central source of inspiration. I use a combination of bead embroidery and off-loom beadweaving techniques to create texture and complexity that offsets the bold elements I incorporate into my designs. The repetitive nature of the stitches I favor provides me with the imaginative space to allow each piece to emerge gradually from ongoing decisions about color, pattern variations, and the arrangement of beaded components. Although this method can be challenging and time consuming, I cherish its serendipitous potential and the beautiful surprises that are so often the result.
Awards and Recognition
Scarlet Star Nebula necklace featured in a full-page spread on the back cover of the February/March 2016 issue of Beadwork Magazine, in the Fire Mountain advertisement.
Finalist in the 2015 Seed Bead Jewelry Making Contest from Fire Mountain Gems, with Scarlet Star Nebula.
Invited participant in the 2014 Toho Beads Challenge, with Medusa's Treasures.
"Dancing Cabs Necklace" pattern in the June/July 2014 issue of Beadwork Magazine .
First Place in public voting in the Etsy Beadweavers Team's April 2014 challenge, "Inspired by Kandinsky," with Ode to Kandinsky.
Second Place in member voting in the Etsy Beadweavers Team's February, 2014 challenge, "Warmth," with Fiery Embrace.
Warrior's Crest necklace published in the February/March 2014 Beadwork Challenge from Beadwork Magazine .
Finalist in the 2013 Swarovski Elements competition from Fire Mountain Gems, with Phoenix Rising necklace.
First Premium for Beaded Necklace in the 2013 Minnesota State Fair, with Golden Serengeti Necklace.
First Place in both public and team voting in the Etsy Beadweavers Team's monthly challenge for August 2013, themed "Sea Adventures," with Technicolor Tide Pools Necklace.
Winner of the 2013 Swarovski Create Your Style Bead and Button Show design challenge, with Modern Rococo Cuff.
Silver Medal for Night Queen's Crown in the 2011 Swarovski Elements competition from Fire Mountain Gems.
I would like to thank Lindsay Labahn for her amazing work on The Verdant Edge's logo design and her photography for Night Queen's Crown.