Sherry Serafini

Unusual objects and shapes become part of a new story as Sherry stitches beads and gemstones, one at a time, to a suede base.  Most pieces are born spontaneously as the beads and Sherry’s imagination dictate the design.  Sherry finds this meditative form of art to be a rich counterpoint to a society full of instant gratification.

Insanity by Sherry Serafini

Sherry Serafini is a beadwork artist who has been creating beaded body adornment since 1997. Unusual objects and shapes become part of a new story as Sherry stitches beads and gemstones to a felt like base.  Sherry finds this meditative form of art to be a rich counterpoint to a society full of instant gratification.  Sherry lectures and teaches throughout the U.S. and her work has been published widely in major industry magazines. Her latest piece Chimney Sweepers Daughter recently won 1st place in Bead Dreams 2011 International Competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Sherry has a graphic design degree and has also studied fine arts and art history.

Gypsy by Sherry Serafini

Sherry was voted one of the Top Ten Teachers in the U.S. by Bead&Button magazine 2010 and is currently a featured 2011 Designer of the Year for Beadwork magazine.

Sherry has also won numerous awards for her beaded artwork.

Sherry’s one of a kind designs have been worn by icon Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and are owned by by pro golfer Michelle Wie, Melissa Etheridge and hip hop lead singer Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas.
Her beadwork has been used in designing the concert artwork for Aerosmith and Lenny Kravitz Rockin’ The Joint Tour in 2005-06.

She is currently working on new designs for several bands that are headed out on tour in 2012.

Toxic Twins by Sherry Serafini

Toxic Twins by Sherry Serafini

Sherry is the author of Sensational Bead Embroidery. Sherry also co-authored a book with friend and artisan Heidi Kummli entitled “The Art of Bead Embroidery”, Beading Across America, co-authored with Amy Katz and Paulette Baron.
And is featured in Masters: Beadweaving published by Lark and 500 Beaded Objects also published by Lark.

Sherry lives in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania two daughters Erika and Nikki and Boston Terrier Bailey. You can see more of her work at her website

Rhapsody by Sherry Serafini

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Kathleen Williams

I am a self-taught jewelry maker and designer who enjoys creating jewelry for “everyday elegance”–i.e., the piece looks great with jeans and a t-shirt, as well as a “little black dress”. Many of my pieces involve wire-working and glass beads. I also incorporate kumihimo braids into my designs. Some of these braids are made strictly with silk, cotton or rayon cords. I add beads to the braids to not only enhance the braid’s color theme, but to unify the focal bead with the braid. Texture is an important component of my designs.

All the kumihimo braids are made with the traditional 8-cord round spiral design. For this first necklace, I used a wonderful focal bead by Harold Williams Cooney. The bead is part of his Colorado Trade Bead series. The magatamas I used are the 4 x 7 mm matte metallic patina iris and matte metallic khaki iris. The Sea Urchin necklace design itself is featured in Karen de Sousa’s book, Braiding with Beads.

“Boa Meets Porcupine”: 8/0 delicas in matte metallic patina iris and 4 x 7 mm magatamas in matte met khahi iris for the focus.

“Aqua Bracelet”: 8/0 delicas in crystal aqua-lined and Tierra Cast large-hole pewter beads and aggregate stone & glass for focal bead.

“Pinecone” bracelet: 4 x 7 mm matte met khaki iris magatamas with magnetic clasp

“Gone Fishin'” front toggle necklace: Patricia Healey copper fish toggle with my handmade wire squiggles. The braid is done with 8/0 delicas in trans green/blue iris…they really do look like fish scales! One of my favorite designs to make with either delica seedbeads or 8/0 seedbeads is a front-closing toggle necklace like this one. The metalwork by Saki Silver, Patricia Healey and Green Girls Studio–among many artists (don’t want to play favorites)– is amazing and deserves to be the focal point of the necklace. Again, these pieces are wardrobe-friendly.

