Diana Grygo AKA The Lone Beader is a self-taught bead embroidery artist currently working in Boston, Massachusetts. She loves to create extremely dimensional beaded paintings by stitching glass seed beads to felt. Her current pieces are inspired by pop culture, dogs, classic cars, and city scenes. Join her on a journey and let her beadwork take you for a ride…
“The idea for my first bead-painting came soon after I beaded a 6″ x 9” panel depicting a flock of flamingos. I needed a way to display the finished piece, so I stitched the beaded panel to a canvas and painted in the extended environment. It was a simple concept, but I really liked the result, so I sent in a photo to Bead & Button Magazine. They published Flamingo Moon in 2005. That publication eventually led to my first commission, which was an experience that helped me find my artistic path..
For most pieces, I usually work from a photo or a series of sketches. Using a template, I cut out many layers of felt shapes which are then stitched together. This felt foundation helps to create the relief aspect of my work. Tiny glass beads are then stitched onto the felt 2 or 3 at a time using a needle and thread. Sometimes I layer beads on top of beads for a more dimensional effect. This process usually takes many hours. I often work late into the night and break a lot of beading needles, but the results are worth the effort!
In 2006, I began documenting the progress of each piece on my blog. Readers started to notice the little beaded dogs in my paintings, and began requesting them as pins or pendants. They also wanted to learn how to make their own.. Suddenly, The Lone Beader’s Gallery Shop was born..
While I always have plans for creating larger beaded art pieces, I stay busy making beaded dog pins and pendants for pet lovers around the world. I also sell beading kits and patterns which explain how to make some of my little beaded dogs. Perhaps my next challenge will be teaching a bead embroidery class.. One bead at a time!”
The Lone Beader’s work has been published in both Beadwork and Bead & Button Magazines, the Bead International 2008 book, Australia’s Creative Beading Magazine, Russia’s Handmade Magazine, and most recently, a book called Mastering the Art of Embroidery by Sophie Long. Her work has been shown in juried exhibits & galleries across the country. The Lone Beader is also a juried member of the Cambridge Art Association in Cambridge, MA.