Kerri Fuhr


Name: Kerri Fuhr

Website Link:

Where are you located? British Columbia, Canada

the-guardianTell us a bit about yourself: I am a full time glass bead designer living in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I live with my very supportive boyfriend, 3 dogs and my rather pugnacious cat!

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I started eight years ago when I treated myself to a glass beadmaking class for my 30th birthday. The class was taught by a friend of mine, Walt Pinder, and I had so much fun that I bought myself a beginners kit and started making beads in my garage at home. After a few years of learning the basics and making gifts for friends, people started to ask to buy my beads! So I ventured into the world of bead shows and started selling my work. Learning jewelry skills along the way, I then started selling my beads and jewelry in local galleries and now for the past four years this has been a full time career for me.

What do you make? I create glass beads as well as jewelry. I mostly specialize in creating beads for other jewelry designers to use in their creations as well as specialty focal beads for collectors world-wide.


What materials and methods do you use? I create my beads using glass rods imported from Italy as well as specialty glass made in the US and Canada. I use a small table-top torch that is powered by an oxygen concentrator and natural gas which is fitted directly from my bench in my studio. Using simple tools and small threads of glass called stringer, I “paint” with glass in the torch flame and create my miniature works of art one at a time.

Where do your design inspirations come from? I find that most of my inspiration comes from the natural world around me. I enjoy creating beads with insects and birds especially. Dragonflies, honeybees, ravens and herons are among my favorite subjects to depict in glass. I strive for realism in my pieces and so I spend a lot of time studying my subjects. I also love history and the designs in late medieval and victorian tapestries inspire me. I currently have a line of beads I call my “Tapestry Collection” that are inspired by the botanical styles of these historical woven pieces.



What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I am fortunate in that I have an amazing studio right in my backyard! I designed it and had it constructed to be the perfect environment for making beads. An eleven foot workbench, a custom – fitted gas connection for my torch, lots of windows and ample storage make it a great place to work! I also decorated the studio in a lavish Moroccan theme, as our climate here is often grey and rainy so I wanted a cheerful and sunny place to work each day. Warm colors and exotic touches keep my spirits up and inspire me everyday, no matter the weather!


Where can your products be seen?  You can visit my website to view galleries of my past work as well as view work that is currently available. I sell my beads on Etsy. There is also a link on the “Available Work” page on my website and bead show updates are listed on my website also. 


Upcoming events: I will be at several great bead shows throughout the year!

The Best Bead Show – Miami, April 24-26
Double Tree Merchandise Mart – West Hall
711 NW 72nd Ave, Miami FL, 33126

Whole Bead Show, Vancouver May 1-3
Empire Landmark Hotel
Crystal Ballroom
1400 Robson Street, Vancouver BC
Friday & Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday Noon to 5pm

dragonfly-tapestry-vessel-2Bead and Button Show June 4-7
Midwest Airlines Center
400 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI

Puget Sound Bead Festival July 10-12
Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
1500 Broadway Ave; Tacoma, Wa

ISGB Gathering Bead Bazaar July 24-26
Miami, FL
(more information TBA)

Magazine articles or press: I have been a featured artist in The Glass Bead Magazine, as well as recently featured in the Flow Magazine for the Glass Craft Emerging Artist Awards.
Who are you a fan of? I admire so many talented glass artists it’s hard to mention them all, but Vittorio Costantini, Andrea Guarino, Leah Fairbanks and Holly Cooper among my favorite glass artists!
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: I have recently been experimenting with enamels (powdered glass) and I enjoy the watercolor-like effects I am able to achieve on my beads with them. A bead entitled “Heron’s Moon” is one of my most recent favorite creations made with the use of enamels and fine stringer.

Heron's Moon

Heron's Moon

Anything else you wish to add?  I am now starting to teach intermediate and advanced glass bead classes at various studios throughout the US and Canada and am working on a tutorial series on the techniques I use to create my beads that will be available soon! Please check my website for updates!



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Paula Huckabay


Name:   Paula Huckabay

Website Link:

Where are you located?  Fresno CA

moss freeform peyote

moss freeform peyote

Tell us a bit about yourself:  A self taught artist, I have been drawing and painting most of my life.  I have lived and traveled over much of this great country (and Canada) and would love to visit other parts of the world.  I am one of those who does not step out of the house without wearing my jewelry whether I’m in blue jeans or dressed to the nines!   I love feminine things and jewelry to me is like the frame on a painting, you are just not complete without it.  I am a proud member of SRAJD (self representing artist jewelry designer).

aqua-crystal-starburstWhen and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  It began when I was a very young girl drawing paper dolls with pages and pages of “outfits” including every possible accessory imaginable.  I came from a very artistic family and we were always doing something creative.   After high school I started painting in oils and still love to paint to this day.  I learned to sew at a young age and when our youngest daughter married I made her wedding dress with over 80 yards of lace sewn on.  I started beading back in the 80’s making the seed bead chandelier earrings that were so popular, then didn’t go any further with it until about 8 years ago.  The beading world was really starting to evolve again and I fell in love with designing and making jewelry.  It was like having a whole new type of canvas to work with and beading truly is an art form.

What do you make? Mostly bracelets, necklaces and earrings but I am venturing into a few new things such as brooches, more extensive freeform peyote and cabochons, LOVE cabochons! 

sandandseaWhat materials and methods do you use?  I love working with the gorgeous handmade lampwork beads that are available, there are some incredibly talented artists out there.  All of the jewelry I make now is made with Sterling Silver, 14k gold filled or Vermeil components.    I have recently started doing freeform peyote jewelry and it is fast becoming a favorite because it allows me to use my artistic abilities in the design and creation of a piece.  I am always excited to learn new techniques and my jewelry designing is always evolving.  I use a wide range of materials from crystal, glass, gemstones, pearls, lucite, whatever the design or the piece calls for.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Inspiration comes from many different places.   At times it comes from the beads, sometimes it is a color combination I want to work with or it could be a thought in the middle of the night.  Other times it might be some place I have seen or visited or even just a frame of mind, standing in the sand at the ocean or the first bloom of a flower in spring.  Yes, anywhere and everywhere.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?  My studio is currently a spare bedroom so I am fortunate enough to have room for my oil painting and my jewelry making both but I must say the painting space has been losing ground.  There is almost always music in my studio and it might be Billy Holiday, Leon Russell or Asleep at the Wheel…..who knows?

Where can your products be seen?  My work can be seen at my website,        on Etsy       and Artfire 

Upcoming events:  none scheduled at present

Magazine articles or press:  Featured in Beading Daily “Jewelry Using Combined Techniques” and also Beading Daily “Fall 2008 Reader Gallery.”  I haven’t submitted to a magazine yet, but plan to.


Who are you a fan of?  There are some truly outstanding designers today including Holly (or “hey you”) of Bijoux d’Odalisque, Emily Gray, Sherri Serafini and many more.  My sister Sheila, my daughter Lisa, my sister-in-law Penny and my niece Stephanie are all fantastic jewelry designers and also wonderful inspiration for me.

Price range:  Currently $20 to $300

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations:  One of my favorite pieces is the Vintage Blush freeform peyote bracelet, the inspiration being the vintage blush colored glass button.   It was one of my first attempts at freeform peyote and it made me realize the endless possibilities for making truly artistic jewelry.

vintage blush freeform peyote

vintage blush freeform peyote

Anything else you wish to add?  I thank you for the invitation to do this interview and I am honored that you chose my designs.  I applaud what you are doing in bringing awareness to this beautiful form of art.


