Melanie de Miguel is an international bead artist and tutor, passionate about science and beadwork, which have inspired her designs and teaching for the last 16 years. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and many of her pieces have been featured in books and magazines.
Since she began teaching in 1999, Melanie’s work has morphed through a number of styles, most notably influenced by her scientific background, but mainly driven by the mediaeval, Byzantine and Renaissance eras. Her designs are best described as intricate and innovative, incorporating minimalist beading of crystal cabochons.
Melanie realised her designing skills really took off when she had built up a solid arsenal of beading techniques with which to attack every project. Her fascination with threadpaths and constant desire to experiment led her to create an exciting new beadwork technique – Hubble stitch. Publishing Let’s Hubble!, her first book, was the logical next step!
Why Melanie wanted to publish a book
‘I’ve just completed my first book and I’m still in a state of disbelief that my project has come to fruition. For years I have wanted to publish but didn’t have the confidence that I could put a collection of work together that was interesting enough for people to want to buy, nor could I imagine battling through the whole writing and publishing process. However, my confidence grew as students, family and friends urged me to put pen to paper and I finally bit the bullet. The trigger was when I created a brand new beading technique and I knew it was imperative that I document it and put it out there to share with the beading world. That was the main reason for writing, but I also realised I had seen other tutors publish their work and I felt I had earned a place amongst them. My students tell me that my written instructions are excellent, which is great feedback, but I constantly strive to improve the style and content each time I write-up a new design, so I tried to view my book as a very big set of instructions. The more I worked on it, the more excited and confident I became, and the joy of completing it was worth every minute of the process. The result of this whole experience is that I am now looking forward to writing my second book and I’m already setting aside designs and ideas for it.’
‘To sum up what publishing has achieved for me, I would say I’ve given myself one of the biggest confidence boosts ever, it’s going to make many more people aware of my work globally, both as a designer and as a tutor, and finally I’ve created a permanent record of my skills and existence.
What Melanie says about working with SRA Books
‘Sue, Kelly and Mark provided a reassuring and comfortable journey through the entire publishing process. As a reluctant starter lacking confidence, I expected publishing books to be quite stressful, but with Sue’s excellent counselling and professional guiding hand, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the whole thing. Sue organised and discussed with me the entire publishing schedule so I could pace myself, and set achievable goals, which was invaluable. Communication was also key to feeling positive about my project and the team was always available to call, Skype or email. Kelly and I were in touch throughout and she made the whole editing process feel smooth and easy. I am absolutely delighted with the design of my book and cannot wait to have the finished product in my hands. I look forward to working with the team again and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend SRA to anyone contemplating writing.’