Each of Katie Stuart's disk beads is slightly different, enhancing the organic appeal of this necklace.

Jewelry designer

Bead artist

Kelly Wiese is a beadwork designer who lives in Fort Morgan. Colo., in the U.S. She has been designing and teaching beadwork for 12 years. Kelly loves to use IS- seed beads and crystals in her work, which tends to have a Victorian feel to it. She enjoys passing on her knowledge of heading to her students and spends most of her time designing new projects (or them. When time allows, she creates one-of-a-kind pieces. Several of her pieces have won awards at art shows in Colorado. Contact Kelly at beadparlor(fc, or visit her Web site,

As a young child, Katie Stuart and her family visited Disneyland, where she saw a man melting glass and forming animals and figurines. She was mesmerized. How could he be melting glass f Class is hard and brittle, not flowing and pliable. This was her first experience with lampworking and the beginning of her great love of glass.

Today Katie has a teaching studio in Santa Barbara, Calif., in I he U.S.. where she shares her passion for making beads. She finds the process of melting glass and combining colors as important as completing the finished heads.

The colorful disks in this necklace were inspired by Dale Chihuly, a master glassblower. Katie's floating disks in this piece remind her of the ocean with waves forming and breaking at the water's edge.

Contact Katie at katie<$, or visit her Web site.

Each of Katie Stuart's disk beads is slightly different, enhancing the organic appeal of this necklace.

Retrace the thread path several times, and end the thread.

[9] For the clasp loop, thread a needle on the tail on the other side of the neck strap, and pick up a 5 mm and an even number of 15"s to make a loop that will fir around the clasp bead.

[10] Sew back through the 5 mm and an end 8" in the strap (figure 4, a-b). Sew through an adjacent 8° and the

5 mm, then work a round of peyorc around the loop of I5tfs (b-c). Repeat to work another round of pcyote, bur pick up two I5°s per stitch instead of one (figure 5). Find the thread.

Assembly and embellishment

[1] On the thread remaining at the top of the core of 8"s attached to the dangles, pick up a leftover disk, and sew through it from the convex side. Pick up the 20 mm round art-glass bead and the other disk, and sew through the concave side (figure 6, a-b). These disks should act like bead caps. If they don't fit quite right, try adding a 5 mm crystal between the round bead and the disks. Sew through an end 8fl at the bottom of the l-in. (2..S cm) section of the neck strap, then turn, and sew through the adjacent 8", the two disks, the round, and the 8" next to the one your thread exiled at the start of this step (b-c). Retrace the thread path between the dangle core and the ncck strap several times, and end the thread.

[2] Usmg a thread left over from attaching the dangles to the core, begin embellishing the core with picots: Exit any 8® in the core, pick up three I52s, and sew through an adjacent 8® (photo I). Repeat all around the core (nor just on one side), adding picots as desired. The beadwork will take on a rounded shape as you add the picots. Add picots to the neck straps as well, ending and adding thread as needed. the beadwork twist and turn as you add the picots.

[3] Finally, embellish the core and the l-in. (2.5 cm) section of the neck strap with crystals: F.xit any 8" in the core or the neck strap, and pick up a 4 mm bicone, 5 mm tapered bicone, or 6 mm rondcllc and a 15°. Skip the 15°, and sew back through the crystal and the 8U your thread exited (photo j). Continue adding crystals as desired, covering all sides of the beadwork. End any remaining tails, o

Jewelry designer Maggie Roschyk has a theory about artistic collaboration — a holistic philosophy that she says defines her work with lampworker Kristen Frantzcn Orr. "The Gesralt theory — that the whole is different than the sum of its parrs — really plays into rhe jewelry that we create," Maggie explains. **The individual components, when combined, have greater value than if they were separate." Or, as Kristen adds, "One plus one equals seven."

The two artists have collaborated on more than 100 pieces of jewelry since 2002, completing about 15 major pieces a year to be sold in American and Japanese galleries, in addition to creating their own work and reaching. Whether they arc working together or individually, they are each committed to high-quality craftsmanship and aestheticism in their art.

