Picture This: Exploring the World of Decorative Art

with Cynthia Rutledge

Immerse yourself in this opportunity to experience a three-day jewelry making retreat, to learn from Cynthia Rutledge in the unique and creative town of Asheville, North Carolina, and to refresh your creative spirit.

You will spend quality time in the studio classroom learning many techniques and improving your craftsmanship in a comfortable, yet focused environment. You’ll share delicious lunches daily with Cynthia and fellow classmates, then relax and unwind at the Welcome Social and Instructor Showcase. The retreat will wrap up with a Group Photo Session after class to celebrate your accomplishments and provide lasting memories of our time together in Asheville.

Picture This: Exploring the World of Decorative Art

Class Description

Picture This: Exploring the World of Decorative Art is a workshop for exploring techniques to create a custom-made, one-of-a-kind, photograph frame. We begin by creating our own cabochons using photographs and epoxy. While the cabochons are curing, we move on to getting the structural materials ready to construct a frame, which can be made to stand or hang. Embellishing techniques are wide open, for a personal approach. This workshop is full of all the techniques needed to create a beautiful, heirloom-quality work of art.

Inspiration for Picture This: Exploring the World of Decorative Art comes from many places. One of them is The House of Fabergé which has always had a longstanding tradition of creating fine objects of art for its wealthy clients. Probably best known for the Imperial eggs it created for the Romanov family, this famous house branched out to create a wide range of beautiful accessories, adorning some of the finest homes in the world. Craftsmanship and attention to detail are the reasons that this house has stood the test of time.

Another source of inspiration for this workshop is one of the most endearing decorative art pieces: the photograph frame. It brings high art to a personal level as the makers can add their own photograph to a frame. These beautiful works of art will be created using a wide range of techniques and materials. Set gemstones and pearls, enamel, gold and monogram will be incorporated into a wide range of sizes and shapes of frames. Add a swinging “kickstand” so that the frame can be set onto a surface or add a ring attachment to make a wall hanging. These frames will all have a personal touch and be quite unique.


You will learn the following techniques from Cynthia in this three-day class:

  • Create custom-made cabochons using photographs (or stock images) and epoxy
  • Cut thin patina copper to create a custom frame shape
  • Create support materials to create structure for the frame
  • Bezeling techniques in beadwork, using stitches of choice, for the cabochons, frame and kickstand.
  • Explore the design process for embellishment and construction
  • Learn how to use materials for desired results. For example, the use of pearls, CZ’s and cup-chain. Also, the use of seed beads and cylinder beads to gain the desired effect.
  • Learn how to use hole punches, bend wire, make templates, set CZ’s and use guitar strings.

Did you know?

Cynthia travels the world for inspiration, learning not only from other artists, but also from fashion, architecture, and the natural world.
Additional Information

Registration Includes:

  • Three (3) days of instruction from Cynthia Rutledge

  • Use of instructor tools and equipment

  • Step by step tutorial

  • Delicious and nutritious lunch on Saturday, Sunday and Monday

  • Invitation to Welcome Social Friday, October 12, 2018 at 4:30pm

  • Access to Instructor Showcase on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 8:00pm (includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres)

  • Group Photo Celebration

    Must be at least 18 years old to participate.

    Must have advanced beading skills, but metal skills are unnecessary.

Materials & Supplies

Tools and Supplies to BrinG

  • Images printed, high-quality, onto glossy high quality photo paper*

  • 15 grams 15° seed beads to match the main color of cylinder beads

  • A selection of accent 15° seed beads for embellishing, about 3 grams each

  • 12 grams 11° cylinder beads for the main color

  • A couple more colors of 11° cylinder beads for embellishing, about 3 grams each

  • 10 grams of 11° seed bead to match the main color of cylinder beads

  • A selection of accent 11° seed beads for embellishing, about 3 grams each

  • Bring any embellishing beads you desire. 2mm & 3mm pearls and crystals, tiny spacers, specialty beads. Think small and a variety!

  • Nylon thread to match your main color of beads

  • Beading needles in a variety of sizes

  • Small sharp scissors for cutting thread and a thread burner

  • Microcrystalline beading wax (optional, but recommended)

  • Timer (I use the one on my phone.)

  • Teflon coated scissors for cutting tape, plastic and metal (I use a pair about 5 ½” long from point to end of handle)

  • Fine point black magic marker

  • Flat nose jewelry pliers

  • Jewelry grade flush cutters

  • Tweezers with pointy tips

  • 6” ruler

  • Beading surface of choice

  • Lighting and magnification

  • Your basic beading tool kit. Bring what you would use at home. You want to be happy.

    * Instructions for how to print images and sizing requirements will be sent to each student.

    Being that you are designing, make sure to have a nice palette of color that goes with your images.

    A word about materials: In a design workshop it can be hard to decide what to bring. Cynthia will send students a color sheet of the patina metal finishes that are available to help with your bead selections. The images that you choose to use for cabochons will add to the color options, too. These frames can have beaded flowers, trelliswork, rings of cup chain or rings of small pearls… you name it! Your bead selection is important, so plan accordingly.

Materials in Kit

  • 2 sheets of 36 gauge patina copper, color of choice for one frame

  • 1 resin kit which includes doming tray, resin, stir sticks & measuring cups

  • A plastic cover to protect the cabochons while curing

  • Template plastic for support material

  • Gridded template plastic for making templates

  • 1 roll each of ¼” and 1” wide Terrifically Tacky Tape

  • 3” of 16 gauge gold-filled or sterling round wire


Registration Fee
$993 Low Rate Extended
Regular Rate: $1145

Kit Fee
$88 (This fee will be collected during registration.)

 Optional kit fee: If a student would prefer that Cynthia puts together the main color palettes, the kits are $25 each for regular finished seed beads and cylinder beads up to $75 for the higher metallic finishes. These fees will be collected in class. These kits will include the main 15°’s, the main 11° cylinder beads and the main 11°’s that match the different patina copper finishes.

Cynthia Rutledge

Cynthia is a contemporary seed bead artist and educator, specializing in peyote stitch and off‐loom weaving techniques, with an emphasis on developing sculptural unsupported shapes in beadwork. As an educator (more than 20 years), Cynthia shares her expertise on the road for most of the year. Her work has been exhibited in national and international shows, many books and publications. Cynthia’s newest venture is her first solo book, “Timeless Beadwork Designs”, which became available in January 2016.

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