Instructor Spotlight:

Anne Mitchell

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Anne Mitchell: Bead Fest Santa Fe 2015
Warmest wishes, Bead Fest fans! It is with great honor that we welcome the incredibly talented silversmithing and silver fusing extraordinaire, Anne Mitchell to the blog today. We had the pleasure of speaking with Anne (who lives just an hour away from Santa Fe!) about her greatest inspirations, what she’s looking forward to at Bead Fest Santa Fe, travel tips, and we learned about her sweet new rescue dog, Simon.

We felt a rush of inspiration after chatting with Anne, and we are sure her quotes will have a similar effect on all who read them. Please enjoy!

What was your reaction when you heard about Bead Fest Santa Fe’s return?

“It’s great being able to go home every night. I can kick back, be in my own bed and be with my pets—it’s spectacular. If I forget something, I still have access to my whole studio. Everything under the sun is right here.”

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Workshop: Thick Gauge Bezel Set Honey Quartz PMC Pendant With A Fine Silver Chain

How does living in New Mexico impact your design work?

“I try not to submerge myself in local artists’ work to keep true to my design sense and personal aesthetic, which tends to be more industrial than what you see here. There is a very clean-line look to what I do. I love working with glassworker’s objects. I’ve always been a fan of lampwork, and that’s really how I got started in what I’m doing here, and the move to metal.”

Where do you find your inspiration?

“I find it in odd places. I like taking ancient chain patterns and techniques, updating them and fine tuning them to the medium that I like to use, which is fine silver.
I get a lot of inspiration in museums. I just saw a Pompeii exhibit up in Toronto this last year that was unbelievably cool. It helped me research some ancient chain patterns, aspect ratios and recreating those patterns for a 21st century interpretation. It stretches my mind and makes me think outside the box. This is where I have the most fun—looking at ancient jewelry and sailors knots, trying to figure out how to bring them into the current medium and bringing them into my teaching techniques. I would say 90% of what I create, I am trying to gear towards a way of passing that on and teaching it.”

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Workshop: Hand Forged Sailors Knot Link Bracelet

How would you describe the experience of Bead Fest Santa Fe?

“It’s very intimate. There are a lot of little restaurants and shops you can hang out at, and there’s a lot to do. It’s intimate in the Expo floor and in the Workshops, and there are beautiful things about that show.”

Can you tell us about a memorable moment you’ve had as a Bead Fest instructor?

“My favorite phrase that I get to say in classes is, ‘Look at what you can do now that you couldn’t do a few hours ago.’
There is one student that I’ve had, and just seeing the progression of this one individual over a 7-year span has been amazing. To watch her grow as an artist, and to see her technique and skills grow speaks more than anything else and seeing somebody have that aha! moment. It’s an overall experience more than one thing, and they all add up to why I do what I do.”

Who is your spirit animal?

“Wow! I’m very drawn to big cats, I love them. I get the most joy out of seeing the hawks fly around, and I have a real connection with them. I look for them when I’m driving, and I can see their outline from a half mile away.”

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Anne Mitchell: Bead Fest Summer 2016

Anne Mitchell’s Santa Fe picks

Loretto Chapel Staircase

“The story behind that is beautiful, and I love it.”

Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen

“For those people who like tequila, I suggest Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen. They have 100 varieties of margaritas. The food is authentic and the food is fabulous. And it’s not over the top expensive—you can eat affordably. It’s one of my favorite places to go in Santa Fe.”

Meow Wolf

“Go to Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf rocks it, and it’s very fun.”

10,000 Waves Spa, Food and Lodging

“If someone wants a massage, or if someone wants to relax, there’s 10,000 waves—a Japanese spa. They have a communal area, spas, massages, facials and a brand-new Japanese restaurant(Izanami) that is off the hook crazy good. It’s a traditional Japanese restaurant with New Mexican flair. It’s phenomenal, and they do an awesome sake flight.”

Canyon Road Arts

“Canyon Road is a fun day in Santa Fe. It has all of the high end galleries, and they have flamenco dancers on the weekends.”

Skylight Santa Fe

“They have really good music, and the floor is usually open. It’s within walking distance of the square. They have concerts, DJs, comedians and I highly recommend it.”

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Workshop: A 21st. Century Take on the Classic Heavy Gauge Twisted Cuff

Visit Anne at Bead Fest Santa Fe

Anne will be teaching a series of Workshops at Bead Fest Santa Fe including, “A 21st. Century Take on the Classic Heavy Gauge Twisted Cuff”. This particular design was inspired by a bracelet Anne discovered at a Pompeii exhibit in Toronto, and it is based on a similar design she saw long ago at a museum in Mexico.

All of Anne’s Bead Fest Workshops have one common theme–they sell out quickly! Reserve a seat in one of Anne’s Workshops, and enjoy her contagious enthusiasm. We look forward to catching up with Anne–and you–at Bead Fest Santa Fe, happening March 23-26, 2017 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

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