Artist Profile: Marina Mikhailik – Winner of our Autumn Colors Beading Contest

Marina Mikhailik was the winner of our Autumn Colors beading contest. Her entry Necklace Strauss garnered a lot of praise for its original design and beautiful subtle color palette. We were curious to learn more about Marina and her jewelry making journey. Here is her story: 

Tell us a little about yourself:

I was born and raised in the Ural region of Russia where I also received my architectural education. Since childhood I have loved to read the tales of Bazhov about goldsmiths and stone cutters, which my native land prides itself in.

I currently live in the Siberian city of Tomsk where I’m serving as a director of a small architectural office and raising my eight year old son while enjoying creating wire wrap jewelry.

Marina’s Winning Piece: Necklace Strauss

How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

My interest in creating jewelry began in 2006, when my youngest son was two years old and I was on maternity leave. The first material with which I started was polymer clay. It was not until 2010 that I first picked up the wire. For some time I continued to work with polymer clay and even conducted educational workshops, but my fascination with the wire prevailed. It captivated me with its graphic quality. In Autumn of 2010 I discovered the unusual ear cuff jewelry and devoted almost a year and a half to creating my own beautiful pieces.

What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?

In my earliest work I used polymer clay beads and vintage brass hardware from Vintaj Natural Brass Co. Over time I added beads, pearls, Swarovski crystals and cabochons of natural stone. My favorite metals are brass and copper; copper for its warmth and flexibility, and brass for its elegance, elasticity, ability to hold form, and its beautiful appearance after patination.

Who or what inspires your creative process?

My favorite quote can be an answer to this question:

“What do you like doing best in the world, Pooh?”

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best?” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.


Like for Winnie the Pooh, my greatest source of inspiration comes from the moments of anticipation before the result. When I pick up an interestingly shaped cabochon and begin to embrace it with wire, I do not see the end result. Instead I have a conversation with materials, I listen to the wire, follow its curves, weave bead accents into the pattern… And the end result is often surprising even to myself.

Is there somewhere people can see/purchase your work?

My work can be seen and purchased on my website:

My page on Facebook:

Thanks for sharing Marina!  It was great to read a little bit about you and your work and we wish you the best of luck with your endeavors!