Instructors

Bead Fest Philadelphia is proud to welcome a lineup of professional artists who will be leading hands-on workshops and providing you with one-on-one instruction.

Marcia Balonis

Marcia Balonis

Marcia has a lifelong passion for jewelry.  During her 35 year financial career, she traveled around the country for work and often took art classes to relax.  Marcia then began teaching at various venues including conventions, stores, and adult education centers.  In retirement, she has happily gone from being a bean counter to bead counter.  Sharing her passion for bead weaving and jewelry is a delight.

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Sally Battis

Sally Battis

Sally has been crafty all of her life, but really took up Kumihimo Braiding after she retired. Sally has been featured in the B&B Kumihimo magazine that was a special edition out this May 2016. Sally has an online website where she sells Kumihimo kits and other supplies.

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Francie Broadie

Francie Broadie

Francie Broadie has been beading and teaching beadwork in the Midwest for the last 16 years. She is well versed in bead weaving and glass fusing, having studied with multiple teachers over the last 16 years. Seed beads are Francie's favorite, but she will bead with anything. Her goal in life is to cram as much beady info into her brain as possible. She holds a bachelor's degree from Kenyon College, and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Indianapolis. In her spare time she knits, sews, paints, and dabbles in photography.

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Marti Brown

Marti Brown

Marti Brown was always interested in the arts. As a child, some of her fondest memories included art camp, painting in her basement, art classes in summer school, and involvement in choral music. Marti became a professional artist and craftsman after completing her BFA in jewelry making. She has been designing jewelry for over 30 years and loves creating jewelry and teaching. Marti has worked in a variety of traditional and contemporary jewelry metals and processes. She currently works in niobium, a colorful metal and of course, beads.

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Candie Cooper

Candie Cooper

Candie Cooper is a designer with a passion for bold colors and notorious for twisting and layering materials until they sing.  "I'm inspired by so many things.  Most of all, I want my jewelry to tell a story.  A place I want to visit, a nostalgic memory from childhood, romance and more...it's all in my jewelry."  Earringology is her fourth solo book with Lark Books (TBR Spring 14').  In the past ten years, she has authored Necklaceology (2012), Metalworking 101 for Beaders (2013), and Felted Jewelry (2007).  Candie loves sharing unique jewelry techniques with her readers and students through her blog and books. Currently, she's working on product development for the jewelry finding industry, cooking up new DIY book ideas, and working with many craft companies to design new projects. Visit her website and blog at candiecooper.com as well as on your favorite social networking sites.

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Diane Dennis

Diane Dennis

Diane Dennis is a seed-bead jewelry artist creating elegant works of wearable art. Diane has been featured in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads catalog as a contest winner and advertising, and has been published in Beadwork, Bead & Button, Artisan Jewelry Times and Perlen Poesie Magazines. Diane's piece Star Light, Star Bright appears in Showcase 500 Art Necklaces. Diane has been beading since 1999 and has been teaching beadwork since 2003 and currently teaches beading in the Northern Virginia area, at Beadfest, Bead and Button, and for Bead Societies and several local bead shops.

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Jacqui Higgins

Jacqui Higgins

“Creating something handcrafted has always been a part of my life since I was a child.” Jacquelyne Higgins studied fashion design and holds a BS degree in education. For nearly 10 years she has been creating and designing original bead work and teaching her craft to others. You can find her teaching classes at Lucy's Bead Boutique in Pt. Pleasant, NJ, or view her work at JLH Designs on Facebook or The Main Avenue Galleria, Ocean Grove, NJ.

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Kaska Firor

Kaska Firor

Phyllis has been beading for over fifteen years, and is primarily self taught. Five years ago, she left her law practice behind and struck out to pursue jewelry design and teaching full time. She has developed and taught hundreds of classes at her bead store in Canton, Massachusetts, at regional bead societies and has also taught at the Bead & Button Show. Phyllis delights when students run with the techniques they learn in class and go on to develop their own designs and techniques. Although she started her beading life as a staunch seed beader, more recently her work has focused on metal and wirework.