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Jennifer Smith-Righter


Name: Jennifer Smith-Righter  

Website Link:

Where are you located?  San Francisco Bay Area

Tell us a bit about yourself: I was formally educated in art and architecture in San Francisco. I’ve been working exclusively in jewelry for about 6 years, but I have a variety of interests, including history and anthropology. I’m currently in the research mode for writing a book about the cultural and historical aspects of adornment and moving that forward to modern materials and techniques.

Harley Chic

Harley Chic

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I took a jewelry class as an elective in College and loved it.  I went back to it as a first love.

What do you make?  One of the first pieces I made was a Tiara for my daughters wedding that converted to be worn as a necklace.

What materials and methods do you use?  I work primarily in silver metal clay, although I also incorporate traditional fabricating techniques into my work.  I also love to add a bit of sparkle by adding stones.



Where do your design inspirations come from? I love little gears and little moving parts. I love hardware stores and machines. So I’m often making jewelry that takes something mundane and shows it’s hidden beauty. I also love natural forms — twigs, blossoms, seed pods, etc. I’m very inspired by the things I see on my daily walks.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?  I have a studio in my home.  My commute is a breeze!

large_oakesWhere can your products be seen?  My most current work is on my Etsy website. My other (somewhat neglected and in need of a revamp) website is where you can see my broader portfolio.

Upcoming events: Valentines Virtual Trunk Show on Etsy — January 29, 2009 at 7:00 pm EST or 4pm PST

Magazine articles or press: Art Jewelry Magazine Website    and   Art Jewelry Magazine November Issue:  Arts and Crafts Necklace

Who are you a fan of?  Charles Lewton-Brain and Alan Revere are the first two that come to mind, but there are many, many peoples work whom I admire.

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite necklaces is “Blossoms.”  The blossoms are hand sculpted individually in Fine Silver. They are graduated in size and culminate in a unique double blossomed clasp. The largest blossom measures approximately one inch in diameter and the smallest is approximately one half an inch. The blossoms are connected from behind to create a seamless flow of petals that hug just at the base of the neck. This necklace was the Winner of the Japan Association for Leisure & Culture Development Award in 2008 for the North American Design Competition.



Anything else you wish to add?  I appreciate the opportunity to chat with you!  Thanks for including me on your website.


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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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Merle Berelowitz


Name: Merle Berelowitz

Website Link:

Where are you located?  New York City

flower-charmsTell us a bit about yourself: I work as a bead artist from my home studio in Manhattan which is a treasure trove of beautiful beads to inspire me. I am married and have two children and four grandchildren

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I became addicted to my craft 7 years ago when a friend took me along to a beading class in Las Vegas

What do you make? Bracelets and necklaces


What materials and methods do you use? Glass and acrylic flowers and leaves brought together in natural or whimsical designs

flowersWhere do your design inspirations come from? Everywhere I look

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I love to be alone when I work with my iPod playing a good book and the world around me shut off

Where can your products be seen? on the web but also in various editions of beading magazines

Magazine articles or press: Feb/Mar 2009 issue of Beadwork; April/May 2009 Bead and Button magazines

Who are you a fan of?  Sherri Serafini and Suzanne Golden

Price range :  $50 and up

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: I have done a beautiful bracelet depicting “a Teddy Bears Picnic” that is a new version of a similar scene I did as an edible decoration for my daughters First Birthday Cake – she is now 37 and I still love looking at the treasured photograph of the cake.



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Sue Horine

Name: Sue Horine
Website Link:
Where are you located? I live in Mountain Ranch, California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. on ten acres which I share with my significant other Mike, our two dogs Ted and Lizzie, 11 chickens and our 80 year old desert tortoise Mr. Tortie.
the-dunesTell us a bit about yourself:  I was born in Pasadena, California where I lived in the same house for 18 years until my family moved to the San Francisco bay area.  For as long as I remember I have had very busy hands.  As a kid I used to draw so much my mother would go to the local newspaper and get the ends of the rolls of newsprint so I could have drawing paper.  There was always some sort of craft project I was involved in.  I would draw and paint for hours, disappear in my dad’s workshop to make candles, wire mobiles, resin flowers and too many things to even remember.  I could totally entertain myself with projects and my parents were very patient! I have traveled all over the west and have lived in several interesting environments.  I made a life change when I turned 30 and abandoned the world of food service, moved to the mountains and became a certified cross country ski instructor in the winter and a bicycle mechanic in the summer.  I opened my own card, gift and bookstore in the ski resort village of Bear Valley, California which I operated for 10 years until I closed it and moved to Mountain Ranch. When I am not beading I work full time at our retail nursery and volunteer a day a week as a dog evaluator at our county animal shelter.  I guess it would be more accurate to say when I am not working or volunteering I find the time to bead!
When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? In 2006 I found some cabochons my grandparents had cut and polished in the 1960s.  I loved the depth and beauty of the cabs but didn’t quite know what to do with them.  I saw some seed bead work while visiting a friend and my interest in beading was piqued.  I remembered the beading techniques a dear friend had taught me many years ago and so my journey to create beaded cabochons began.  I started out just beading around the cabs and then began to incorporate some bead embroidery.  Many of those first beaded cabs have been remade into more elaborate embroidered pieces.  That’s the great thing about beading – you can rip it all apart and start all over again!
What do you make? Almost all of my jewelry involves cabochons.  Once in a while I will create a piece using only seed beads.  I mostly make necklaces, art neck pieces and some cuff bracelets but I would have to say necklaces are my favorite things to create. 
What materials and methods do you use? Cabochons are my absolute favorite material.  They are the center, the inspiration, the creative force in my work.  I try to incorporate a variety of textures and colors and  I love using size 15 seed beads the most.  They are so tiny and I love the detail they bring to the piece.  Sometimes I have to force myself to use a palate of colors and sizes of beads that I would not naturally choose.  I often rip things apart and start over when the piece is not going where I want it to go.  I mostly do bead embroidery but sometimes incorporate some bead weaving, though I must admit I am not a big fan of bead weaving.  It is very hard for me to follow patterns and instructions, I guess because I always want to follow my heart!  That doesn’t necessarily follow the rules.


