One of the amazing perks of working at Dark Elf Dice is the opportunity to meet new people across the globe. The RPG gaming community is a close one, with wonderful people sharing similar interests and passions including comics, movies, video games and more. The gaming culture is alive and well, and recently I had the opportunity to meet Rina Ward (aka Alina Eades) -- an RPG gamer who combines her love of gaming with art.
Eades BeadsRina is the talented and creative owner of Eades Beads, an online shop specializing in handcrafted jewelry. Each piece is meticulously crafted in her studio with the gamer in mind. Naturally, I'm drawn to her pieces that feature RPG game dice, but like the gaming culture in general, Rina's art transcends table top gaming and tells a rich, meaningful story...
InterviewTells us about Eades Beads and your work as an artist.
I've been making beaded jewelry for a number of years now, though it is only in the last year or so that I've started making more geek-centric things like the dice jewelry and keychains. July of 2015 was my official launch into creating a business for my craft rather than a hobby. I started making jewelry when a neighbor was doing it to make ends meet. I had trouble finding a job at the time so I started doing it with her. When I found employment I put it on hold as I didn't have the spare time. Now I find myself in a similar situation and decided to dive in head first. Being creative, it can be vary hard to work a normal job where they just want you to be a drone. I can't live like that, I have to be able to love what I do. I've been a creative person ever since I was little, art class was always my favorite. I love to paint miniatures as a hobby but I'm not as skilled on canvas. I sculpt things out of clay when I can, make costumes, and all kinds of things! I don't draw as much as I used to, and it makes me a little sad. Sad because its hard to jump back in when I have been out of practice for so long.
What is your favorite jewelry piece that you created? What inspires you?
Some of my favorite pieces to make are the Gemstone bracelets. I have a moonstone chips bracelet I made and just had to keep because its my birthstone, but luckily I had enough chips to make another so someone else could have the same joy i get from mine :) My inspiration for jewelry often comes from the materials themselves. For example I will use the colors in the dice to correspond with beads to go with it for a necklace. For my gemstone jewelry its a matter of how the stone beads speak to me, I recently made a red jasper and stripped blue agate bracelet. While the colors don't seem like they would go well together, they just seemed to bring out the best in one another. For my other creative endeavors, my inspiration varies. Costume ideas are always flowing! I just wish I had the money to make all the costumes in my head lol.Do you play role playing games? If so, what are your favorites?
I do play RPGs! From table top, to text/voice, to video game RPGs. There are so many that I like and such a huge world out there of table top RPGs, I haven't played as many as I want to try yet lol. Thanks to a podcast called Drunks and Dragons (real play podcast) they helped open my eyes to the world of RPGs, they have a side feed called Random Encounters and they play all kinds of RPGs on there. Its because of them that I even started playing table top games outside of uno/monopoly/life etc.
Dungeons and Dragons 4e was the first table top RPG campaign I ever played long term and so D&D will always have my heart above others. But I have played a Firefly RPG session, Final Girl RPG, a Pathfinder mini campaign, and a Numanera one shot game. I enjoyed playing them so much.
I'm super excited to be going to Geekly Con this year, because its a Table Top convention run by the podcast company that runs the Drunks and Dragons feed, as well as it's fans. They are called Geekly Inc (Geeklyinc.com), and they also have a podcast called Cthulhu and Friends which really makes me want to find a Call of Cthulhu game group to play with! I've also just recently received a gae on Steam called Tabletop Simulator, its very cool so far. People make all kinds of custom game types so you can play things like Cards Against Humanity or even games like Red Dragon Inn. I'm very excited about this, but I'll still love rolling my dice on my desk :D Nothing beats the sound of dice tumbling across a table!Do you have any advice for someone wanting to create art?
My advice to others who are scared to create things: Try your hand at what ever you want, even if you aren't that good at it. Keep practicing if you enjoy it no matter what others think of you! Even if you don't think you will get much better at something just do it because you LOVE it! Artists often think little of their own work, but that doesn't mea it won't be amazing to someone else. I dislike most of what I make, that is just how it works lol. But i KNOW that just because I don't like it much doesn't mean someone else isn't going to love the heck out of it. There have been a few pieces of jewelry I thought I would never sell because I didn't like the color/pattern/something about it, then it turns around and sells quickly.
How To Purchase Eades Beads Creations
Rina currently runs her Eades Beads shop on Etsy, but is in the process of creating an independent web store. She's also active on FaceBook and Twitter:
I should mention that at the time of this article, Rina didn't have a lot of her creations active on Etsy (she's in the process of updating photos and sold inventory from her last convention). That said, if ou message Rina via Facebook or Twitter with something you're interested in, she'll be more than happy to help :) Eades Beads will take custom orders as long as materials are available. So here's to Eades Beads and the talented Rina Ward! May her beautiful jewelry and artwork continue to tell a story for years and years to come.