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Phyllis Flora

Phyllis Flora

Phyllis has been beading for over fifteen years, and is primarily self-taught. Five years ago, she left her law practice behind and struck out to pursue jewelry design and teaching full time. She has developed and taught hundreds of classes at her bead store in Canton, Massachusetts, at regional bead societies and at the Bead & Button Show. Phyllis delights when students run with the techniques they learn in class and go on to develop their own designs and techniques. Although she started her beading life as a staunch seed beader, more recently her work has focused on metal and wirework.

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Jeff Fulkerson

Jeff Fulkerson

Artist Jeff Fulkerson has been creating stunning, imaginative and award-winning jewelry for over 30 years.  "Helping students learn new techniques and understand what they are doing in a fun and relaxed atmosphere is my goal in all of my classes."

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Pamela Garbig

Pamela Garbig

Pamela Garbig is an artist with years of experience painting on various surfaces and is now painting with beads. She is a bead store owner and instructor who teaches bead embroidery at her own store and regional retreats. She first began bead embroidery as a teenager to decorate her clothing. She has over 18 years of experience as a professional artist and judge of art shows.

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Sulie Girardi

Sulie Girardi

Sulie Girardi was born in Chicago, but has lived in Vienna, Austria for the last 25 years. She owns and operates Vienna Impressions, Austria's largest source for rubber stamping and other crafting supplies. Several years ago she discovered Metal Clay, and never looked back. She has attained the Silver Metal Clay Diploma from the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery, as well as the Art Clay 1 and 2 certifications. Her work has been published in several publications in Europe and the US.   Sulie teaches frequent classes in various techniques, both in her own studio and as a guest instructor.

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Misty Grosse

Misty Grosse

Misty Grosse has been working with ICE Resin for the past seven years and is an ambassador for the ICE Resin jewelry brand. She travels across the country doing product demos and teaching classes at trade shows and also loves teaching beginner classes at local stores in Southern California. Misty has a way of inspiring others and has the unique talent of bringing out her students’ inner creativity. She has been published in magazines and teaches at jewelry shows nationwide. When Misty isn’t creating she can be found spending time with her friends and family and enjoys camping and the outdoors.

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Diane Hawkey

Diane Hawkey

Diane Hawkey has been an artist all her life. In grade school, she was scolded by the nuns for dedicating her time to artistic endeavors instead of the assigned work. Not being the sort of person that follows advice from nuns, she continued on her creative journey and has spent most of her life as a professional artist. Her work is both whimsical and mysterious, inspired by dreams and nature. Over the years she has explored many materials and mediums including fiber and glass, metal work and clay. Working primarily in ceramics, she continues to explore new techniques and ideas, incorporating beads into her mixed media sculptures which range in size from a few inches to several feet in size. Diane's distinctive ceramic beads have been used by designers all over the world and have inspired the work and creativity of people of all skill levels. Her work has been shown across the country in art fairs and galleries, including solo exhibitions. Her designs have been published by Lark Books and she has been featured in national publications. She has taught classes in jewelry making, art journaling, and the creative process, and has also appeared on the television show, Beads, Baubles and Jewels. Diane's classes stress the joy of creating and discovery along with technique. Most days she can be found in her Detroit studio with her Boston Terrier studio assistant by her side protecting her from squirrels.

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Jacqui Higgins

Jacqui Higgins

Creating something handcrafted has always been a part of my life since I was a child. I have studied fashion design and hold a BS degree in education. For nearly 10 years I have been creating and designing my original bead work and teaching my craft to others. You can find me teaching classes at Lucy's Bead Boutique, Pt. Pleasant, NJ or view my work at JLH Designs on Facebook or The Main Avenue Galleria, Ocean Grove, NJ. where my finished work is available to the public.

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Amy Katz

Amy Katz

Amy Katz has been part of the world of seed beads since 1993 as a student, teacher and designer. Her admiration for high-end jewelry pieces is her inspiration. As her commitment to her own designs grew, Amy made the decision to give them a fine jewelry look with seed beads, crystals, pearls and other elegant materials. Using imagination, this vision has come to life as her signature style. Amy is a national teacher with a passion for sharing her love of the work. She is also the co-author of Beading Across America and author of Seed Bead Chic.

