Category Archives: Clay

Susan Seal – Bead Relish

Name: Susan Seal ~ Bead Relish

Website Link:

Where are you located? Anderson, Indiana

Tell us a bit about yourself: Years ago my mother told me that when I was a little girl I did not like having my hands dirty — I was always wanting her to wash them off. It’s interesting that today I love gardening and working in clay, two things I never thought I would enjoy. I am intrigued with nature and the natural elements of the earth — plants, animals, rocks and stones, metals and clay. I like the feel of the clay when I work with it and the result I get when I combine a clay pendant with stones, semiprecious stones, or metal adornments, and sometimes it’s fun to incorporate the image of an animal or plant on a piece too!  Nature transformed into wearable art.

When did you begin designing jewelry/art? For most of my life pottery has always fascinated me, especially the work of Rookwood, Newcomb, and the Overbeck sisters. If it was unique, unusual or Art Deco in design, I was even more attracted to it. So several years ago I decided to take a few classes to see what I could do.  I found slab work to be very enjoyable, but wheel work frustrated me. A good potter can make it look so easy, but I think I kept fighting the wheel and it was winning.  When my daughters became involved in bead making and jewelry design, and came up with the name “Bead Relish” for a business that created bead embellished jewelry, textiles, home décor, etc., that started me in a new direction. I wanted to add my own individuality to the business and found that I could incorporate my love of working in clay with jewelry.  It was smaller to work with, I enjoyed the challenge of seeing what I could create, and it definitely was easier to pack and travel with when we did an art fair or festival.

What do you make? At the present time I am creating one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets and earrings in several types of clay, embellished with sterling silver; bronze; copper; antique beads, buttons and buckles; pearls; gemstones; lampwork beads; and antique brass.

What materials and methods do you use? I use ceramic clay most of the time, but I like to embellish it with the wonderful metal clays that have been created, such as PMC silver clay, BRONZclay, and COPPRclay. Once fired those clays become pure metal…with PMC silver turning to 99.9% pure silver. I also enjoy weaving sterling silver wire for my necklaces and bracelets. When I work in silver I make most of my S-hooks for closures, charms or pendants from molds I have made from my antique button collection, and I have also experimented with silver wire fusion.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Every moment of the day our eyes rest on designs we sometimes never see because of our hurried lifestyle or because we take them for granted. I am learning to move slower, look longer, and really try to understand the simple and complex designs that are all around me. Since I love gardening, water elements, nature, and form, there is no end to finding inspiration for my work. Given my enjoyment in working with all types of clay, it’s a perfect fit.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have a small studio in the lower level of our home, and it has separate areas where I can work depending on what I am doing at that time: ceramic clay, metal clay, jewelry making, sewing, and photographing my work.  Most of these don’t require a lot of space. In a separate area is a large ceramic kiln that I use to fire earthenware clays.

Where can your products be seen? Right now my products can only be seen on our Etsy site or the occasional local art fair or festival. I am also involved in a new gallery in a neighboring town, and that has been exciting.

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? There are so many incredible artists it is hard to pick just one but I enjoy the work of bead artist Joan Miller, and the textile techniques in metal by Arline Fisch. Talk about statement pieces! Though not jewelry related, I also love the great potters of the past as I mentioned earlier and am fascinated by today’s miniature potters, Jane Graber and Andrea Fabrega. It is amazing to me how they throw on the wheel those tiny, tiny pieces that measure 1” to 2” in size!

Price range:  $8 – $125

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:
Right now my favorite creations are the Art Deco designs.  I like the clean lines and geometric shapes that to me convey elegance and sophistication.

art deco

Anything else you wish to add? I appreciate your kind words regarding my work and thank you for giving me the opportunity to be featured on your website with the wonderful artists listed here.  I am reminded of a quote I have always loved by Helen Keller, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.”


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A look back at our December featured artisans

A summary of our talented December featured artisans.  Be sure to check out their websites.

