Museum of Beadwork Challenge


Starting in 1998, Caravan Beads and Miyuki sponsored a series of juried beadwork contests. We revisited the Delica Challenges and teamed up with Miyuki Co., Ltd. and Caravan Beads to bring you the first Museum of Beadwork Challenge. In addition to prizes, selected entries were invited to join the opening exhibition for the Museum in 2023.

Grand Prize Winner
Petalura by Sara Hall
8 x 6 inches

Sculpture Category Winner
Grasshopper by Delia Carmen Cepoi
18.5 x 8 x 6.5 inches

Clothing Category Winner
Beetlemania by Mary Zimmerman

Tapestry Category Winner
Life on the Wing by Katharine Claringbould
16 x 20 inches unframed, 16.5 x 20.5 framed.

Jewelry Category Winner
Oleander Hawk Moth - Life Cycle of Daphnis Nerii by Karmen Schmidt

Accessory Category Winner
Adaptation by Melissa Shippee
9 x 8 x 3 inches

Judge's Choice Winner
People's Choice Winner
OGG: Old Green Grasshopper by Melanie Christie
30 x 15 x 24 inches

Judge's Choice Winner
The Firefly Queen by Melanie Chouinard
15 x 8.5 x 6.5 inches

Judge's Choice Winner
Oasis by Lynne Sausele
5.75 x 5.75 x 3 inches

We received an abundance of incredible entries and it was a very difficult decision to choose among these stunning pieces of art. We extend our utmost appreciation to all applicants for your hard work and the creativity that you have shown. We hope that you will participate in future Museum challenges and contests, and keep on creating beautiful beadwork!

The following artists have their entries included in the Wings & Stings exhibition:

Agnieszka Kloc

Ana Garcia

Barbara Ellis

Caldwell Linker

Carmella Patzlaff

Carolyn Cave

Carolyn Schaal

Charlotte Hirschberger

Coleen Stiles

Deb Rades 

Deborah C Mosch

Dedra Weiss

Edwige Denyszyn

Heidi Kummli

Jan Huling

Janet Dreyer

Jean Power

Juanita Finger

Karen Paust

Karina Sumner-Smith

Katharine Claringbould

Katie Longboat

Leslie Emerson

Mary Zimmerman

Lisette Henrich

Lynne Sausele

Melanie Chouinard

Melanie Christie

Melissa Shippee

Merrell Hickey

Michele Grosse

Nancy Erickson Dutmer

Natalia Wiedenbeck

Nick Heller

Patricia Parker

Rose Rushbrooke

Sandra Charlap

Sara Hall

Sharmini Wirasekara

Sherry Serafini

Suzanne Van Baarsen

Tammy Ketcham

Tatjana Andre

Wendie Jones

Wendy Babiak



Challenge Details From The Inaugural Competition: 

MOB Challenges have 5 categories:

Sculpture - Free standing 3-dimensional pieces.
Tapestry - Hanging/wall pieces, or framed work, generally 2-dimensional.
Clothing - Embroidered or constructed garments.
Accessories - Purses, shoes, masks, etc.
Jewelry - Body adornment other than clothing or accessory items.


  • All entries must evoke the challenge theme for the year, 2021's theme was:
     Wings & Stings: Exploring the World of Beaded Bugs

That year’s theme was insects; actual representations, larger than life, inspiration from, or any other interpretation you can envision. The Museum of Beadwork was researching the history of collections & museums by delving into the world of entomology. We asked participants to start buzzing with creativity and bring forth their swarm of ideas!

  • One entry per person. Entries must be made by a single person, no group entries allowed. 
  • All entries must be of original design, and winning designs from another jewelry contest may not be submitted. 
  • Any beading technique or combination of techniques may be used.
  • All entries must be comprised primarily of Miyuki beads (75% or higher). Any Miyuki beads are acceptable, not just Delica beads. If you are unsure about the beads you have, contact your supplier or Caravan Beads for help.
  • This is an international competition, entries from all countries are encouraged.
  • There is no size limitation for this competition. Just remember that if your entry is chosen you will be expected to cover the shipping to and from Portland, Maine.
  • The initial judging is based on digital images. Each entry can submit up to 10 images. 
  • The selected entrants from this initial round will be required to send in or deliver their completed pieces in order to be considered for the final judging.
  • If your entry requires special display fixtures you are expected to send those as well, along with clear and simple instructions for display. If you have questions about special display needs, please contact us directly.
  • Selected entries will be invited to exhibit in the Grand Opening of the Museum of Beadwork.
  • All applications, entrance fees, and photos must be received no later than midnight on 4/30/2021.


Grand prize - $500 cash prize plus $500 Caravan Beads Gift Certificate
Best of category (5 prizes, one in each category) - $300 Caravan Beads Gift Certificate
Judges Choice (1 from each judge from any category) - $150 Caravan Beads Gift Certificate
People’s choice (This award will be given after the opening of the Exhibition as it will be chosen by votes from the Grand Opening Gala and museum attendees ) - $150 Caravan Beads Gift Certificate

Entries were judged on:

  •  Overall visual presence
  •  Craftsmanship
  •  Difficulty
  •  Use of beads
  •  Originality/creativity
  •  Connection to the theme 
  • All entrants will be informed via email whether they have been selected for the final round of judging or not.
  • If you are selected for the final round you will also receive email notification with details on how to proceed.

Other details:

  • The Museum of Beadwork, Caravan Beads, Inc, and Miyuki co., Ltd. retain the right to photograph all entries and use those photographs as well as any photography entered into the competition in any lawful way including (but not limited to) publicity, marketing, publication, exhibitions, etc. in perpetuity with full credit to the artist.
  • Employees, Owners and Board members of The Museum of Beadwork, Caravan Beads, Inc. and Miyuki Co., Ltd. are not eligible to participate in the competition.

Special thanks to Jan Huling for allowing us use her beaded bugs in our rotating banner
and to Sabrina Frey for allowing us the use of her image in our page header.