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Jessica Keemer

Jessica Keemer

Jessica Keemer is an award winning studio artist in Lancaster, Pa. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Millersville University and also has a degree in Art Education. She has studied at the New Approach Jewelers School in Virginia Beach, Va. and at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY. She currently teaches framework glass at the Goggleworks in Reading Pa, and Pa guild of Craftsmen. She currently serves as a state board member for the PA Guild of Craftsmen. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Cassidy and her husband, Tom. She loves the ocean and enjoys paddle boarding and salt water fishing. Jessica also collects seashells, drift wood, coral, fossils and other interesting pieces of nature which inspires her work. She also practices yoga, gardens and loves to travel.

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Susan Lenart Kazmer

Susan Lenart Kazmer

My work is built from a unique combination of art school, metalsmithing, extensive cultural research; creating and repairing ethnographic adornment and a strong fashion back round.  My work or Expressive Adornment is a unique voice in the industry. I build Talismans, Prayer boxes and Amulets for the fashion, museum, gallery and commercial world for over 20 years.

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Sara Lukkonen

Sara Lukkonen

Sara has always been doing one kind of craft or another. About 39 years ago she discovered torch fire enameling. Sara had done kiln work but did not like how long it too; she then tried out the torching technique and have been working with enamels that way ever since. In 1999 Sara was wearing some of her beads in a bead store and they wanted to know where they were from. Thus C-Koop Beads was established. Sara Lukkonen has been teaching enameling for about 8 years. She has taught at national shows, bead stores and in her studio.

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Annette Mackrel

Annette Mackrel

Beads, with their vast multitude of colors and textures and their rich history that stretches through millennia, were an instant love affair. Annette approaches all projects with a beginner's mind. By carefully arranging and rearranging the individual components she aims to create artwork that is beautiful and functional at the same time. Each item is one of a kind, carefully handcrafted, bead by bead. The love to create and adorn has always been an integral part of her life and she takes great pleasure in generating connections between beauty and wearability in her jewelry, as well as in combining playful elegance with simplicity.

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Betony Maiden

Betony Maiden

Betony of Maiden Designs Studio- Betony has been creating jewelry for 10 years. She doesn’t work in one medium in particular, as she enjoys all mediums. She loves artisan components, and playing in mixed media, wire, and metal. Her designs tell stories of life, and her hope is to connect with others through her designs. Betony is a mom of three and an avid reader. She learns something new every day. She enjoys teaching others as well as learning from others. She loves using gemstones, and beads that are considered odd. Her designs are bold, loud, colorful, and playful just like she is. She takes leaps and bounds into the unknown. Betony loves to mix things up and get crazy, because life needs laughter and love, and jewelry should reflect that!!

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Jeannine Mankins

Jeannine Mankins

Jeannine has been teaching beading and wire classes for the better part of 15 years in the Sacramento, California bead store U Bead It. Jeannine has also been fortunate enough to teach at Bead Fest Philadelphia, Arlington, Tacoma, Santa Fe and the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza in Oakland, California. Jeannine has been a lifelong crafter, loves the creative process and inspiring others to find their way through it. “ There is nothing more gratifying then handing several different people the same materials and instructions and seeing the different creations they come up with. It is what drives me to create new designs and in turn teach those designs to others.”

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Phyllis Martin Rennie

Phyllis Martin Rennie

Color, stitching , & metal arts are a big part of Phyllis’ personal universe along with her family & dogs. The "Ah Haa" moment her students get is just like adding hot fudge on ice cream to her.

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Scott Mason

Scott Mason

Scott lives in Massachusetts and works full-time as a paralegal in a Boston law firm. He also co-owns a bead store, pflora beads, in Canton, Massachusetts, where he explores his passion for jewelry artistry in all its techniques. In addition to developing his art, Scott teaches jewelry making and shares his love of the craft with hundreds of students every year.