Where do your design inspirations come from? It’s all in the stones.   I  see a landscape, a picture, a story needing to be told.   Sometimes I am reminded of a place I have been or a feeling I have had.  Most of the time I just start beading and follow where the beads take me.  I can only remember a couple of times when I have actually designed a piece on paper.  I just don’t work that way.  When I do sketch out a design it is very rare the piece turns out looking like the sketch.
heart-like-a-featherWhat is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have a small spot cleared out on a make-shift desk comprised of an old door set on two file cabinets in the home office for our business.  I clear out a space among the stacks of paper work and bills.  All my beads are stored in two large tackle boxes, which are stacked by the door in the bedroom. Since our house is only 800 square feet my beading can’t take up too much room.  When I create a piece I select all the beads I will need and put everything else away. All the items  I use can be neatly set aside so my work space can become a desk once again.  I would love to have a studio or even my very own work table! I usually work with total silence, sometimes I’ll listen to music.
Where can your products be seen? My work can be seen on my web site and my etsy site
Magazine articles or press:  I had a piece featured in the “Your Work” section of the April 2008 issue of Bead and Button magazine and have another one scheduled for publication in the June 2009 issue.  One of my necklaces was pictured in the 2007 Fire Mountain Gems Jewelry Makers catalog.
Who are you a fan of? There are many great bead artists out there but I would have to say my favorites are Heidi Kummli, Sherry Serafini and Cassandra Graham.
Price range:  Currently $40 to $700
Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: I would say my favorite would be Native Dancer.  I was so inspired by the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque, New Mexico many years ago.  The visual stimulation of the colors and the dancing, swirling costumes and feathers was amazing.  I tried to incorporate all the sensory input I felt there in one piece.  It was the first big piece I created.  When this piece sold I really had mixed emotions.
Native Dancer

Native Dancer

Anything else you wish to add?  For me, beadwork is the ultimate escape.   It is quiet, peaceful, creative and therapeutic.  The possibilities are endless as long as there are beautiful cabochons in the world.  Thank you for the opportunity to share my work with World Artisan Gems.


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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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Ira Zelickman



Name: Ira Zelickman

Website Link:

Where are you located? Maale Adumim, Israel

2971711139_55b2ab3a38Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born in Moscow to a sculptor father and a scientist mother. I never fancied drawing and painting, but liked sculpting and gravitated to miniatures even in my early childhood. I was born left-handed and my grandmother taught me all kinds of feminine handcrafts like knitting, crocheting and embroidery in an effort to put right this “unnaturalness.” I didn’t become right-handed but now can effectively use both hands which is very helpful in my current line of art. I studied mathematics and computer science in high school and Moscow University but never finished the university. I married very young and devoted 12 years to bring up my 5 children. During the next 8 years I helped my husband in his business and only in the end of 2004 decided to go on and make my hobby a full time occupation. We moved to Israel in 1988 and now I live and work in the beautiful town of Maale Adumim near Jerusalem.

n842When did you begin designing jewelry/art? My first seed beads came from a broken Czech necklace. The beads were black and white and I made an ornamental bracelet with wire. I was 7 at that time. It is hard to imagine this now but there were no beading books in 1970 in Moscow, so I invented different methods of beadwork myself. I use these methods to this day. It turns out many of these stitches well-known and have a name. In much later years, I discovered internet shops with all the different materials and incorporated natural stones and pearls in my beadwork.

What made you choose this type of art? The art of beadwork brings together fine mathematical and engineering calculations with endless color possibilities. I think it just speaks to both my parts – technical and artistic.

n730What do you make? I make jewelry. All kinds, but the most satisfaction I get is from creating necklaces.

What materials and methods do you use? In addition to hundreds of types and colors of seed beads, I use natural stones, freshwater pearls, glass and crystal beads, wood, coral, shell… I don’t like synthetics and all kinds of simulations like artificial pearls and glass “stones”. As for the methods – I use many different bead weaving techniques, some of them well known and some of my own invention.

Where do your design inspirations come from? From literally everywhere… Plants, wisps of smoke, water marks on the sand, art, films… I love looking through antique jewelry sites and pictures from fashion shows.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I have a tiny work room in my house. It is packed with materials and finished jewelry, and is the best place in the world.



Where can your products be seen?

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? I want to introduce two artists. One of them is an Israeli artist who works with leather. Her name is Julia Goland [also one of our World Artisan Gems].   The other one is my recent find on Etsy. I know nothing about this person but that her work with stones and seed beads is astonishing.

Price range: $15-$250

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: This is one of those necklaces with no known beadwork techniques that would give the effect I wanted so I had to invent a new stitch. I doubt I will be able to reproduce it as I can’t remember exactly how it was made.


Anything else you wish to add?  When I make a necklace, I think about the person that will wear it. I keep in mind a certain type of woman and envision how beautiful she will look in it. That is my ultimate goal – to make the world around us a bit more beautiful.


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Suzanne Golden


Name:  Suzanne Golden 


Where are you located?   New York City

evolution_4Tell us a bit about yourself:  I am retired after having worked at the corporate offices of Estee Lauder for 22 years.  I am single and live in a small apartment overrun with beads, clothing and shoes.

When did you begin designing jewelry/art?  About 12 years ago I discovered beading after taking a workshop with David Chatt in NYC.

What made you choose this type of art? Beading was the perfect medium for me to express my artistic ability with the use of primary colors and bold, playful styles.

What do you make?  Most of the time it’s either bracelets or necklaces. Lately it’s been gifts for close friends and family members.

What materials and methods do you use? I am currently using peyote, netting and right angle weave stitches. My choice of materials varies from seed beads to crystals to acrylic and plastic beads.

going_quackers_2Where do your design inspirations come from? My inspiration might come from a picture, clothing or something colorful and then I try to interpret that into a beaded piece of
wearable art. Color is my biggest influence.  I see everything in the world, from people to nature, in terms of color and it inspires me to create.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I work at home in my apartment at a large “J” shaped desk. My computer is right next to me and is always on, as well as my television which is right in front of me.

Where can your products be seen? On my website:

Upcoming events: A necklace I made using acrylic beads will be featured in the upcoming Dairy Barn/Beads International Exhibit

Magazine articles or press:  I am in the December 2008 issue of Bead and Button’s Collector’s Edition which features a netted bracelet I made.  My other articles are listed on my website.

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? Yes, I am in awe of Christine Marie Noguere’s stunning bracelets and I adore the graphic work done by Jean Power.  Also Merle Berelowitz has a very lovely and sweet way with flowers in her work. 


Price range: My pieces start at $300 and go as high as $5,000.

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: Whatever I’m working on at the moment is my immediate favorite.    This necklace has been selected to appear in the upcoming Dairy Barn/Beads International Show:



Anything else you wish to add here:  I am passionate about creating wearable art, and beading allows me to take my creative ideas and combine them with my love of fashion. I enjoy all aspects of beading; from the idea, the work and seeing the final result. Getting published and accepted in prestigious art shows has also given me great pleasure.


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Christina Bjenning – Esmeralda Designs


Name: Esmeralda Designs by Christina Bjenning

Website Link:

Where are you located? Sea Cliff, a Victorian  artisan-rich village only one square mile big without a single traffic light on the North Shore of Long Island in New York.

da bull

da bull

Tell us a bit about yourself:  “My designs like the diamonds I use are, beautiful, rough, and conflict free. In the spirit of conservation, each piece is created with eco-friendly avant garde methods. The metals are up-cycled. The fine silver recycled from photographic film. The bronze from scrap copper.”

I am a Coffee, Dusty Boot and Music loving Distractable Diminutive Metalsmith and Sculptor living with my family in an artisan village a mere square mile without a single traffic light.

My Soulful, Raw and Ethereal Eco-designs embellish rock musicians, opera singers, Oscar Wilde inspired art historians, alternate life-stylers, cowboys, tom girls, wild moms and other really wild spirits.,I design to music. I design for The Lord.

When did you begin designing jewelry/art? Sculptor and painter  sidelined by science for …ack…12 years.. I began my jewelry designs and smithwork five years ago

What made you choose this type of art? Fascination with the beauty of nature and her materials combined with a solid background in sculpture made me fascinated by metalsmith work and gemstones. Strong commitment to conservation and intrigued by new technology.

material girl

material girl

What do you make? What materials and methods do you use? My designs are made with eco-friendly avant-garde methods and up-cycled metals in order to conserve our beautiful planet. For instance, all my fine silver is recycled from photographic film and the bronze comes mainly from scrap copper.