"Kristen is constantly pushing the envelope with glass. I'm always looking for new applications for beading techniques that arc as old as civilization," Maggie says. "We want to create jewelry that is perceived as notable in design and handcrafting."

Individual outlooks

Maggie is the extrovert, spirited and social. Kristen is contemplative and quiet. Kristen's blog at kristenfrantzenorr., "Musings from the I ligh Desert," features her photographs of the mountains, birds, and flowers around her home in rural Elko County, Nev., in the U.S. "Maggie's Musings," Maggie's blog at, is a beehive of activity, with at times more than 10,000 beading enthusiasts reading her posts. She lives in Delafield, Wis., not far from the urban setting of Milwaukee.

Each artist's attributes and skills blend perfectly into the jewelry thar results from Kristen's carefully crafted art glass beads and Maggie's stitch-by-st itch approach to beadwork. They say this is possible because of their shared interest in things other than art glass and seed beads.

"Kristen loves Japanese ink painting, orchids, and kimonos. I'm drawn to Art Nouveau and South American textiles," Maggie says. "We both have a deep appreciation for anything Arts and Crafts style. None of these interests has anything to do with lampworking or beadwork, yet in our collaborative arr it means everything."

The two were bound to meet in the 1990s and early 2000s when Maggie, a native Arizonan, was living and teaching beading in Kristen's hometown of Elko. "Kristen and I would pore over her books on art and potter)'. Wc talked about the colors that were used and it helped us develop a color language between us. Then when we talked about colors wc both knew what the other meant," Maggie relates.

Eventually, Maggie landed in Wisconsin due to her husband's career, and now the two collaborate over rhe Internet and meet whenever they can — at the International Society of Glass Beadmakers* Gathering conference, the Bcad&cButton Show, or the Tucson bead shows. "We're not able to get together enough!" Maggie says. "When we do, at .

Kristen Frantzen Orr

A glass-bead artist and a beadworker find

Maggie Roschyk

Color and texture define our work. Our nieces of are and refraction WfKM

We strive to create pieces that are truly as well as visually exciting.

Maggie Roschyk

The locol bead and beadwork for Samakand Cuff wore created

The locol bead and beadwork for Samakand Cuff wore created

Maggie uses her eye for color and her large and enviable .stash of gemstones, glass heads, pearls, seed beads, buttons, and unique components to bring the colors in Kristen's beacb to the fore. Many of Kristcn's beads are highly textural, and are characterized not only by fine canes and minute details, but also by raised flowers and ridges. Pictured from left to right arc: Cote tl'Azur. 2007; Japanese Silk, 2003; Silent Storyteller. 2006; and Metamorphosis to Del afield, 2006.

we take out all my beads and her beads and start putting them together. When we find a good combination, we put the beads in a bag and look for the next mix."

Ideas blend together

Both have done lampworking and bead weaving, so they have a feel for each other's area of expertise, and that adds to how they approach their individual contributions to the collaborative pieces. "1 take Maggie's beads home and go to my bench to play with the color palette and see how I can use it in my beads," Kristen says. Meanwhile, Maggie looks for the individual colors in the glass canes Kristen uses, and picks up on the nuances in each bead.

For Kristen, the process works best when she sends Maggie digital images of her beads, then waits for Maggie to do her magic. "I find that if we talk about it too much back and forth we tend to lose interest in the final piece," Kristen adds.

The women have opposite working styles, which may be one reason thev work tetter independently after the conceptualization stage. Ml thrive on the panic of the last minute. Chaos and clutter keep me going," Kristen says. "If things get too tidy, I need to mess them up. It's too sterile. Maggie likes to keep things really organized." Maggie laughs at this. "I just reorganized my studio! I love it when every tube of beads is in the right

place. It's like all the voices are quieted and an idea can come forth." It seems like the classic introvert/extrovert dichotomy, with the introvert pulling outside energy into the creative process, and the extrovert taking energy out into the world.

"I need to actually make the beads to spark the creative part of the process," Kristen says. "1 don't want to say what I'm working on unril it's ready to be out there. Describing it kills the idea because talking about it either fills the need or I get negative feedback and think, why am I doing this?"