Discovering the wide array of seedbeads available from Caravan Beads has taken my designs to a new level. I love working with delicas and magatamas in matte metallic finishes.

See more of Kathleen’s work on her facebook page.

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Columbian Clay Bead Bracelet





Cool Color Palate

11-2075 - 11/0 Matte Op Cobalt Luster
6-1251 - 6/0 Matte Met Turquoise
STR5-401FR – 5/0 Sharp Triangle Matte Black AB
CCD-2-001: Clay beads approx 5x2mm Blue
CCD-2-007: Clay beads approx 5x2mm Green
2′ of .015 C-flex beading wire
2 crimps
1 clasp

Repeat the pattern of 11/0 – blue clay – 11/0 – sharp triangle – 11/0 green clay – 11/0 – 6/0 – until desired length is reached. Add clasp.

Alternate warm color palate

11-2005 – 11/0 Matte Met Dk Raspberry Iris
6-1255 – 6/0 Matte Met Dk Bronze
STR5-2005 – 5/0 Sharp Triangle Matte Met Dk Raspberry Iris
CCD-2-009: Clay beads approx 5x2mm Terra
CCD-2-010: Clay beads approx 5x2mm Orange

See some other design ideas here.

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Laura Jean McCabe

Laura Jean McCabe (b. 1976) is a primarily self taught beadweaver with an education in historical costume reproduction and restoration, and anthropology. She produces elaborately beaded body adornment that combines Native American, African, and Victorian beadweaving techniques with modern materials and color schemes. She exhibits her work in national and international beadwork exhibitions, and sells her finished work at boutiques and galleries throughout the United States, as well as through her website: She maintains a working studio in the Mystic Area, Connecticut, and teaches beading workshops across the US and throughout the world.

Eiffel Tower Bracelet (materials: glass seed beads, custom cut imperial jasper stone points, fresh water pearls, 14K gold slide clasp)

For centuries those creative acts which have been most often associated with body adornment rarely have been accorded the status of Art. While beadwork has existed in virtually every culture throughout the world since the beginnings of modern man, and has played a significant role both spiritually (with amuletic properties) and socially (as an indicator of status), it is generally viewed as a functional craft rather than an Art form in its own right.

Beads and beadwork have, throughout time, maintained a universal appeal that links people across cultures and across the ages. Beads date back more than 40,000 years, and are a uniquely human phenomenon, not found amongst other primates or even earlier human species. In addition to serving the human needs of vanity, adornment, and social status, beads have a deeper, more spiritual aspect. They have provided us good fortune, protection from evil forces, and a link to a more spiritual realm (both through prayer beads , and elaborately beaded ritual body adornment).

Beetle wing choker (materials: glass seed beads, custom cut green gold stone points, crystal beads, real beetle wings, fresh water pearls, leather, 14K gold slide clasp)

From early hunter gatherers in the pre-agricultural age, to the Ancient Worlds of Egypt, Greece and Rome, onto Renaissance Europe, Tribal Africa, the Orient, Native America, the Victorian Period, and up through the Modern Era, beadwork has represented an uninterrupted tradition throughout time amongst virtually every culture on Earth. In a world of human differences, beadwork is a common link, fulfilling the most fundamental human needs.

It is in this history of ancient traditions, spiritual importance, timeless handcraft, and human commonality that the Art of Beads can be found. They represent more than precision handwork, personal adornment, or social significance. Each bead, beneath its lustrous surface, tells an age old story of human fear, human desire, and the human need for beauty.

Wonderstone Spiked Cuff (materials: glass seed beads, custom cut wonderstone points. crystal beads, 14K gold slide clasp)

By drawing on my education in historical costume and textiles and applying variations of Native American, African Zulu, and Victorian beading techniques to contemporary colors and designs, I strive to create beaded body adornment that celebrates and reincarnates the dying tradition of fine handcrafts, and helps to elevate beadwork to the status of Art , which it undeniably deserves.

