Friday, July 6, 2012

BFF Beading Friend Friday: MARTI CONRAD


This week’s featured artist is Marti Conrad of  Marti's Buttons-n-Beads. 

Here are the basics:  
  • Marti’s real name is Martha.
  • Marti lives in a small town in West Virginia.
  • She has been married for over 30 years.
  • When I asked about children her response was, “Step man, step woman! “  I take it that means she has a grown stepson and stepdaughter,  haha.
  • She has two pets, a Japanese Chin rescue dog, named Millie; and a rescued  Tuxedo cat, named Quincy.  She didn’t say it but from reading her posts I can tell that the rescue of animals is a very important cause to Marti.
  • Her other hobbies and interests are too many to list.

Now that you have the basics,  let’s  dive in and find out more about Marti’s artwork -

BFF: What do you do with beads? (weaving, stringing, lampworking, polymer, etc)
Marti:  Mostly just make stoneware beads, pendants and small items.  I want to start making wind chimes just as soon as possible.  I am not really a jewelry maker, but I've strung some of my beads and sold them around here

BFF: How would you describe your role in the beading world?
Marti: Happy crafter?  I just cannot call myself an artist…frustrated one maybe...

BFF: How long have you been working with beads?
Marti: Since 2006/2007.  I started out making stoneware buttons to have extra money to buy vintage buttons, I love collecting buttons and other things too!  Did some beads and have been busy making them since. 

BFF: What is your style? And what attracts you to this style?
Marti:  I'm not sure I really have a style just yet.  I love using stoneware clay, taking old buttons and nature -inspired things, leaves and such, and using them for patterns and texture. I also just love picking up an item and trying it out on my clay.  Some of my favorite textures come from my dogs brush and comb, bones and rocks!

BFF: What are your favorite metals to use?
Marti: My favorite metal is silver…copper is second for me.

BFF: What is your favorite stringing medium to use?
Marti: I started out using a monofilament to string with, but have used silver and copper wire since.

BFF: What is your favorite color palette?
Marti:  I love colors.  Purples are my favorite right now, but I've run the gamut. 

BFF: Your technique(s)?
Marti: I work  in stoneware clay as opposed to earthenware because I found earthenware too soft.  I would chip it too easily.  And I've never tried porcelain because the old kiln I have wouldn't reach the temps needed. 

BFF: What else would you like to try your hand at?
Marti: I don't need anything else to do!
    (Editor’s note: Now really do any of us need yet another craft? Kudos to Marti who is able to fight the temptation, wish I could!)

BFF: Other artist/designer(s) you admire? Any special reason why?
Marti:  There are so many excellent clay artists that inspire me and make me want to do better every day in my work.  I don't want to list any one in particular because there are so many and I wouldn't want to leave anyone out! 
       (Editor’s note: She admires me, OKAY?! She just didn’t want to hurt ya’lls feelings!)

BFF: Where do you want to be in 5 years from now?
Marti: Happy with what I'm doing and healthier.

BFF: What’s your favorite quote or saying?
Marti: so many…Scriptures are my favorite, and anything about animals that touches my heart.

BFF: Any advice you'd give to new artists who are just beginning in your medium?
Marti:  Keep at it…you will only get better as time goes on.  Read and learn everything you can about your craft. 

BFF: What is your favorite blog that you like to follow?
Marti: Again, there are just so many.  I enjoy Jean A Wells, Love My Art Jewelry, etc...

       BFF: What has been your favorite Blog Hop or Challenge?
Marti: ?  Beads of Clay, BOCPAT, ButtonBytes, Bead Soup Cafe, Creative Bead Chat…again…too many!

Quirky questions often give us a better understanding of the real person behind the artist, so here goes…

      BFF: If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy?

Marti: I would build one of the best Humane Society Buildings (but we are off to a great start with ours here in Ritchie County, WV) and staff it with vets and techs and staff to take care of and help all the animals in this and surrounding counties…after that, my family needs would be taken care of.  As it is, we are all doing okay, but with all the money in the world…that would be my dream come true.   

BFF: As a child what was your favorite cartoon or tv show? why?
 Marti: I was never big on cartoons, my brother watched them, so I had to…lol…my favorite show as a kid was probably Roy Rogers because he had such a beautiful horse and he was one of the good guys!  And Lassie, but Lassie always made me cry!

BFF: Favorite toy as a child? why?
Marti: My stick horse, because I've loved horses for as long as I can remember!

BFF: Favorite subject in school? why? 
Marti: Did anyone ever have a favorite subject in school?  hmmm…I guess my favorite was science, art and reading…I wasn't great in school!  Math and grammar were killers for me! 

BFF: What was your favorite YEAR of your life thus far? why? 
 Marti: I guess this one!  My little clay business is keeping me busy and I love working with clay.  Everyone still living is healthy and happy right now, and so I am too!

Words from the artist , herself:

 I have a wonderful life and have been blessed with a great husband, family and friends.  And getting online has had its great advantages as well!”

   Thanks Marti for sharing... 

Contact Info for Marti Conrad:

Business Name: Marti’s Buttons-n-Beads


                   Purchase her work at:

                    E-mail address:

                   Mailing Address:  Marti Conrad, 219 So. Court St., Harrisville, WV  26362

      Telephone Number:  304-643-2754


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