Needless to say, my rough diamonds are conflict free and I use diamonds mined in four of the 74 countries that signed the Kimberley Process; The Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Canada and Russia. The Kimberley Process and System of Warranties is a UN mandated and monitored system. For more information visit

Bronze, Bronze Baby! My new line of sculpted bronze pieces, made from BRONZclay™, brand new eco-conscious technology made from recycled copper (bronze is a combination of mostly copper and a little bit of tin) and tin and binder that was shaped and hand-carved and then fired in active carbon, just like out of the ashes in Pompeji. The patina is natural and will reveal shining bronze if you polish it…very cool! My Heart collection features fine silver jewelry that speaks to your heart and my Soul Collection features soulful sculpted bronze pieces. And combinations of silver and Bronze My Spirit collection features one-of a kind high-end spiritual pieces in 14K or 22K gold with exquisite precious stones. Also, here you find my doeskin pieces. Only seven pieces are designed every third year. Previous years collections are sold out, the designs are found in National and International collections of lovely costumers in the US and abroad. Three of the latest designs are still available for purchase.

slenderest swirl ring

slenderest swirl ring

Where do your design inspirations come from? I design to Music, letting the beauty of Nature inspire me as I live by water and walk through the little streets of our village every day. I design for our Lord and cherish my Family my Friends, my rescued pets and the subtleness of poetry and scents.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I live in an old Roebuck-Sears house lovingly restored by its previous owner and we fell in love with the house in particular because of its quirky-ness and the freestanding garage up the hill that we insulated and equipped with workbenches and from its widows I can see the Connecticut Sound on the North Shore of Long Island. I dance and the metals sing in that amazing place:D

Where can your products be seen? My website,    my blog,    my Etsy store,     Indiepublic

Magazine articles or press: Del Mar Times, April 2007

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? Yes!  The amazing eco-metalsmith Jesse Danger and Artisan, Ironsmith János Gábor Varga of Blind Spot Jewellery and I am impressed by the work of many others.

Price range:  $35 to $3, 500


Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: Gaia is one of my favorite creations, she is a Peruvian Opal suspended from a yummy14K tasseled gold chain and her colors are like those of the Caribbean…I envision that one day…somehow I find myself in a teeny Cessna in the Caribbean archipelago and I see a constellation of atolls just like in this stone and I point and say-right there-realizing that this is now where I will spend the winters and the plane lands on one of those Islands-yummy green in the middle of amazing blue.



Anything else you wish to add? Thank you so much for choosing my designs for your interview series,  I am delighted and so honored to be featured amongst such talent.


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Irina Pertseva


Name: Irina Pertseva  

Website Link:

Where are you located?  Toronto, Canada


Tell us a bit about yourself:  I’ve grown up in St. Petersburg, Russia. All my childhood I was painting in an art studio but I never dared to go to Art College. I finished University, where I studied Geography and Cartography. I was fascinated by beauty of stones whose names we had to memorize and the tiny flowers under the microscope. Back then we learned how to draw maps and fonts by hand. When I met my husband, a professional artist, he became my art and design teacher. We lived for a few years in Germany, and several years in Czech Republic. Prague, where I lived for a while, reminds me of a jewelry collection itself. Czech people are amazing craftsmen. Now we have been living in Canada for several years. I was painting, drawing and doing other creative things all those years with exception of few dedicated totally to my children. I had personal exhibition in Germany and performed multiple commissions: paintings in my personal style, murals and copies; still life, landscape and portrait (normal size and miniature). In last years I studied decorative arts in studio in St. Petersburg and ceramics in Toronto. I’m also familiar with computer graphics (Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, Painter) but I think that stones and metals are more endurable than sequences of 0’s and 1’s on a hard drive, and the glow of glass is more appealing to me than a computer screen.

steel_simphony_by_blackcurrantjewelryWhen and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I was experimenting a lot with wire in my childhood and even learned from science magazine how to make sophisticated chains from wire. The very first piece of jewelry I made in 2000 as a birthday present. However I started to make jewelry for sale only in 2007, when I bought a nice collection of beads and other materials on a garage sale. I borrowed books from library, learned some basics and went through many books on jewelry trying to find useful ideas. Everything was too simple and dull for me.  I tried different styles but wasn’t satisfied.  I didn’t see much contemporary jewelry then but a critical moment occurred when I saw some amazing jewelry work online done with wire wrapping. I was inspired to try wire wrapping myself. But I didn’t want to copy somebody else’s design and methods except the very basics. So I spent few weeks, trying to figure out my own ways of expression. It looks like I’ve succeeded.

What do you make? My desire to create a miniature sculpture dictates my choice: mostly necklaces and pendants – they give me more freedom of expression, but I would like to try bracelets and earrings sometime too.

What materials and methods do you use? I work with kinds of beads, gemstones and glass stones, fresh water pearls, Swarovsky crystals, non-tarnished silver, gunmetal, copper, bronze and brass wire and acrylic coated wire made of stainless steel or copper. I learned basic wire wrapping techniques from the internet and I also invented my own, probably one of a kind techniques. My grandmother taught me how to sew, knit, and needlepoint and in my wirework I use those techniques too.  Usually I make plenty of fast sketches, and then choose very best of them and work on them more painstakingly. Each morning I go through my drawings to find out which one appeals to me most today. Then I choose color combination and materials. But real pieces look very different from the sketch and many nice ideas don’t work in a particular material. I’m always ready to return to last successful point in my work and redo all over again.  However the pure esthetical idea is so strong sometimes that it dictates shape, materials and everything. In that case it’s less likely that I will redo anything in my work because I move forward more intuitively and make decisions on the way. I love wire wrapping because it gives freedom to try any new idea immediately and for the possibility for making significant changes even in a completed piece if I don’t like something in my design. I have changed my first wire wrapping piece four times and I was proud when it was accepted together with other finest pieces to a jewelry store. Fortunately I got more experienced with my methods and I don’t have to change my pieces that much any more.  When design is finished I put my piece on display and look on it for hours, sometimes for days and check my work not only from esthetical but also from engineering point of view. Even my most sophisticated pieces should sit comfortably and nicely, not only on still mannequin but on live and moving person, they should survive reasonable amount of pressure and stretch, occasional fall, sometimes careless storage, transportation and few minutes in a small child’s hands.

dream_by_blackcurrantjewelryWhere do your design inspirations come from?  My biggest inspiration comes from beauty of nature itself. But we need a material language to express our feelings. Some childhood experiences made a lasting impression on me. My mother has very nice Czech jewelry (brass and enamel with miniature paintings on it). My uncle was an archeologist and I, as a child, saw his catalogue of golden objects found in Scythian burial mounds. Also in my childhood I visited amazing exhibition of treasures from Tutankhamun tomb. And all those impressions influenced my taste. I love medieval paintings, The Fauves, Vermeer, Grunewald, Max Ernst, Alfonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, and Micheal Pacher. Pollock has also influenced me a lot, as well our best friends – painters inspired by him too. Art Nouveau drawings give me a lot of inspiration even more than art nouveau jewelry itself. I love work of Kandinsky and very little known in western world but amazing russian painter Filonov. My husband is my permanent source of inspiration – he sets sort of standard, particular level for me. He taught me to look critically on my work. But the last push of inspiration to start a wire wrapping I get from jewelry I saw from artists on the Deviant Art website.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I work in silence of my home when the kids are in school. We always combined studio and living space at home and priority is usually given to the studio. Fortunately wire wrapping is not as messy as ceramics for example.

