Violetta Pretorius: “All you need is love…and beautiful handcrafted art jewellery!”

Violetta PretoriusVioletta Pretorius, a bead artist who lives in Aberdeen, Scotland, comes from a crafty family. In fact, her grandfather, a master tailor, taught her to knit and sew. (Violetta’s dolls were fashionably dressed!) Violetta continues to design her own pieces, from scarves to coats.

A self-taught beader, Violetta now creates unique, contemporary, geometric jewellery. “I like clean lines, simple embellishments, and classy colours,” she said, “with some Art Deco influences thrown in.”

I have to say that I love how Violetta has named her wearable art: Neck Art, Lobe Art, Wrist Art. Inspired!


At first, Violetta used beads to add sparkle to knitted shawls. And then, while living in South Africa, a visit to a craft store introduced her to walls of beads, beading books, bead stitches, and bead weaving courses. “Yup,” she says, “I was hooked. I still have, and wear, one of the first necklaces I made.”

Violetta shares that her favourite stitch is Peyote (“it works up in a linear fashion, as does knitting”). Combining Peyote and Herringbone stitches supports sculptural effects with fluid increases and decreases.

To grow her skill, Violetta did take a few workshops with a favourite bead artist, to learn about the creative process as well as how to work with new-to-her bead weaving stitches. And like most of us, Violetta has a long list of tutorials from favourite designers to get through! (I’m in good company!)

Pretty in Pink Wave BangleDodecahedron BallGeometric Baskets

(from left.. Pretty in Pink Wave Bangle.  Dodecahedron Ball. Geometric Baskets.)


Violetta trusts John James and Tulip needles, saying, “I’m happy to say that each needle lasts a while even if it is all bent out of shape.” Likewise, her work requires a reliable, easy-to-use thread, and depending on the type of project, Violetta relies on Toho One-G (generally described as equal to K.O. thread) and Nymo, both the B and D weights.

Violetta fuels her beading with classical, blues, and classic rock music, as well as soundtracks from sci-fi and crime-mystery films. She also enjoys watching reruns of favourite television shows.

The Golden One BangleAlthough Violetta’s favourite colour combo is black and white, with a pop of colour, for a few years she has been moving to new colour combos, with happy results.

As for the beads themselves, Violetta currently uses 11/0 Miyuki Delicas and 15/0 Miyuki Delicas in combination with  Miyuki seed beads and TOHOs – in many sizes – for her geometric pieces. She reserves her Preciosa seed bead stash for ropes and simple bracelets.

 (image - The Golden One Bangle)


A member of several Facebook beading groups, Violetta is most active in:

  • Contemporary Geometric Beadwork, which she enjoys for its open-source sharing of ideas and innovative beadwork;
  • Geometric/Dimensional Beadweaving with Seed Beads, which offers experimenting with sculptural beadwork created with seed beads; and,
  • Seed Beads and More, for its monthly projects, and member sharing of projects.
Flower Power Earrings - Matte Gold

“I like being part of these groups because I feel that I’m among like-minded people who like to share their love of beading…the groups are a safe place to try out new ideas as well as learn from established and new stars of the beading world."

Violetta challenges herself with new stitches by creating pieces from other beaders’ patterns or tutorials. “And then I will experiment,” she adds, “with Peyote stitch, see how to tailor the piece by placing increases and decreases in different places, at different intervals and decide on whether to locate them on top or move them down/inside the finished piece. All results are interesting and allow my mind to play with possibilities and apply those findings in new designs."

(Image - Flower Power Earrings, Matte Gold)


Violetta’s work has been featured in books and magazines. You can find her work in Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Volume II, Art Deco Beadwork (The Beadworkers Guild), most recently in the Issue 101, Journal, (The Beadworkers Guild).

Lavender Fields Bangle

In 2025, Violetta might be teaching at a retreat or bead show – or both!  She may submit a piece to a beading contest. And, after having her pieces exhibited in local galleries – “Lavender Fields" Allwings bangle was on show as part of the 2023 "Colours" art show at the Milton Art Gallery in Banchory, Scotland – she is working on a few pieces that will hopefully become part of a permanent exhibition at the local Art Museum and Gallery..

 (Image - Lavender Fields Bangle)

A few last words…

“I’m passionate about 3D designs, and although they take more time to finish, they are more intricate and I find it really interesting to see how far I can push those designs. In my work I explore my ongoing fascination with the suppleness of the beaded fabric and I strive not to repeat any of the designs making each piece unique. But I do need a bit of down-time in-between the larger projects and that’s when the simpler designs are just perfect for calming my mind and recharging my creative side.”


You can explore more of Violetta’s amazing bead designs in the links below:






That’s it for this month, my bead-along buddies! See you in June. Cathy

Geometric CollarGilded Bangle, SilverRaindrop Drop Tassel Earrings
(From left - Geometric Collar. Gilded Bangle, Silver. Raindrop Drop Tassel Earrings.)


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