Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Get to Know...Maria Rypan

Maria Rypan is a familiar face at the Toronto Bead Society and at various bead shows such as the TBS Bead Fairs and Bead and Button. We were very pleased to bring Maria on board to BeadFX to share Ukrainian-style beadwork known as ‘gerdany’. ‘Gerdany’ translates to ‘collar’ and perfectly describes how Maria’s necklaces sit on the body – right at the collar-bone! 

Maria has always been familiar with needle and thread having started with embroidery and sewing clothes with her mother. Having worked through mixed-media collages and banners while in her teens, Maria began a business in the 1980s creating wearable art, home d├ęcor and accessories. Now she concentrates on beading through her business name ‘Rypan Designs’.

“I learned beadweaving basics from Oksana Ivanochko, a visiting bead artist from Ukraine in 1993,” says Maria. “I took a few classes and then managed to persuade Oksana to keep meeting with me until she had to return back home. In 1996 in Lviv (in Ukraine), I learned more tips and tricks about loomwork from Olha Voznytsia to share in Canada. Recently I took a few classes to try new techniques or simply to meet the teachers.”
Travel, nature, scenic wonders and costumes are just some of Maria’s inspirations, often using a camera to record ideas. “I’ll sketch out a design,” explains Maria. “It’s always fun to look back and see the similarity between concept and a finished project.”

Maria says sharing the enthusiasm and excitement of creating and beading is among the best parts of teaching.  “I love watching the light bulb come on when students ‘get it’ and witnessing the ‘ah-hah!’ moment. Then, seeing how they’ve incorporated what they learned in new ways,” says Maria. “I also enjoy ‘spreading the news’ with my unique visual presentations on many bead and folk art topics.”

The least favourite part about teaching? “Schlepping stuff to and fro”, Maria adds. “It would be great if the kits, patterns and beads would pack themselves ready-to-go. If there’s anything left, they should come home and put themselves away in their proper spots so I could find them.”
Maria encourages everyone to ask ‘what if’. “Don’t be afraid to try new materials and techniques. Go with your gut feel rather than the status quo,” says Maria.

Upcoming classes with Maria Rypan:

Chicklets and Cascading Twigs
Tuesday, June 18
6:00pm - 9:00pm 

Netted X's and O's
Tuesday, June 25
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Netted V's Necklace
Tuesday, July 2
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Diamonds, X's and Zigzagging Motifs
Tuesday, July 9
6:00pm - 9:00pm

For complete information on all of the classes, including descriptions, class fees and applicable kit fees, please refer to www.beadfx.com and click on classes.

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