Price range: $20-200

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:  “Elegance” That piece was created without any sketch, on pure inspiration. It combines my admiration for a beauty of floral forms, stone textures and the shine of silver.



Anything else you wish to add? I’m grateful for existence of websites such as World Artisan Gems and Deviant Art. I’m really cut off from the outer world now and they give me so much needed information, inspiration, encouragement and contact with other artists. And thank you very much for choosing me for an interview.


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A look back at our November featured artisans

We are on to another month of great artisans. Hope you enjoyed viewing the work seen here and visit the websites of our featured artisans to see their latest creations.

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

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3Fine Design®


Name: Tracy Behrends (3Fine Design®)

Website Link:

Where are you located? Minneapolis, MN USA

Tell us a bit about yourself: I graduated from the University of MN with a BA in International Relations and worked in the airline business for a few years after graduation. Following my time with the airlines, I studied graphic design and typography for a year at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  I’ve been on a creative journey ever since.  In my spare time, I love to garden, listen to music, read, study the Bible, research interesting topics on the internet, watch chick flicks, socialize with my friends and spend quality time with my wonderful husband and 3 beloved pets (2 cats & 1dog). Basically, I’m an optimistic blue jean, T -shirt and boots kind of gal who’s fond of bright sparkling accessories. I love life, laughter and adventure. I’m crazy about animals. They make me smile and warm my heart. One of my greatest desires in life is to bring joy and beauty into the world through the gifts God has given me.

img9109_leather_pendant_1_When did you begin designing jewelry/art? I began designing jewelry in January of 2005 and started my own business in March 2005. The past 3 years have been a tremendous learning experience for me registering my trademark and establishing 3Fine Design®. All of the challenges I’ve faced along the way have caused me to stretch and grow as an artist, a business owner and as an individual. This continual growth and ongoing maturation process is what I find to be tremendously fulfilling on many different levels.

What made you choose this type of art? Designing jewelry allows me the opportunity to express my creative abilities and affinity for graphic design via an exquisite 3D art form. I would describe myself as a graphic designer at heart that applies basic graphic design principles to the jewelry pieces I create. I thoroughly enjoy the visual problem solving aspects and challenges of the design business. Jewelry art allows me a tremendous amount of flexibility and creative freedom. The sky is the limit when it comes to materials, techniques, composition and design possibilities. In addition, handcrafted jewelry is a very intimate form of art. Choosing decorative adornments to wear on one’s body is a very personal decision that makes a public statement about who we are as individuals. When people decide to purchase a jewelry piece, they’re either purchasing it because it suits their own personal style or purchasing it as a gift for someone special. Due to their intimate nature, these pieces are frequently handed down as beloved tokens or heirlooms that have great sentimental value.

What do you make? Most of my most recent work would fall under the categories of contemporary beadwork, wire sculpture and leathercraft. I design a whole range of items to include earrings, bracelets, cuffs, pendants, brooches, necklaces, chokers and the like. I’m very fond of designing pendants in particular and look forward to contemplating some new designs over the winter.

48c9504b18d57_24126bWhat materials and methods do you use? I use a variety of different materials in my work. Recently, I have been focusing more on leather, fused glass, dichroic glass, gemstones, paua, freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, seed beads and copper. I have a special affinity for cabochons of all kinds and enjoy discovering unique creative applications for them. Several of my jewelry pieces are hand stitched using embellished right angle weave or bead embroidery techniques. I particularly enjoy the intricacy and challenges associated with tiny seed beads, needles and various beading threads. It’s a very time consuming process with an abundance of love, patience and gratification woven into every stitch. I find that the most time consuming projects are the ones that I derive the greatest amount of artistic and personal satisfaction. In addition, a couple of my other passions include creating wire sculpture pendants and hand carving leather. It’s my fascination with detail and the beauty of the finished product that make the stitching, wrapping and tooling process particularly captivating. From start to finish, I consider each and every new design an exciting adventure.

Where do your design inspirations come from? They come from my heart. I derive a lot of inspiration from the beauty found in my garden, nature, the universe, the Bible, my travels around the world, the Art Deco movement and graphic design.

48b19a11beccf_24126nWhat is your best working environment/where is your studio? Home is where the heart is. I tend to work best at home in my studio where it’s warm, cozy and comfortable. I enjoy working in a peaceful environment. The serenity in my studio allows me the opportunity to remain focused with limited interruptions and distractions. I’ll readily admit that I’m not an advocate of chaos and confusion in my working environment. I’m currently responsible for all the administrative, photography, video production, web, graphic and jewelry design for 3Fine Design®. All of these functions take place within the confines of my home studio.

Where can your products be seen? Retail: Evolve 108 (Eco-Chic Boutique), 108 Webster Street, Monterrey, CA 9394 


Magazine articles or press:  EBSQ Featured Artist Interview (2007), Instablogs News Network Interview (2007)

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans? I would just like to say that there’s an abundance of extremely talented jewelry artisans around the world. The level of ingenuity, skill and craftsmanship never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

Price range: Currently, $10 – $1,500.

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: This pendant is made of veg-tanned cowhide that was hand designed, tooled, carved, hammered, dyed and sealed for protection. The focal is a dichroic glass cabochon with bright shades of pink, orange, mint and silver. The pendant is finished on all sides (including the flesh side of the leather) to a smooth glossy sheen. I use water based eco-friendly dyes on all my leatherwork. This particular piece was dyed a deep rich mahogany.

leather pendant

leather pendant

Anything else you wish to add here: In closing, I would like to say thank you to World Artisan Gems for the opportunity to do this interview. It was an honor and privilege to be asked to participate.


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Cynthia Tilker


Name: Cynthia Tilker 

Website Link:

Where are you located?  Santa Rosa, California

img31391_potted_bouquet_1Tell us a bit about yourself: I have been working with glass for about 10 years now on and off.  The off times were short though.  It’s very hard to stay away from glass for very long.  I have not had the priviledge of taking any formal classes.  I’ve learned from books, and many, many hours behind the torch.  No matter how many hours I spend making glass art, there is always something more to learn.  I seem to never run out of ideas or the drive to make my ideas transform into a bead.  After all of these years working with glass,  I am now teaching lampwork which has really opened up a whole new aspect of this artform for me, and I am really enjoying it.

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art?  I have always been very creative.  My mother tought me how to sew, knit, crochet, needlepoint and anything else that was possible to create with fiber.  I started my hand at making beads from polymer clay and wanted to incorporate glass into my finished peices.  My husband brought me home a torch and some glass and set me up in the garage and it just seemed to take over EVERYTHING.  The polymer came to a screeching hault and although I still like to work with fiber, it has slowed way down because of the time I spend in my glass studio. 

peepers-1What do you make? I make large focal beads, meaning each of my beads is a small piece of artwork that has some kind of theme.  I like each bead to tell a story and to be able to stand alone.  I have my character series that I really enjoy making.  They are all face beads and all have different personalities.   I just keep adding to my family of beads and I love to think of new ideas.  I don’t make sets of beads because I love working on a large scale, so the focal bead is my favorite.  The larger the bead or canvas, the more detail I can fit on or in the bead.

