Sandoval Signpost
An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Featured Artist
 

Signpost featured artists: June Malone

June Malone in her studio
Photo credit: Oli Robbins

c. June Malone

c. June Malone

Intricate beadwork jewelry, by Enchanted Beads by JM

Enchanted beads by June Malone

—Oli Robbins

The state of New Mexico is dubbed “The Land of Enchantment” for its diverse beauty—the landscape offers bountiful surprises, and fully appreciating it demands deep and thorough examination. Perhaps June Malone’s beading business adopted the name “Enchanted Beads” for similar reasons. One can’t wholly recognize the complex aesthetic of her pieces without taking the time to hold, inspect, and feel the weighted energy of them. June’s tendency to inject her work with unpredictable elements may partially stem from her undergraduate degree in landscape architecture, which taught her that one mustn’t be able to see everything from a singular vantage point. She believes that for a setting to be truly interesting, it must provide the viewer unanticipated, hidden joys. Her necklaces may include, for example, elegant headdress-like tassels on their backsides that go unseen to all but the wearer.

June professes to have “always been an artist,” even during her 22-year-long psychology career. To June, psychology—like landscape architecture and beading—is a true art form. She maintains that in psychology, one must constantly apply creativity in order to develop successful solutions for each unique situation. June realized her interest in psychology after college and early motherhood when she decided to take a community college course on human growth and development. Remembers June: “There was a loud boom in my head. It was so fascinating learning about how people grow and engage in social environments.” She took her excitement seriously and went back to school for a PhD.

Perhaps because June viewed psychology through an artistic lens, she found fulfillment in the field—developing several effective interventions for veterans. Says June, “I had an opportunity to effect change and really get people beyond their past. I always focused on the treatment.” As a person who throws all of her creativity into one endeavor at a time, June didn’t have the energy to experiment emphatically with beadwork until she neared retirement. It was at the end of 2011, after working in psychology for 22 years, that she knew it was the moment to commit herself, wholeheartedly, to beading.

For decades, New Mexico was a favorite vacation destination for the Malones. They spent many family vacations attending the Balloon Fiesta and exploring the wonders of the state in the days that followed. June and her husband, Carl, knew they would someday retire in New Mexico. So when June landed a job at the Albuquerque VA in 2005, they eagerly packed their bags and moved their home from Milwaukee to Rio Rancho. Says June, “it’s where I need to be to do what I do. It’s where my spirit needs to be.” She is charmed by the colors of the landscape and finds there to be an unexplainable “energy here.” Part of June’s rootedness in New Mexico derives from the fact that she can feel the presence of her grandmother here. “There’s something about being here,” says June. “It’s just innate.” In “retirement,” June and Carl work together for “Enchanted Beads by JM,” Carl building the jewelry displays and taking care of all promotional, photographic, and business needs, and June working feverishly to develop and execute designs.

It’s likely that June’s training in, and predilection for, landscape architecture and math—she originally dreamed of becoming a math teacher and admits to finding contentment working on geometry proofs for hours on end—contribute to her success in beading. She’s forever been drawn to organizing colors and patterns and, as a beadwork artist, seamlessly joins her inventive and systematic faculties. Her beadwork assumes a range of colors and forms, many of which are inspired by Native American patterns. From totally flat to multi-dimensional, abstract and geometric to figurative, June’s pieces are wearable fine art that stun by providing a multitude of harmonious colors and arrangements. And despite the advanced techniques she practices, June is completely self-taught. In her early days as a beader, though still focused on color and shape, she worked primarily on stringing. Over the years she began performing bead-weaving techniques like peyote stitching and other intricate, often three-dimensional methods.

Later this month, June will be the featured artist in Beadwork magazine. She will be showing at the New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair on June 26-28, booth 65, at Expo NM. Her work also shines at the Santa Fe boutique Spirit of the Earth and can be found online in her Etsy shop, EnchantedBeadsbyJM. On Etsy, she offers kits that allow the buyer to partake in the creation of their jewelry by piecing together their own dazzling necklace and earring sets. Contact June by phone (990-9539) or by visiting her website (www.enchantedbeader.com).

 
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