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Melanie Barry loves creating all types of art. While in school, She won awards in a number of different media, including macramé, papier-mâché, drawing, and even carved apple head dolls! In 2001, Melanie became very interested in handmade glass, crystal and natural stone beads. She became intrigued by the idea of transforming plain functional, everyday glassware and tableware into unique colorful creations using beads and shimmering silver wire. Her first beaded design was a set of wine glasses with built in color bead identifiers for easy recognition at social gatherings. Melanie’s line now contains 25+ functional glassware, tableware, and wine accessories in more than 12 color combinations inspired by her love of nature. Melanie’s work is displayed at juried art and craft shows and the Art A La Carte Gallery in Occoquan, Virginia.
In 2002, friends talked Melanie into applying to the Burke Centre Autumn Festival where she was awarded the ‘Best in Show Award’. This encouraging award led her to begin an art business, Entertaining Designs LLC. Melanie’s work has been published in a number of newspapers. Melanie is also an active member of the Northern Virginia Handcrafter’s Guild. One of her accomplishments is she founded and is Show Chairman for the South Run RECenter Autumn Arts and Crafts Show, currently in its tenth year. Her functional beaded giftware is also recognized by the National Arthritis Foundation as being ‘Arthritis Friendly’. Because special care is taken in the placement of the beads and wire, Melanie’s beaded pieces are ergonomic and easier to grip and hold.
Only the highest quality of materials are used by the artist: including tempered glass, a non-tarnishing wire Melanie has manufactured containing real silver in eight different gauges, handmade glass beads and cabochons, crystal and stone beads, 18/10 stainless steel, and premium cork. Most pieces require 16 steps or more to create. All completed pieces contain the distinctive artist’s signature swirl. As a result of the high quality materials and special techniques developed by Melanie, her work is dishwasher safe.
Melanie feels fortunate to have turned creating the artwork she loves into a profession and business. Her artist profession allows her to work from her in home studio, stay home with her three children, and volunteer in her community and church. Since Melanie is an advocate of learning through artistic expression, she enjoys volunteering as an art assistant and providing art demonstrations at local schools and events.
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