If You Like Miniatures, This One’s For You

The Beaded Christmas Village at Carolina Mountain Artists Guild.
Photo by Rachel Pressley

A side project that local artist Barbara Wilcox had originally put on the back burner quickly turned into what she now calls her “pandemic project.” Wilcox has always loved making jewelry, but since moving to Hendersonville 10 years ago after retiring from a demanding job in public relations, she decided she needed something to do, so she took a beading class. “After that, I wanted to learn and make more,” says Wilcox. “I had so much stuff that a friend suggested to me to sell some of it. One thing has led to another.” 

The design for the Beaded Christmas Village, “Beadville,” that Wilcox spent approximately 300 hours constructing, originally comes from a UK artist, Lynsey James, who wrote directions for creating it. “I heard about it more than a year ago, but I was intrigued by the idea of a Christmas village because I have made so much jewelry — and I’m always up for a challenge,” says Wilcox. 

All of the structures, figures, and details in “Beadville” are made of Miyuki Delica beads (cylinder-shaped Japanese glass seed beads), with the exception of a few larger beads used for specific structures. “There are a few moving pieces of significance, like the observatory that spins around at the top, a wishing well, and my favorite — the igloo with decorations on the inside,” notes Wilcox. (Other structures include the Candy Cane Emporium, Elf and Hammer Public House, Hot Dog and Burger Stall, Oktoberfest Beer and Pretzel Stall, Penguin Hut, Reindeer Barn, and many other buildings and characters.)

Since joining the Carolina Mountain Artists Guild in 2015 (est. in 1998), Wilcox has been a part of the volunteer-run store in downtown Hendersonville, where everything sold is local and handmade.

Carolina Mountain Artists Guild, 444 North Main St., Hendersonville. The “Beadville” Christmas Village will be on display through Dec. 31. Visitors can guess how many beads are in the village; the winner will receive a gift basket full of handmade items by member artists. For more information, visit carolinamountainartists.com or see their Facebook Page (Carolina Mountain Artists Guild). 828-696-0707.

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