Made in St. Louis: Retired school counselor designs bead embroidery jewelry | Fashion

Made in St. Louis: Rosanne Sartori

A necklace in a flurry of blue has a graduated Cellini spiral.

Photo by Roseanne Sartori

A vintage photo and a beaded purse • Sartori inherited a stunning photograph of her grandmother holding a beaded flapper purse that hangs in her workspace today. The photo and the purse in the photo are framed as a vignette. A small photo of the man who made it, her grandfather, is inset at the bottom. “He made that purse for her,” Sartori says. “He died when I was 2 years old, but I have always loved that purse.”

The teacher as student • At first, Sartori simply strung beautiful beads together, but she soon began exploring other jewelry techniques with both beads and metal. She took classes in person and studied online. She stitched Swarovski crystals in a line to look like a tennis bracelet. She mastered Kumihimo, the Japanese art of braiding, using beads, and learned the Cellini spiral bead weaving technique from watching YouTube.

Her metal work included metal stamped bracelets, handmade chainmaille bracelets from wire, and Viking knitting, which is more freeform. Metal didn’t hold a place in her heart, though. It was beads that she loved.

The heart of her art • Sartori was surprised when her jewelry and bead work began to sell. She continued to do art fairs with her husband, Glenn, at her side, helping with the booth and cheerleading the efforts. Sartori enjoyed the work, but her next goal was to make art.