Collection of 5 sculptures made using glass seed beads, custom cut stones points, glass doll’s eyes, crystal beads, millinery feathers, fresh water pearls

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Sharp Triangle Beads

This new triangle shape from Miyuki has sharper edges than the original triangle beads and some of them can be a little bit irregular, similar to the 4x4mm cube bead. It looks like the more recent shipments have corrected the irregular shape, which I think might be a disappointment to the people who were taking advantage of the slightly natural and organic feel of the irregular shape, but pleasing to all the beadweavers and those who enjoy the regularity of Miyuki beads in general.

You can shop here for Sharp Triangle Beads, and Miyuki is offering some ideas and patterns on their site.

This necklace has a free pattern on the Miyuki site.

I have been using the Sharp Triangle Beads to edge my bead embroidery, because they fit together beautifully and their slight irregularity helps to hide any uneven places along the edge. You can see them used in my latest Necklace and Bracelet.

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Mirrix Looms

Mirrix Looms are simply the best portable tapestry and bead looms available anywhere. Made from a lovely combination of copper, aluminum and steel, the Mirrix Loom will last for generations to come. Their first advertisement sported the saying: “Because the Loom you weave on should be a work of art.” They got it right from the very beginning. Since they began in 1996, all Mirrix Looms have been made in the USA.

Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms are designed to be as functional as they are beautiful. Mirrix Looms provide exceptional strength and tension so that you can spend your time creating pieces of artwork and not doing battle with your loom. The Mirrix is as easy to set up as it is to use. From our littlest to our biggest, the Mirrix is portable whether fitting in your purse or fitting in the back seat of your car. Both the 12″ and 16″ looms come with the famous Mirrix shedding device, which raises and lowers every other thread for a true weaving experience. The looms come with the shedding device and four warp coils for many different sets, as well as a newly minted two-hour DVD that shows you how to set it up for both tapestry and bead weaving and will easily get you through the learning curve of setting up the Mirrix Loom.

Shop for Mirrix products here.

12″ Beadweaving Loom

Little Guy Lap & Table Loom – The smallest of our looms designed to accommodate both tapestry and bead weaving, The Little Guy is so cute, so portable and fits perfectly on a lap or standing on a table with two fold out legs. Weighing in at a featherweight 5 pounds, this 12 inch wide loom is a workshop goer’s dream. Weave a fiber or bead tapestry up to 9 inches wide and 22 inches.

Included: Four coils: 8, 12, 14, 18 14 dents, shedding device and handle, two large black clips, warping bar, flat wrench, allen wrench, coil bar, warping DVD, written instructions.

16″ Beadweaving Loom

Big Sister Lap & Table Loom – At 16 inches wide and weighing in at 6 pounds, the Big Sister is both bigger than her little brother and has been around longer. She was the first loom we designed! A tapestry or bead weaving 13 inches wide and 36 inches high can be woven on this elegant, compact loom. Another great workshop or travel loom, the Big Sister stands firmly on a table. This is our most popular loom both for tapestry and bead weavers or those who do combined techniques.

Included: Four coils: 8, 12, 14, 18 14 dents, shedding device and handle, two large black clips, warping bar, flat wrench, allen wrench, coil bar, warping DVD, written instructions.

Much more information is available on the Mirrix Looms site and in their blogs. If you would like to learn more about bead weaving on a loom, please take a look.

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Ultrasuede and more bead embroidery

We are now carrying a variety of lovely colors of the ultrasuede to use in your bead embroidery projects. It was developed for upholstery, and has nearly no stretch both side to side and on the diagonal. Slightly thick and plushy, it is a forgiving material to work with and survives pulling stitches out and doing them over several times (I have tested this personally).

Here is my latest bead embroidery project –

As always, I encourage you to start out with The Art of Bead Embroidery book, which has a number of good first projects in it.

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