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Debora Mauser

Debora Mauser

Debora Mauser has been creating jewelry for more than 12 years. For the past six years Debora has been teaching at national venues such as Bead Fest, Bead and Button, local bead stores, William Holland School of Lapidary Arts, Wild Acres and Sawtooth School. Her passion is sharing techniques including wire, metal, enameling, forming and cold connections. Her work has been featured in Step by Step Wire and she is a certified instructor in the Painting with Fire immersion method of enameling. Debora's classes are fun and packed with information but maintain a low key approach to learning.

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Andrea Mazzenga

Andrea Mazzenga

Andrea Mazzenga is a registered nurse, lampwork artist and owner of Buttercup Beads. Her work has been featured in both Beadwork, Bead & Button, and Creative Beadwork on numerous occasions. She has been creating, designing, and teaching jewelry making techniques since 1999. In 2007, she traded her scrubs for beaded business casual with the opening of her bead store, Buttercup Beads, in Audubon, Pa. She can contacted through her website: www.buttercupbeads.com.

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Roxan O'brien

Roxan O'brien

Roxan is a self-taught bead artist who has a background in oil painting, silversmithing, enameling, chasing and repousee with over 25 years of experience in the jewelry field. She studied jewelry design and metal work at Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, Pa. and Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, Pa. She is the first bead embroider to reach juried status from the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. As founder of the Central Pa. Bead and Jewelry Society a nonprofit organization, she has created a place where jewelry artist can find workshops and support for their craft. Roxan is a self-taught bead artist who has a background in oil painting, silversmithing, enameling, chasing and repoussé with over 25 years of experience in the jewelry field. She studied jewelry design and metal work at Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, Pa. and Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, Pa. Roxan is the first bead embroider to reach juried status from the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. As founder of the Central Pa. Bead and Jewelry Society a nonprofit organization, she has created a place where jewelry artist can find workshops and support for their craft.She sells her work in galleries and art and craft shows throughout the east coast. She teaches both beading and metal jewelry classes in the U.S. She sells her work in galleries and art and craft shows throughout the east coast. She teaches both beading and metal jewelry classes in the U.S.

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Katherine Ohara

Katherine Ohara

Kate Ohara is a retired nurse. She has been doing stained glass mobiles for the last eight years and has been weaving and braiding fiber and leather for the last four years. She has four years’ experience in direct sales and marketing, including multimedia presentations, for a national company producing medical supplies. Kate has used her marketing and sales experience to develop and teach her Etsy, Pinterest, and Square classes. Photographs are important for an on line presence. For the last three years, Kate has been photographing jewelry and pottery for submission to juried shows. Many of her photographs have been used for marketing purposes on line, on post cards and posters. Included in these juried shows are the Main Line Art Center and the Haverford Guild of Craftsmen. Kate enjoys interacting with class participants and believes learning can be fun.

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Patricia Parker

Patricia Parker

I have been working with beads as long as I can remember. I studied Fine Art and once owned a bead store. My beadwork has been awarded prizes in international competitions.

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Kieu Pham Gray

Kieu Pham Gray

Kieu Pham Gray has been creating jewelry for over 15 years. She started from the need to “look the part” while working in retail management for Neiman Marcus. Making jewelry for herself and friends, her jewelry line was created. Since then she has sold to over 30 stores in 10 states and participated in numerous juried art shows. Together with her husband, Andy, they run TheUrbanBeader.com, where they work to provide industry with specialty goods. In an effort to share her passion and knowledge for the jewelry industry, Kieu teaches a wide range of classes throughout the US and has also authored a how to book (Hot & Cold Jewelry Connections) in 2014. Detailed instruction and personal attention has been the key to success with her students.

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Kate Richbourg

Kate Richbourg

Simply put, Kate Richbourg loves jewelry. She loves to teach it. She loves to make it. She loves to wear it. Teaching and designing jewelry since 1992, she teaches at national shows, bead societies and bead shops and is published in a variety of jewelry magazines and is the author of the popular blog.

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Sue Ripsch

Sue Ripsch

Sue is a chain maille artist, designer and author who teaches chain maille classes around the country. She has taught at many Bead Fest Shows and at Bead and Button shows. Sue is the author of two chain maille books and will publish a third in 2015. She has written clear and beautifully illustrated instructions for over 150 chain maille weaves. Sue likes to teach students from all levels of chain maille experience. Please join Sue in a class or two.