What materials and methods do you use? I use mostly Moretti, Murano and German Lausha glasses.  The methods I use are anything and everything I can come up with to achieve my final result.  I often say that if a master lampworker watched me, he/she might just fall off the chair.  I don’t know if my methods are right or wrong in other lampworkers’ eyes, but it’s what I do to achive the look and individuality of my beads.

Where do your design inspirations come from? I have always loved anything whimsical.  I love sparkle, bling and color, which really plays a huge part in my bead styles.  I just keep adding elements to my beads until there is no more room left.  I make a lot of forest character beads which really allows me to just go on forever in how I want to create my own little fantasy world. 


woodland-3What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is in my garage and is set up exactly the way I want it to be, which makes it very comfortable for me to sit and create. 

Where can your products be seen? I sell on Ebay under the screen name “glassactcc”   and

img31426_orange_potted_plant_upUpcoming events: Classes at Arrow Springs and a brand new Tutorial.

Who are you a fan of?  My earliest inspiration was Kimberly Osibin.  Her work really spoke to me, and I strived to even come close what she could do with glass.  There are so many wonderful glass artists around, that it’s hard to really single one out, but I know that Kimberly really gave me the drive to pursue this form of artwork and for pushing myself to become better and better.

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations:  One of my favorite beads would have to be my “Wildwood” bead.  This bead was made to look as if there was a complete forest in the bead under a clear encasement of glass complete with sparkle, trees, flowers, plants and anything else I could fit into it.



Anything else you wish to add?  Thank you so much for inviting me to join the wonderful array of artisans that are here on your website.  I am in good company.


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Barbara Lee – Gemella Contemporary Jewelry


Name:    Barbara Lee

Company name:  Gemella Contemporary Jewelry

Website Link:

Where are you located? Bergen County, NJ – right outside Manhattan

il_430xn_16676307Tell us a bit about yourself: I am an autodidact, a Gemini, a musician, and an artist. In that order.

When did you begin designing jewelry/art?  Well, technically I began in 1973 when I was a hippie. I loved beads but couldn’t afford to buy any. So I made my own out of clay. I etched designs into the wet clay with a safety pin. After the clay was dry, I painted the beads with watercolor paints and a makeup brush, “shellacked” them with clear nailpolish, then strung them on embroidery floss. I sold one of them to a woman who worked at my parents’ drugstore.  She came in the next day wailing because she wore the necklace in the shower, and the clay melted into a gray goo around her neck. That’s when I learned that you have to FIRE the clay first.  But really, I began to be serious about making jewelry after I left my job as an art director in 2000. That summer, I visited my aunt who wore what was then the trendy style of stretch beaded bracelets; a whole stack of them going up her arm. They were just glass beads, but the effect looked like an armful of garnets. I saw it and knew I could make the same thing.

What made you choose this type of art? I love shiny things, especially colored gemstones. I wanted to find a way to incorporate my graphic sensibility with that medium.

il_430xn_320324731What do you make? Well, my tag line reads “heirloom quality jewelry from 18k gold and gemstones.”  I make necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

What materials and methods do you use?  I use my heart, my brain, my hands, my torch, and my pliers to fashion gold wire with gems. There are certain gems I predominately work with: tourmaline, chrysoberyl, sapphire, and kyanite. And pearls. I’m experimenting now with making wire flourishes which reflect my background in typography and design. I spend most of my design time making sure that my jewelry has drama, contrast, and a unique color sensibility.

Where do your design inspirations come from? I think from the stones themselves. Infrequently will I sketch out a design. More often, I arrange stones on my desk and let color palettes and shapes drive the final piece. It’s hard to describe, but I enter a kind of “zone” where I know that what I’m making will work. If I’m not in the zone, then I’m not happy with the finished piece. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve destroyed a project and remade it. It’s a good thing that metal refiners will take back scrap!


What is your best working environment/where is your studio? It’s in a small loft off my bedroom, which is under a steeply pitched roof. I tucked my bench against the one flat wall and ran some shelves up the exposed chimney on the other side. It’s cluttered, but perfect. I keep my guitars in the adjacent bedroom, so I can always take a break and get to them really quickly.

Where can your products be seen?   At the moment, at:                                


Magazine articles or press:  Magazine: One of my bracelets was featured in the Valentine’s Day issue of Polished, a style and fashion magazine out of Las Vegas.  Blog:

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans?  Of course! I love Mallary Marks’ work. Also Danielle Miller – I think she is a true original. And I’m inspired all the time by Magdalena Borejko (of Magdalena’s Atelier) and Jennifer Hallsey (of JleeOhio Designs).

Price range: $200 – $2,100


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Tuyen Huynh – Création Twinne


Name: Tuyen Huynh

Website Link:

tendre fleur

tendre fleur

Where are you located? Granby, Québec, Canada

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a vietnamese cultured fashion designer graduated at Cégep Marie-Victorin in 2004 in Monreal. I am passionate of arts. I love nature and travelling the world to discover the amazing differents cultures of our planet. An excess of folly, a wave of creativity and 3 cups of patience is enought to drive me into crazy originals jewelry piece of art.

twist and shout

twist and shout

When did you begin designing jewelry/art? My first experience with beads was when I was studying fashion design. I put beads to embellish the clothes that I was designing. Then I found interesting to create some jewelry for myself. I got very great comments about my jewelry designs and then I’ve decided to make a business out of it in 2006.

What do you make? I make very special designs of jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and hair jewelry. The uniques jewelry that i make are very particulars and originals by their frivolous shape. Their nonsymmetric shape gives them their uncommon form.

What materials and methods do you use?  I am working with every kind of material. Glass beads, gemstones, pearls, sea shells, Swarovsky crystal and other various materials are thread on malleable metallic wire or acrylic coated wire made of stainless steel, sterling silver, copper, bronze or tin foil. I mixt them all together and by twisting and binding the wires, I create an incredible piece of art, a wearable sculture. My work is very aerial.

slinky bracelet

slinky bracelet

Where do your design inspirations come from?  Art, the earth, the nature and all the universe are an incredible source of inspiration.

herbes en folie

herbes en folie

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is in my home. My boyfriend provided me a room where I can work in a nice and bright environment. I work with the rhythm of the music.

Where can your products be seen? You can see my  creations on the internet on my website:, on Facebook, on Etsy: and on the TV at the “2 filles le matin” show. The jewelry is wore by the animator Amélie Grenier.

Upcoming events: I will be participating to the  Salon de la Marié in February 14th  of Montreal ( wedding show).

Magazine articles or press: My work as been featured in the “La semaine” magazine in Quebec, Canada.

Price range: $15-$300

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One of my favorite creation is this funky style necklace (seen below). This one-of-a kind creation is made of stainless steel, glass beads, sea shells, acrylic beads and fresh water pearls. I’ve twisted the metal to give it this shape.



