It's great to have Aurelio on board, I'm looking forward to learning more about how his mind ticks....so let's get to know....
What did you do before beading? And what brought beading into your life?
I hold a degree on metal smith which I used in my career as jewelry designer. My metal work was a known traditional, edgy style which was published in the Art-Jewelry Magazine.
What brought be to beading was my inclination for tri-dimensional work and my passion for color which metal work tends to lack.
What is your comfort zone?
I don't think that there is such a thing as a “comfort zone” for me. There is nothing more rewarding for me than to experiment with new techniques, color and bead shapes.
What aspect of beading do you find most challenging?
I find that incorporating different materials and shapes into my design can be quite a challenge, but the result can sometimes be the most rewarding aspect of beading. Other times it is nothing more than a disaster, but therein lies the fun and the lesson.
What would you most like to bead if you had the time and supplies?
I don't know that there is a specific project that would like to bead. The fact is that all of my designs are inspired by the supplies I have collected over time. My beads are like little treasures I find while browsing through a store, sales, or shows. Bought because of their beauty rather than for a specific purpose. I have LOTS of little treasures! Of course when I need a specific one I can never find it so I go out and buy more. :-)
Who if anyone has influenced your style of beading?
Many years ago when I was a missionary in the Amazon jungle of Colombia I lived with the Coreguje and Witoto tribes who created the most colorful, wild, nature inspired jewelry. To this days the sight of such beauty has been a vast source of inspiration.
If you could only use one bead weaving stitch which one would you choose and why?
I knew there would be a difficult question. I could say that Peyote stitch. Why? Well it functionality lends itself to a vast array of possibilities. Now don't get me wrong, other stitches would be thrown in. I'm unfaithful like that.
Do you have a favorite place to buy beads and supplies. ?
Sure, If your store carries a bead that catches my eye that will be my favorite store of the day.
What Aurelio says about himself
Aurelio Castaño is an active artist in the tri-state area. His work has been showcased in a number of local and national exhibitions. Inspired by his Andean background and working in a number of media, Aurelio creates a wide array of visually stunning pieces which can be worn or displayed.
Aurelio holds a Certificate in Applied Arts and Associates in Visual arts from The Westchester Community College and went on to receive a Bachelors in Visual Arts from Empire State College.
His work can be found at the Mamaroneck Artist Guild in Larchmont and other prominent local galleries. He founded “Grupo Artisto”, an arts program for Westchester day laborers and their families.
His beading courses are offered year round at the Westchester Center for the Arts in White Plains, NY (formerly the Westchester Arts Workshop). He is available for private instruction.