Keep up to date on the latest events and news about your favorite World Artisan Gems by bookmarking and checking in at World Artisan Gems News and Events

Please be sure to vote for our site here and add us as a friend on Myspace


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Zuda Gay


Name: Zuda Gay Pease

Website Link: 


Where are you located? Camp Point, IL  US

Tell us a bit about yourself: My parents were very creative people who raised their children to be the same – in every aspect of our lives. They were our biggest cheerleaders and instilled in us the thought that we could be whatever we wanted. I wanted to be a wife, a mommy and an artist. I am so blessed that I have been able to be all three. I married my best friend when we were 18.  We have two beautiful daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law and seven amazing and precious grandchildren. We live in a very small town in West Central Illinois with our family nearby. Life is very good!


When did you begin designing jewelry/art? I have been playing with clay from the time I was a child. I loved playing with play dough and painting and coloring then and I still do. I have been working with polymer clay for over 12 years. I have been primarily making beads and pendants in the last four years.

dscf0027What made you choose this type of art? I love playing with clay of any type. I love polymer clay in particular for its instant gratification (a finished cured piece to gaze at in less than an hour) and the amazing things you can do with it and make it become. And of course, the color play. I love color!

What do you make? I primarily make flower pendants and beads.

il_430xn_43256291What materials and methods do you use? I use polymer clay, mainly Kato and Premo! brands.  I rarely use a color straight from the block. I mix my own colors and create blends using the Skinner Blend technique. I make mille fiore canes for my flower petals and my own techniques to create  flowers on bead bases.

Where do your design inspirations come from? All of creation! I love flowers, but have a brown thumb. So I make flowers that don’t wilt. I am inspired by other artist’s work and their use of color as well.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I need music! My studio is a room in our house, so it is available at anytime during the day or night when the urge to create hits.



Where can your products be seen?  
EtsyMy Blog, and Flickr   

Upcoming events: None at this time

Magazine articles or press:  1000 Jewelry Details and Simply Beads Magazine – August 2008

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans?  Oh yes! Sharon Henry from Mana Moon Studio, Olivia Herbert from The Filigree Garden.


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A look back at our August featured artists

Thank you for visiting all of the great sites of our featured August World Artisan Gems. Be sure to join our mailing list so you’ll have instant access to and be the first to know the latest information about the most talented emerging and established artisans and their newest creations.  Artisans featured here produce unique and one-of-a-kind artwork ~ don’t miss out ~ allow World Artisan Gems to be your guide to the most spectacular jewelry and glass art from around the world!

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Michelle Hambourg – My Belle Bijoux

Name:  My Belle Bijoux (Michelle Hambourg)


Whereare you located?  Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tree of life collection

Tree of Life Collection

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Bio: Michelle Hambourg is a jewellery designer, an entrepreneur and above all, an artist.

She has been dabbling in the arts for many years, ever since the day she painted a mural on her bedroom wall with the contents of her diaper! As the story goes, her parents were less than thrilled with this installation piece but look back on it now as the first sign of Michelle’s unyielding creativity and artistic passion.

As she grew out of her diapers, Michelle continued to follow her imaginative intuitions and had an active involvement in the arts throughout public school, high school and university, eventually leading to her BA from the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University. She believesthat it is her artistic background that has given her the impetus to alwaysstrive to construct one-of-a-kind pieces, unlike any others she has seen before.

woodburned pendant

When did you start creating your jewelry/art?  I first started to play around with beads about 5 years ago. My designs have evolved and changed quite a bit since then, and I have only been creating the type of jewelry that I make now for about a year.

What exactly do you create?  I make one-of-a-kind artistic jewelry, specializing in wire work and wood burning.

What materials and methods do you use?  Mainly wood and wire and various beads. My favourite beads lately are usually freshwater pearls and shell beads.

Where do your design inspirations come from? I am mostly inspired by trees and nature; anything surreal or with a dream-like quality; and of course, other artists.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?   I have a studio in my basement at home, although my “working environment” tends to be anywhere in the house. I’m a tad disorganized in this respect. I also like to work outside on a nice, warm day or at my cottage, with a gorgeous view of the lake.

Where can your products be seen?