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Sig Wynne-Evans – Beaded Bear


Name: Sig Wynne-Evans

Website Link:

Where are you located? Modesto California

Art Nouveau tiles

Art Nouveau tiles

Tell us a bit about yourself:  I am a safety inspector by day. But I started out as a classically trained violinist, until an accident at a part time summer job nearly amputated my finger tip, ending my violin playing. So I switched from music to working with horses for a while (as a groom/assistant trainer at a race track in Saratoga Springs NY, then finally earning my degree in Environmental Toxicology that landed my in my present job as a safety inspector for the State of CA. For me, beadwork filled my creative need which helps balance the scientific/technical end of my day job.

The transitions above were not easy. I fell onto hard times, and welfare. Before welfare kicked in to make ends meet, my then very young daughter and I survived from gathering “groceries” from the local supermarket dumpster. So when the welfare was approved, we actually had a little money left over, with which I bought beads, and the beadwork also helped to provide a little extra money. It was during this time that I also finished my degree work.

Winter Branch

Winter Branch

When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I used to admire beadwork that was in a gallery near where I lived (in the 1980’s), I couldn’t find a class or someone to teach me, so I taught myself out of a book (Deon Delange’s Technique of Beaded Earrings). Quickly, I tired of the geometric designs and began designing my own earring designs. My first inspiration came from a restaurant ad that featured a couple having dinner. Behind them, was a wonderful stained glass peacock. Determined, I charted a likeness of the peacock into an earring design. That started the avalanche of designs (over 2000) that I have today.

What do you make? Assorted styles of seed bead work. Earrings, necklaces, three dimensional figures. In addition, I write a column of sorts called The Cracked Bead which is on my website that is a commentary on the bead business. So many people have loved my commentaries, asking for more! They tell me, it is about time someone says what I say in my tongue in cheek rantings! 🙂

Peacock and Doves Garden

Peacock and Doves Garden

What materials and methods do you use? Primarily Delica beads, and I am exploring Aiko beads as well. I add Czech beads, Austrian C\crystals and other beads to enhance my work. I am always looking for unique materials!

Where do your design inspirations come from? Much comes from Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Arts and Crafts and the Pre-Raphelite art movements inspire me, as well as traveling to other countries.

The Garden Wall

The Garden Wall

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My studio is the room meant to be a dining room. It never served that purpose. The room houses my beads, computer and part of my art/bead library. I have a work table where I sit with my parrot beside me while I bead.

Where can your products be seen?,

Upcoming events:Dec 6-7 The Women’s Building Craft show in Ft Mason San Francisco.

Magazine articles or press: I have written articles for Bead and Button, and Beadwork Magazines, I was also contributing Editor for Jewlery Crafts Magazine for 10 years. I also have authored over 20 bead pattern books.

Who are you a fan of? The Dali Lama, Yanni, Madonna, Vivaldi, Johan Strauss, Enigma, Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmer, John Waterhouse, Alphonso Mucha (not necessarily in that order!).

Price range: $15-$4000

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: The Mermaid. It is by John Waterhouse, one of my favorite artists. It represents over 40 hours to chart the design, and some 3 months of beading time.


The Mermaid


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Stephanie Sersich


Name: Stephanie Sersich

Website Link:

Where are you located? 15 Perkins St. Topsham, Maine 04086

Tell us a bit about yourself: I live on the coast of Maine, and my work is very much inspired by the ocean and the treasures beneath. When I’m not making jewelry, I love to run my dog on the beach or in the neighboring woods. I love to knit and garden, too! Textiles and my garden also bring me loads of inspiration.

assorted_2005_2_300wWhen and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I have been making jewelry since I was a little girl – I always say, since I was stringing pasta on yarn! I began working with glass and making beads when I was in college. My art became a business 10 years ago when I got out of college.  My mom collects ethnic jewelry and clothing, so it’s been a passion for as long as I can remember. While I originally learned to make beads on my own, my best tricks and techniques came from Sage and Tom Holland, who live and teach in the Ozarks of Arkansas. They were some of the pioneers of the bead-making movement. I feel very lucky to call them my friends and mentors.

What do you make? I make glass beads, using the ancient technique of lampworking.  I make my jewelry by combining them with vintage beads, talismans, natural materials, cords and fibers. My jewelry is full of color and texture. The large neckpieces are pretty wild, and I also make individual beads and smaller items for other jewelers to incorporate into their own pieces. 

flower_06_300wWhat materials and methods do you use? I make my beads from Effetre and Bullseye glass (both soft glasses), chosen for their high-contrast color palette. I use other beads and items that add a different sheen than the glass.  I like to mix shiny and pitted, new and old, bright and muted. The assemblage-type pieces are made from my signature Spiny Knotting technique, which is derived from macramé knotting.  I also love to just simply string beads, but mostly I can’t help adding fibers and knots to make my items more unique.

Where do your design inspirations come from? The natural world is an endless source of inspiration.  I love pod-shapes and radial forms, like flowers and stars. I like rocks and shells, encrusted with barnacles and sea-shells and funny-shaped growths.  Anything with a varying texture and things that stick out.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio? I live in Topsham, Maine in a Greek Revival house, built in 1830. My studio is in the carriage house. I make beads and teach classes on the main level and string beads and work in the upstairs office, in a well-lit room with high-ceilings.  I love space, and that’s important when you have a lot of stuff.

bauble_neck_2006_2_300wWhere can your products be seen? As far as retail locations, I have my work at several galleries, like Foundry Lane in Portland, Maine and Arts Afire, a glass gallery in Alexandria, Virginia. I also do several bead and craft shows (listed on my website) in different parts of the country. I’ve recently written a book called Designing Jewelry with Glass Beads, published by Interweave Press, and I have an example of almost everything I make in there! There are 20 “How-To” projects, as well as classifications of glass beads, a history of glass beads and useful tips and tools for beaders.

Upcoming events: This season, I have two craft shows in New England, but I’m also preparing for the Pasadena Bead and Design Show in January. I have a piece that just won an award at The Bead Museum in Washington, DC – part of their Celebrating Beads event. In March of 2009, I am teaching a collaborative class with my friend, fellow beadmaker Michele Goldstein, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where we plan to bead and laugh ourselves silly.  I love to teach, and workshops are the events that I look forward to the most.


Magazine articles or press:
My own book: Designing Jewelry With Glass Beads
And I have photos in several others, including:
Beads of Glass by Cindy Jenkins
Contemporary Lampworking and Formed of the Fire by Bandhu Scott Dunham

I have had magazine articles in Ornament, Beadwork, Bead & Button Magazine, Lapidary Journal and others.

Who are you a fan of? Other people’s jewelry & beads?  Gail Crosman-Moore, Michele Goldstein, Dustin Tabor, Amy Johnson, Lucie Weir, Bronwen Heilman, Caitlin Hyde, Isis Ray

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:  Like to make the big, outrageous pieces, like the Fiesta Necklace.

Fiesta Necklace

Fiesta Necklace

Anything else you wish to add? There are two things I love about my job – combining the colors and textures, and teaching.  Nothing brings me more joy than coaching a student to make something they had never envisioned, but that comes from inside them.  The exchange of excitement gives me a true connection to other people.  The power of creating something joyful from inanimate materials is a thrilling experience.  I just can’t get enough of it.


