Julie Long was born in Berkeley, California, to 3rd-generation Californians on both sides, grew up in Oakland, and lives in San Francisco. She thanks her family for their appreciation of the California Decorative Style, the Arts and Crafts movement, Native American art, and appreciations of the beauty of Nature. There is a strong tradition of needlework in her family, and from her grandmothers, mother and sister, she learned to sew, embroider, and knit. From her father and grandfather, she learned to draw.
Julie spent many years in the corporate environment, but when searching for vintage beads to repair a 1920s beaded evening dress, the texture, colors and wonderful patterns of antique beaded garments and accessories awoke the “maker” in her. Continuing the family’s auto-didact tradition, her first loom work beading project was a re-creation of an elaborate 1920s flapper-style hip belt. More creations followed for her friends and family; and, over time, her work became better known. Gaslight Original Beadwork became a formal business in 2006. Her growing clientele encourages, supports and challenges her to explore new designs, techniques, and ideas.
As her skills grow, so do her influences; Julie finds great inspiration and affinity for the Wiener Werkstaette and Art Deco and Art Nouveau eras; and finds joy and affirmation in using centuries-old techniques of loom-weaving, crochet, and now metalsmithing to create modern jewelry and accessories for women who understand that beauty has no fixed era.
Julie is a member of the American Craft Council and has exhibited at their San Francisco and Baltimore shows regularly since 2010; she is honored as well to exhibit regularly since 2009 at the Celebration of Craftswomen, which has benefitted the San Francisco Women’s Building for nearly 40 years. In 2014 she was honored to receive 1st Prize for Jewelry design from the Peninsula Jewish Community Center in their Bi-Annual Art Competition. Julie’s work has been published in Lark Publications “500 Beaded Jewelry” (2012) and “1000 Beads” (2013).
Her work can be seen at www.GaslightOriginalBeadwork.com.