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Leslie Rogalski

Leslie Rogalski

LESLIE ROGALSKI is known for her passion and enthusiasm as a bead and jewelry artist, designer, and teacher. Recognized from regular appearances on Jewelry Television and Beads, Baubles, and Jewels, she also blogs as Sleepless Beader and sells her original jewelry design kits at www.sleeplessbeader.com. The former editor in chief of Step by Step Beads and BeadingDaily.com, Leslie's projects and articles have been widely published in Bead & Button, BeadStyle, Beadwork, Step by Step Beads, Creative Jewelry, Lapidary Journal, Step by Step Wire Jewelry, Easy Wire, 101 Wire Earrings, and several books including the Lark 500 Beaded Jewelry Showcase, and Chain Style. Her best-selling DoodleBeads digital products teach the top seed-bead techniques in a unique drawing-before-your-eyes method she developed. Currently the BeadSmith Creative Director, Leslie authored “The Business of Beading," a regular column starting in 2014 in Bead & Button magazine, for whom she was also a contributing editor. Craftsy.com launched her first online class, Essential Seed Bead Techniques, in July 2014. Follow her and her partner in crime, her sister Deb Mudrick, as Sleepless Beader on Facebook, at www.sleeplessbeader.blogspot.com, and keep up with new designs and kits for sale, exhibitions, shows, and workshops at www.sleeplessbeader.com.

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Nancy Sacco

Nancy Sacco

Originally from Maryland, Nancy has lived most of her adult life in Pennsylvania, where she currently resides in Shrewsbury with her husband (and biggest fan), two dogs, and two cats. Nancy’s children are all happily married and busy raising her grandchildren. In 2006 she retired after 30 years from McCormick & Company and started work in earnest on her real passion of creating jewelry. Her workshop is in her home, where she also enjoys teaching her craft. Making jewelry has been a passion of Nancy’s for years, and over time she discovered she especially loved working with sterling and fine silver and beautiful gemstones. She’s a member of the Central Pennsylvania Bead and Jewelry Society, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, the York Town Craft Guild, and a juried member of the Yellow Breeches Craft Guild.

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Marla Salezze

Marla Salezze

Marla Salezze is a jewelry designer and teacher of bead weaving. Her original beadwork designs have been published in Bead & Button, Beadwork, Beading Daily, Step by Step Wire and Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazines. She is on the Nunn Design Innovations Team and a member of the Bead Society of Eastern Pennsylvania. Contact her and purchase kits for her projects at www.beadedbymarla.com.

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Richard Salley

Richard Salley

Richard Salley began working with metal in 1969 as an assistant to Carmel, California metal sculptor Malcom Moran.  His metal working experience turned to 'found object jewelry' after taking a workshop with Keith LoBue in 2002. Richard has recently retired from teaching in public schools to devote more time to his art and teaching workshops around the country. His interests include digital art, mixed media collage/assemblage, sculpture and jewelry.  His work has been featured in Belle Armoire Jewelry Art Jewelry and Jewelry Artist magazines, Susan Lenart-Kazmer’s book Making Connections, Steel Wire Jewelry by Brenda Schweder, Steampunk Style Jewelry by Jean Campbell and Metal Style by Karen Dougherty. Richard and his wife, Jane, live in Rio Vista, CA.

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Candice Sexton

Candice Sexton

Candice Sexton has been beading since 2001, and enjoys the relaxing, meditative and creative qualities of bead crochet, bead weaving and wireworking. The author of the 2014 book from Kalmbach Books on bead crochet titled, "Bead Crochet Basics" she also likes coming up with new ways to work with materials and techniques. Visit her website, candicesexton.com Candice Sexton has been beading since 2001, primarily in bead crochet, beadweaving, and wireworking, and is the author of the book, “Bead Crochet Basics.” She enjoys experimenting and incorporating different elements in her designs. Always willing to help her students, Candice is a patient teacher who enjoys sharing her knowledge and helping others discover the joys of beadwork. Visit her Etsy store at www.etsy.com/shop/CandiceSexton or her website at www.candicesexton.com.