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Sally Jewett-Brocato – Naked Jewelry


Name: Sally Jewett-Brocato 

Website Link:  (This is a re-direct to my etsy shop)


Where are you located? Los Angeles, CA

Tell us a bit about yourself:  Until January, 2008, I was the co-founder/owner of a video production company in Los Angeles. During those years, I worked with many of the world’s biggest celebrities, recording artists and fashion/consumer brands. It was exciting and fulfilling, but after more than a quarter century, it was time to MOVE ON! My business partner and I were able to sell our business to investors which gave us the opportunity to focus on our passions. For the past few years, I have been making jewelry–first as a hobby and then more seriously as I started focusing on jewelry design for my next career. My latest work can be seen on Etsy under the seller name: NakedJewelry. I have always strived to be at the top and I know I have the best chance of getting there by learning from the best, so I also write a blog to showcase the most accomplished jewelry designers and tell others about interesting vendors and teachers I encounter as I build my business.  Through “meeting” so many talented and successful jewelry designers, I have learned much more than any class!

il_430xn_41265368When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I took my first beading class in September, 2007 at Santa Monica Community College and I was hooked! I started with wire-wrapping and beading but rapidly decided that I wanted to learn the craft of metalsmithing.  For nearly a year now, I have taken classes at Venice Adult School and Loyola Marymount University as well as private lessons from a few very skilled jewelry artists.

What do you make? I specialize in fabricated sterling silver jewelry using natural gemstones.

What materials and methods do you use? I am working exclusively with silver right now and particularly enjoy creating pieces that have texture from my rolling mill processes as well as broom casting.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Since I have not yet found my signature style, my design inspirations typically come from other jewelry artists.  I love to look at what other people are creating and often see ways that I can take an idea and then make something that is unique. One of my favorite designers is Beth Rosengard who specializes in pieces created from gold broom casting.  I am in awe of her work and enjoy seeing how I can use the broom casting concept to make my own creations.

il_430xn_39940395What is your best working environment/where is your studio? My husband helped me build a little studio in an eight foot shed we have in our back yard.  It sits high on a hill above some steep steps so I am quite literally “in the trees”.  I don’t have music or the radio as I love to listen to the birds as I work.

Where can your products be seen?  My work can be seen at my etsy site:

Upcoming events: I have two events planned for the holidays including a West Hollywood wine tasting and jewelry trunk show and a school fundraiser holiday gift event.

Magazine articles or press:  My work has been featured in a variety of blog publications including Wickedly Chic, Shopalicious, Cuteable, In Yr Fshn, With This Ring…and IC Style.  I also recently won the etsy Jewelry Artisans Guild (eJag) Autumn Splendor contest for one of my earring designs.

Who are you a fan of?   My favorite jewelry design artist is Beth Rosengard.  I also admire the work of  Linda Lewis, Karen Klinefelter, Todd Reed and Sue Ann Dorman.


Price range: $25-$250

Tell us  a little about one of your favorite creations: My favorite piece so far is a broom cast pendant I created using black onyx, Montana agate and garnets. This one-of-a-kind pendant is created from the ancient technique called “broom casting” where sterling silver is melted and poured into an upright broom, creating silver “stalactite-looking” pieces in the shape of the negative space between the broom straws, creating silver pieces that are as unique as snowflakes.



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Morwyn Dow – Another Country

Name: Morwyn Dow

Website Link:

Where are you located? Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tell us a bit about yourself: With my partner Asa, I own, work in and live over a used bookstore.  When I’m not working in the store, I’m working in my studio.

When did you begin designing jewelry/art?  I’ve been a crafter all my life. When you grow up with very little in the way of material comforts, you learn how to make your own fun – doing “found object” art before there was a name for it. I loved my Barbie doll and taught myself to sew, knit and crochet when I was 12 so I could make clothes for her. I’ve been blessed with the ability to “grok” directions and teach myself just about anything from a book. I took advanced tailoring classes in high school and worked for a while as a seamstress. I taught myself embroidery and needlepoint, paper arts and book making. I took up wire wrapping, jewelry making and eventually beadwork about 14 years ago.

What made you choose this type of art?  It was never a conscious choice – it felt more like a logical progression, an evolution.

What do you make?  I make art, wearable and superfluous.  What I do is primarily labor intensive, not cost-effective, non-practical and aesthetically pleasing.  I had an art teacher in high school who told me once that’s the definition of art.

What materials and methods do you use?  For materials I concentrate on seed beads.  For methods, I prefer working in bead embroidery, freeform peyote, and bead crochet. 

Where do your design inspirations come from?  Everywhere.  Art, music, poetry, literature, nature, mythology.  But I’m not so much inspired as compelled to create. It’s a way of communicating in a different dimension. Through art we share something deeper than opinion or attitude, the minutiae of the mundane or our surface lives – we share our individual, unique visions that come from a deep, communal wellspring of creation. It connects us. When you throw everything you know, every skill and every ounce of passion you have into the creation of a piece, just knowing you gave it your all can be reward enough. But, when someone really understands your work and appreciates it, there’s no way to describe that feeling of vindication, of acceptance, of joy, of connection.

What is your best working environment/where is your studio?  I work best when I’m at the table in our efficiency apartment, sunlight streaming in through the little window behind me.  An episode of some old sci-fi show will be running on the DVD player.  Each piece has a different genesis, but once I start a project with a generalized sketch, my process goes like this: pick out a bunch of materials I think will express the concept I’ve formed, thin it down to something manageable, then begin assembling the piece, with a lot of discarding, rethinking, replacing and reworking as it develops. I’ll keep at it until it’s what I want it to be. If I’m having problems, that’s when I really dig in my heels and beat my head against a wall until I solve whatever design issues I’ve run into. I work in short bursts or marathon sessions as time permits, but I usually set a (flexible) deadline for completion.


Where can your products be seen?

Magazine articles or press:  Step By Step Beads Sep-Oct 2007 (Vol 5 No 5), Page 26, “Easy Beaded Bangles”

Are you a fan of any jewelry artisans?  I’m a huge fan of many, many bead artists.  Tina Koyama, NanC Meinhardt, Tom and Kathy Wegman, The Lone Beader, Diane Fitzgerald, Margie Deeb, Heidi Kummli, Karen Lewis (Klew), Eni Oken, the list goes on and on.  I’m constantly surfing the web to find new artists, new work, new techniques, new materials.

Price range: $7.50 – $750.00

Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations:  This would be my cuff bracelet, “and I ran.”  I wanted to make a huge cuff, as a personal challenge, incorporating this enormous Chinese turquoise bead and a found object person charm. It turned into a pictograph. Gemstone rounds,pearls, Czech glass stars and tons of seed beads tell the tale of a white haired woman (hmmm . . .) pursued by Dark Forces. She’s running to safety – if she can just get behind that stone, her future will be bright and starlit.  It was mounted on sterling silver connectors with silver toned chain and base metal charms dangling down. I backed it with deerskin. The charms read “trust” and “believe.” It closed with a silver finish button/snap clasp.  I wrote about its creation on my blog; the false starts through its completion.  It begins 2/25/07 and goes through 3/21/07.  It took me nearly a year to get myself to the place where I could part with it. I loved it. I had to list this late in the night, while I still had my resolve.  It sold almost right away, before I could change my mind.  

and I ran

and I ran

Anything else you wish to add?   I hope I never stop learning, evolving and refining my art.  I think the key to improving one’s level of artistry has to do with raising one’s level of personal investment in that art. It’s the difference between sunflower patterned wallpaper and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. The best piece of advice I’ve received to date came from a creative writing instructor many years ago:  Get out of your own way, don’t be afraid to fail, and just let the work take you over.


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