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, sacred geometry, and chromotherapy, as well as apprenticeships with several medicine men and women. He has exhibited his work internationally, including at the Toho Bead Galleries in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan, as well as stateside at the Museum of Beadwork in Portland, Maine. Several publications have featured his jewelry, including Bead & Jewellery UK (Issue 112, 2021 front cover), Beadwork Magazine, Facet Jewelry, and Bead & Button, to name a few. Cliff’s beadwork has earned him several awards—he was the grand prize winner of Bead Dreams in 2018, where he was chosen for the People’s Choice Award, and he also received the Facet Jewelry Reader’s Choice Award in July 2019 and Judge’s Award in November 2019. His work has also been featured in ad campaigns and in a blog article for The Museum of Beadwork and Toho Beads in partnership with Bobby Beads & Starman. Toho Beads has also invited him to be a featured artist for their 2019 and 2020 Toho Bead Challenges. He is also a permanent ambassador for the Beadworker’s Guild and International Beading Week who featured him in their January 2022 Journal, 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 6 year-old daughter and lives in California, near San Francisco.