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: La Femme Fatale

Frédéric Boucheron opened his first Paris boutique in 1858. Once the Palais Garnier (opera house) opened, he decided to move his boutique to be closer to high society in 1892. Frédéric was the first jeweler to move to Place Vendôme, where The House of Boucheron remains today. He chose 26 Place Vendôme because it had the sunniest corner on the square. He believed that the diamonds in the windows would sparkle all the more brilliantly. This small square remains one of the most expensive shopping areas in Paris.

Many of his clients were not women of society, but femmes fatales of the demi-monde. His skill with precious stones and his absolute discretion made him a favorite of both courtesans and princes. He kept detailed records of stones that were brought in as stock, along with records of what special clients brought in for him to use for a new creation.

One of the most extraordinary orders was in 1928. The Maharajah of Patiala arrived at Boucheron, escorted by servants carrying six boxes full of precious stones, including 7571 diamonds and 1432 emeralds. He ordered luxurious sets of jewelry made using gemstones from his treasury.

The demands of these wealthy individuals led to the sensational orders that elevated Boucheron to the highest level of creativity.

La Femme Fatale is inspired by the diverse clientele and the creative style of Boucheron. A faceted bullet-shaped CZ is layered like a beautiful cake using netting and a netting variation. Flanking the central component are two trillion CZs, simply bezeled. All of these components nestle inside two fire polish-filled ropes, ending in a simple bar clasp. Elegant, extravagant, and beautiful. 

Workshop length: This is a 1-day workshop exclusive to Club Bead 2023

Skill level: Intermediate to advanced

Dimensions: 1 ¼ inch wide by the desired length