Maggie sends her ideas in progress to others, so that she can turn them over in her mind and get feedback. "I love writing the Bead&Button blog because it gives me a chance to talk about some of my design thoughts," she says.

Kristen hesitates when it comes to articulating what goes into making art: "It's impossible for artists to explain how long it takes to make a finished piece because they have been working in their mediums for years." Maggie agrees: "When you buy a bead from Kristen, you know that you're getting many years of expertise and high-quality work. When you buy my bcadwork, you know that I'm using the finest materials and it's not going to fall apart. We put a lot of quality and craftsmanship into our pieces."

Kristen has been a freelance artist since 1975, and a beadmaker since 1993. She has been a professional journalist,

Learn more about design in Maggie's blog at

Design tips

Maggie Roschyk and Kristen Frantzen Or have so vera) tips tor creating jewelry with art-glass beads. 'I want the art glass to be noticed first - the beadwork is the vehiclo for the art glass. It frames the bead." Maggie says. *You need to balance the two voices." Kristen adds.

l-lere are more tips from Kristen and Maggie:

• Tlte jewelry has to have visual impact. It should be obvious that it is handmade, and it has to make a statement.

• Visual impact Is Immediate when it comes to color. Choose colors that contrast or are complementary.

• Tlie art bead should be the centerpiece. You don't want to have to hunt for the bead.

• Balance materials, color, and style. Your piece should not be too heavy on one side and too 6ght on another.

• Wearabilrty Is essential, and so is physical comfort A piece of Jewehy shouldn't poke or itch.

• If you haven't created sometliing truly wonderful, keep working on it until you'ro fully satisfied!

watercolor artist, calligrapher. and illustrator. Maggie has been teaching jewelry making and selling her beadwork for more than 10 years. She has also published selected designs.

When asked whether she is partial to any designs she has created, Kristen says, "My most exciting piece is always the newest piece or the next piece." Her latest beads illustrate this perfectly. The new beads arc irregularly shaped disks — much different from what Bead&i Button Show-goers think of as her signature beads: intricate florals in relief. The beads were created for the pair's necklace, Tidepools Reflecting Prometheus, for the exhibit Convergence: Contemporary Jewelry Design with Art-Glass Beads. Instructions for the necklace can be found on p. 50 in "Radiating rings."

Artistic values converge

Kristen's Convergence beads are evidence of the partnership. The pair had been talking about ancient glass, and Kristen's thoughts went into gear: "We had a book about ancient art that inspired me to do things to the glass: etch it, color it with metals, scratch it with an alundum stone. I've been trying to create things that look like the Roman glass that's been dug up. It's kind of iridescent and has greens and aquas. I thought, 1 can replicate those colors by adding copper to the glass." "I must have made a hundred disks!" Kristen adds, laughing.

Puosos by Ootid Orr

"Maggie picked through them and pulled out the ones she wanted for the necklace."

Staying focused

Creating pieces for competition and exhibitions keeps the pair motivated. The two also network with other artists and artistic groups. Besides the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, Kristen belongs to a regional group called Wild Women Artists, while Maggie is a member of the Wisconsin Designer Craftsmen Council and exhibits at its Morning Glory Gallery in Milwaukee. Kristen exhibits at shows including the Wild Women Artists Shows in Reno and Flko. Fismo Art Glass in Colorado carries their work, which has also been shown at invitational shows in Japan and the U.S.

No matter what the economy signals, these two artists continue to advance. "We never know when another opportunity is going to come our way, so we just keep honing our craft. We always think, let s be ready when a door opens," Maggie says, o

Ann Dee Allen is editor of Bcad&cButton magazine. Contact her at [email protected]


Jewelry Making Secrets

Jewelry Making Secrets

No Other Jewelry Making Blueprint Is As Easy To Understand, Comprehensively Written Reasonably Priced As The Jewelry Making SecretsThis Is One Bold Guarantee That You Can Take To The Bank! I Will Do What No Other Jewelry Expert Will Dare Do... EXPOSE THE EXACT INSIDER SECRETS WHICH HAVE MADE ME SEVERAL FEW OTHERS STINKING RICH NOW THAT'S A FIRST!

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment