Why the Master Craftsman Program? Become a Master Craftsman in the Needlework Area of your Choice

The 2022 winter holidays and celebrations are now a memory. How many nights did you stay up late because you thought of one more stitched item that would be treasured by a special friend or family member.

Well, now 2023 is here and it is time for you to think of you! Think of all the beautiful pieces you have stitched in the past. Unless you are a stitcher, you do not understand the passion behind our stitching. From the first stitch to the last, we get a tremendous thrill in watching our pieces develop into a true piece of art.

The Master Craftsman Program was developed for stitchers like you. Candidates can sign up for the MC Program in the areas of Beading, Canvas Embroidery, Color for Needlework, Counted Thread, Crewel Embroidery, Design for Needlework, Silk and Metal Thread, and Surface Embroidery. Each program has six steps. Steps 1 through 5 challenge the candidate to develop or enhance skills and techniques until the candidate reaches the sixth step. The sixth step requires that the candidate prove their competency by creating an original work of art which encompasses all or some of the techniques from the five steps.

If the candidate completes all six steps successfully, the candidate receives a certificate verifying that the candidate is a Master Craftsman in the area chosen. Becoming a Master Craftsman is much more than a certificate. The candidate receives self-satisfaction and knowledge that the candidate has achieved the height of our education awards. A Master Craftsman, by definition, is one of the best stitchers in the candidate’s skill area.

As stated above, many do not understand the passion behind our stitching, but the Master Craftsman does.

Sign up now! You may have time to finish Step 1 by the spring judging.

Below are three pieces submitted by two different stitchers in the Master Craftsman for Beading Program. The Beading requirements have been changed and have been adapted to what should be more attractive for beaders.


My Galaxy

This is Lyn Klaman’s bracelet and pendant. These fulfilled the requirements for Step 1 of the Master Craftsman in Beading program using the Square Stitch. The original design was inspired by Lyn’s family and their astrological signs.

Papaver Orientale

This is Lyn Klaman’s necklace. This fulfilled the requirements for Step 2 of the Master Craftsman in Beading Program using the Herringbone stitch. This original design came to Lyn in the middle of the night, despite already having a completely different design planned. Lyn chose Ren Farnsworth’s glass components for the leaves.

Midnight Reign

This necklace is an original design by Barbara Ellis. The necklace showcases flat, freeform peyote shapes with undulating edge and even and odd peyote. The five pieces of gunmetal Delica beads were used in a bead soup, picking mono-chromatic hues at random. The five pieces fit like puzzle pieces and are separated with gold closed jump rings for proper spacing. The beaded rope is tubular odd count peyote. Barbara used a new smaller Athos cabochon as a focal center piece and bezeled it with Delica gunmetal beads with a smaller matching 15/0 seed bead to cinch the top. The other 4 pieces of the necklace were accented with smaller flat cabochon pieces. Each of the five units was finished with a fire-polish crystal drop.

The necklace and other items she sent fulfilled the requirements for Step 3 of the Master Craftsman in Beading program using the Peyote stitch. As in Step 3, some steps in the Master Craftsman in Beading allow for pieces that are adaptations of another artist’s designs. Barbara’s adaptations included a pair of earrings, a bracelet, and another necklace.

Gwen Nelson, Chair of the Master Craftsman program in Beading


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