Cliff Swain-Salomon is an off-the-loom seed bead weaver known for creating non-traditional jewelry shapes and pushing the boundaries of color exploration. After injuring and losing use of both of his hands for over three years, he began beading when a friend recommended he try it as part of his hand rehabilitation therapy. Once he started, he was hooked.
In all of his pieces, Cliff integrates over 30 years of study in multiple fields, including graphic design, painting, as well as apprenticeships with several medicine men and women, exploring sacred geometry and chromotherapy.
He has exhibited his work internationally, including at the Toho Bead Galleries in Osaka and Tokyo Japan. Several publications have featured his jewelry including Beadwork Magazine, Facet Jewelry, Style Magazine, and Bead & Button, to name a few. Cliff was the grand prize winner of Bead Dreams in 2018, where he received the People’s Choice Award, and has also received several other awards—the Facet Jewelry Reader’s Choice Award July 2019 and Judge’s Award November 2019. His work has also been featured in ad campaigns for The Museum of Beadwork in Portland, Maine and Toho Beads in partnership with Bobby Beads & Starman. Toho Beads has also invited him to be a featured artist for their 2019, 2020, and 2021 Toho Bead Challenges. He is also an ambassador for the Bead Worker’s Guild and International Bead Week, as well as the international tutor for Melbourne, Australia for 2021.
Cliff teaches beadweaving at various stores, for bead societies, and for retreats internationally. Before becoming a full-time artist/teacher, Cliff had worked as an instructor for a college of natural medicine, as a chef, and had held a private holistic medicine practice. He is married with a 3 year-old daughter and lives in California, near San Francisco.