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Eva Sherman

Eva Sherman

Eva Sherman began beading as a way to spend time with her daughters but soon became hopelessly addicted. In 2005 she traded her architectural career for the opportunity to spend all her time among beads, and opened Grand River Bead Studio in Cleveland, Ohio. Eva now happily spends most days in the studio creating, writing and teaching, but has been known to take her show on the road. She has discovered an affinity for working with wire and metals, and prefers to design in an organic and unstructured style. Eva coauthored Organic Wire & Metal Jewelry and is currently writing a second jewelry design book.

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Staci Smith

Staci Smith

Staci Louise Smith creates her one of a kind beads and jewelry in many mediums, such as polymer and metal clay. She loves to collect unique rock, seaglass and shells, and use them in her mixed media pieces

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Mary Soucy

Mary Soucy

Mary Soucy, of Bead Me A Story, creates unique chain maille items in mixed media from her Glen Burnie, Maryland studio in the suburbs of Baltimore. Originally a seed bead and polymer clay artist, she finds new ways to use beads, rings, rubber and metal in her chain maille items. As a chain maille supplier, it offers Mary the opportunity to experiment with a lot of different items to see if they can be worked into her chain maille designs. Mary creates everything from whimsical and colorful flowers from rubber and acrylic to elegant rhinestone creations. Basically, she is someone who has a hard time thinking inside the box. In addition to making jewelry and selling supplies, Mary enjoys teaching at her local Maryland bead store, Bead Soup, as well as at other east coast bead stores for one day or weekend events. Her projects have been featured in special editions of Bead Stringing as well as Step by Step Wire magazine.

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Ronda Stevens

Ronda Stevens

Ronda has been teaching wire wrap design classes in the southeast for the past 10 years at bead shows and local bead stores. She specializes in traditional wire wrap design and loves to see her students succeed in her classes. She released her first book in October 2013 and is co-owner of the Great Bead Escape Retreat which is in its 6th year of introducing attendees to the world of Jewelry Art.

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Jackie Truty

Jackie Truty

Jackie has been working in Art Clay Silver for over 15 years, and has been the President and owner of Art Clay World USA for over 13 years. She is a certified Master Instructor in Art Clay Silver, and is also a certified New Mokume Gane instructor. Jackie has taught Art Clay nationally and internationally and has published 2 books on silver clay through F&W publications.

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Jean VanBrederode

Jean VanBrederode

Art has always been a part of Jean’s life in one way or another and is her main passion and driving force. Jean feels fortunate to have found an art form, enameling, and making mixed-media jewelry, that brings excitement into her life each and every day. Her work is always changing, and always a surprise! Having been seduced, empowered, enriched, & invigorated by metals & glass, Jean happily dedicate herself to creating and teaching others the joys of enameling!

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Agnieszka Watts

Agnieszka Watts

Agnieszka Watts is from Northern Europe and she is a beadwork designer and a teacher.  She started being interested in seed beads jewelry about 3 years ago and since that time she was already published many times in professional magazines around the world. She is in 2014-15 and 2015-16 Starman Trendsetters team. She lives now in Illinois with her husband and they have three daughters.

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Donna Weeks

Donna Weeks

Donna is a self-taught mixed media artist.  She has been teaching for over 20 years at art centers, and her studio.  Her crochet designs have been published in BeadStyle magazine and their Volume 8 book. Bracelet designs have also been published in BeadStyle and Bead Trends magazines, and in 52 Bracelets published by BeadStyle. Donna's favorite medium is wire which she incorporates into crocheted pieces, faux cloisonné, and polymer clay designs.

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Gwen Youngblood

Gwen Youngblood

As a jewelry designer, Gwen explored a variety of media until she discovered Wire, Metal and Fire. They inspire her creativity and fuel her passion for teaching. Whether teaching in her studio, or as a guest instructor at local/regional studios, or as an instructor at national venues, Gwen loves the interaction and camaraderie of the classroom. Her mission is to make metal working techniques accessible to everyone, so that students learn more than they expected, and have fun doing it. Students can expect Gwen to share her knowledge and creativity freely, with a dash of humor and lots of caring patience. Please visit www.metalartlab.com.

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