Cynthia Rutledge

| Instructor |

Cynthia is a contemporary artist and teacher focusing on beadwork as her medium. She specializes in peyote stitch and off-loom weaving techniques with an emphasis on developing sculptural unsupported shapes in beadwork.

Her work has been exhibited in national and international shows and has appeared in Nicolette Stessin’s Beaded Amulet Purses, Carol Taylor’s Creative Bead Jewelry, and Carol Wilcox Wells’ Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide to Classic Off-Loom Stitches.

“My attraction to 3-dimensional shapes has created a fascination for me throughout my life and has fueled my creative spirit. My choice of beadwork as a primary medium has followed that same fascination. As my beadwork has evolved, my work seems to always lean towards the building of shapes and forms that are functional and wearable.

The choice to use beads as my medium was primarily influenced by my love of color. Beads reflect and absorb light, hold shape and dimension, and in so doing, offer chameleon-like qualities. It is not always the end result that is the most important to me, however. The process of working with beads and thread is meditative and calming, which allows time for reflection. Engineering each piece is always a challenge that thrills me, as well as giving me the power to make the decisions that need to be made for each piece. The more I experience the wonderful qualities of beadwork, the more I realize my relationship with beads will always be one of learning, experiencing and sharing.

The decision to teach grew from my personal desire to share my love of beads and all the wonderful things that can be created with them. The commitment that I have to teaching stems from my desire to share the knowledge I have gained while developing my own skills in this medium. Ultimately, my mission is to help to keep this art form alive and well.”

Cynthia Rutledge

Project: Art Deco Pendant

The end of WWI heralded a massive change from the excesses of the Edwardian and Belle Époque eras. Women’s roles were changing, and the wealth of the nobility had been severely depleted. In this rapidly changing time, the Art Deco movement emerged. The goal was to make a clean break from the past, draw inspiration from everyday life, and rid the decorative arts of useless ornamentation.

This new style was first exhibited in Paris in 1925 at the famed International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts. Art Deco was the visual embodiment of modernist principles. Celebrating the triumph of technology and the sleek, liberating forms of the machine age, its emphasis on structure responded to the widespread desire for order in the wake of chaos. 

In the jewelry world, some of the major players were Cartier, Fouquet and Van Cleef & Arpels. The relationship between form over function lead to replacing the fluid lines and nature-based motifs of the time with geometric design in the form of clean lines, contrasting materials and color becoming vogue.

Art Deco forms were not necessarily simpler, but rather more linear and streamlined. This new style flowed over to architects and fashion designers. Coco Chanel was a game changer in the fashion industry. She was the guiding light which liberated women’s ability to move and the Art Deco style fit perfectly with the new look!

Art Deco Pendant embodies all of the style and elegance of the Art Deco era. A large oval CZ is bezeled with peyote stitch which gets extended along the sides with peyote stitch and netting. CZs are set in pronged frames and stitched to the base. A pearl cabochon is bezeled similarly to the CZ bezel and attached to the base of the oval CZ. A cubic right-angle weave frame is created that wraps around the two bezels giving the pendant the architectural look of the period. The pendant ends with a bezeled pear CZ, giving some movement. Adding to the glamour of the pendant, pearl straps are made using right-angle weave, ending with two beautiful CZ buttons and a connector.

Workshop: This is a one-day workshop exclusively for Club Bead 2024

Skill level: Advanced


  • Cubic right-angle weave with two sizes of beads
  • Even-count, tubular and flat circular peyote stitch
  • Netting
  • Netting to peyote stitch techniques
  • Setting CZs
  • Stitching-in-the-ditch techniques