In my Etsy store, on my Flickr page, on my Blog and in my Facebook Group

woodburned pendant

Hype on King
September 6thin Kitchener, Ontario

The ClothingShow
September 27th– 29th at the Exhibition In Toronto, Ontario

Who are you a fan of? I’m a fan of ALL of the fabulous artists on

Price range: $5 – $50

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my current favourite creations is actually my newest collection, which is still in the experimental phase. I refer to this new collection as “Multi-MediaPendants,” as they can’t really be categorized as one specific form of art. To create these pendants, I first etch a design into a wooden shape with a woodburner. After that, I hand paint them to add some variation in colour, then I affix various beads and other embellishments to adorn them. After that, the piece is coated with resin for a shiny, protective seal. You can see the first few completed Multi-Media Pendants here:

Multimedia Pendant
Multimedia Pendant

We enjoy the interesting and original ways you mix media to make such pretty designs!

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Beadcomber – Tina Holden

Name: Tina Holden

Website Link:

Where are you located? British Columbia, Canada

Tell us a bit about yourself: I grew up in Germany but immigrated to Canada in the late 70’s. I was first drawn to the intricate beadwork of the North American Indians when my mother sent me a beaded wallet. I was fascinated by how a pattern could be created by weaving tiny beads together.

Floral pendant

Floral pendant

When did you start designing jewelry/art? I’ve been designing since my early teens, basically teaching myself as there wasn’t too much literature on beading or beadwork out there. Once I was able to afford the materials or tools involved in my 20’s, I collected so many materials that I opened up a beadshop “Beadcomber” which I ran for a number of years. Pretty soon it took up all my spare time and I gave it up to focus on designing and creating on a full-time basis.

What do you make? Jewelry in general such as Necklaces, Collars, Bracelet cuffs and others types. Then there are many styles of Earrings. On occasion I have made handbags and purses, belt buckles, rings and unusual things such as Wands for Healing, Dream Catchers and other types of hangings.


custom power pendants

What materials and methods do you use? I use a lot of wire, polymer clay and beads which range from glass, to bone and semiprecious stones. I also use prehistoric ivory (mammoth tusk ivory) and semiprecious inlaid antler pendants, which my husband carves and creates. I hammer and hand forge/form wire, knit, crochet and braid with it. Copper and Rebar wire are probably my favorites. There are so many artists using sterling silver that I’ve shied away from using it as it is so common. I will use it, though, when I have a request for it. Polymer clay, a soft PVC which can be hardened at about 275 F, I sculpt and often make my own focal pendants from it which I then embroider and embellish with other beads. I also weave with seed beads, but there are so many techniques and I’ve probably done most of them. To name a few: Herringbone (Ndebele), lattice, right angle weave, peyote, brick, Russian snake and I’ve even invented a couple for which I don’t have names (lol).

Where do your design inspirations come from? My inspirations come from all sorts of places and history, sometimes even the futuristic, depending on what mood I’m in. Sometimes I work on a piece with a specific outcome in mind, but of course the stones and materials sometimes lead the way and I end up with something completely different than what I first imagined.

Polymer clay creatures

Polymer clay creatures

Where can your products be seen? I have much of my work in Galleries, most of which don’t have websites for individual artists.

Upcoming events: Tofino Public Market May to October, Saturdays 10-2

Tofino Artists Studio Tour: June 4 to Sept 24, every second Saturday 10-5

Magazine articles or press:

Arts and Entertainment, Westerly News, September 2000 and November 2000

Westerly News Article, May 2002

Polymer Cafe ( Spring 2003, Summer 2003, Fall 2003, Summer 2004 and April 2008

Polymer Clay Daily (October 2007)

“Polymer Clay Mixed Media Jewelry” by Shirley Rufener Krause Publications Fall 2008

Who are you a fan of? Eni Oken (Wire), Sherri Serafini (Beadwork), Victoria (Tory) Hughes (Polymer Clay)

Price range: $10 to $2000

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: It was Fall and driving down the highway the mountain and side of the road were covered in Maples with the most beautiful colours. That evening I sat down to create polymer clay leaves in greens mixed with gold and copper leaf. To string I crocheted together strands of copper wire along with semiprecious stones and recycled (beach) glass beads.

Falling leaves

Anything else you wish to add here: Thanks for the opportunity and best wishes with your site!

Thank you Tina Holden for the information about you and your art – you are so creative and multi-talented!


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