Collaboration: Stefanie Wolf & Alejandro Carreño

Stephanie Wolf and Alejandro Carreño collaborate to create  hand-beaded frames for Carreño's paintings.

Alejandro Carreño and I met at the Vineyard Artisans Festivals several years ago and have been friends ever since. Our booths were next to each other and we enjoy each other’s work. I have many of his fish paintings in my home, and he is intrigued by my use of color and designs. I think we are also both attracted to and not afraid of bold color. A few years ago, I began accumulating a ridiculous amount of imperfect beads, which aren’t quite good enough to use in jewelry, but that could still be used in other ways. In contemplating how I could utilize these imperfect beads in new designs, I began playing with creating mosaics on belt buckles and on the borders of wooden photo frames.


Stephanie Wolf and Alejandro Carreño collaborate to create hand-beaded frames for Carreño’s paintings.

Meanwhile, Alejandro had been making all of his own frames for his artwork. I love how he uses weathered, reclaimed wood from around the Island for his frames. Somewhere over the days of selling our work side by side, we began to delight in the game of matching my necklaces to his paintings. I believe it was Alejandro who first had the idea to actually incorporate my beads into his frames, and he started playing with the process of creating a channel in the reclaimed wood. Together we refined the dimensions and began making some finished frames. I’m now selling mirrors with our collaborative frames in my studio, and he has framed some of his paintings this way as well. We have just begun to display these pieces to the public, and so far we have enjoyed a positive reception.

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