L i s a  K a n  D e s i g n s
                                                         . . .
infinite possibilities
fine art glass beads  |  findings & components  |  tools & wraps



New Company


...defining your style
Imagine...   Transform...   &   Create...

Three years in the making and finally I am able to announce my newest concept in designing, Aria Design Studio.

Click here to visit the catalog page to see and learn more about the special components and findings that will tease your creativity.  Challenge your design sensibilities by thinking outside of the box and imagine the multitude of possibilities by simply using one component and re-orientating the direction of beading, wireworking, fiber arts, etc.

The full story of the development of  Aria Design Studio and the Damask collection of components and findings will be shared soon. 

If you are a bead store interested in carrying the new Damask components and findings, please email me on wholesale pricing and minimum order qualifications.  Discounts are also available for qualified designers and volume retail customers.

The Book

Bead Romantique: Elegant Beadweaving Designs

I embarked on a fantastic journey, challenge and opportunity late August 2006.  How often does one of the largest craft publishers, Interweave Press ask you if you want to write a book and give you the freedom to create your vision?  I am thankful to all the talented Interweave staff whom have touched this book and helped me bring it to fruition.   And, after nearly a year's hard work "behind the scenes", in between exhibiting at shows, writing articles, traveling and making beads too, my first book is NOW available on Amazon.com

If you would like to order an autographed version of the book directly from me, just email me your request.  The book is $24.95 which includes FREE media rate shipping.  (You can upgrade to Priority mail  and if you are an international customer, I will pro-rate your shipping fee.  Insurance is encouraged but optional).   I will also be offering the book at select shows.  Since I exhibit at most Interweave shows, the book will also be available at Bead Expo and BeadFest events.  This book was first launched at Bead Expo Portland (March 27-30, 2008)

You can also order the book on Amazon to take advantage of their special pricing, by clicking the cover of the book to the left menu.  If you are a member of Books-A-Million, you can also get this book at an excellent price.  Please note that book pricing will differ slightly between sites.  You will also be able to find this book at your local bead or book store so ask them to set aside a copy for you! Read more...


As the book ships worldwide, there will no doubt be a number of beaders who have questions on the projects and will begin emailing me. Please feel free to do so as I welcome any commentary, positive or negative.  But also note that I will be unable to personally answer ALL emails.  I will try my best.  As I start receiving your questions, I will be posting FAQ and their answers on my BLOG. So please check on the blog for additional commentary and do not be disappointed if I can not respond immediately nor personally to your inquiries.  I wished I had several clones but unfortunately it is just me here! 

Also we did not include seed bead numbers in the book, as this is a standard to not favor one company over another, but also because bead stores do not have consistent nomenclature.  But we did provide suggested colors. You are NOT locked into the colors I used for each project, so have fun creating your own versions of my designs!  I know some of you feel more comfortable using the EXACT colors in the book, therefore you can ge
t the nitty gritty details to ALL the seed bead colors used in Bead Romantique from my BLOG!  The information has also been supplied to the San Gabriel Bead Company who can pull the seed beads you need for every project .  Sometimes substitutes may result but the colors will be close to the originals.  Read more...


Update Nov 2011:   There are only a few hard copies available as Bead Romantique sells out of it's second printing through various outlets.  Interweave has converted the book to an e-book, which you can download here.  If you have waited to purchase this book and prefer holding the book in your hands, now is the time to get the book before all hard copies are GONE.  I have only 6 copies in stock (as of April 3, 2012).  Just email me or click the book link to your left to order from Amazon.

The Tools

Professional Precision Tools (PPT)
Made in Japan

(click images for a close-up view and see for yourself why these tools are so special)

5 tools for the AMAZING price of $150 + $6.50* Shipping - SOLD OUT!!!

a tri-fold tool wrap in Japanese print cotton fabrics
can be ordered and viewed HERE
*shipping rate is for the U.S.A.
 International shipping is a flat rate priority envelop for $15

The retail pricing of each tool is a value of $40 (or $200 per kit) - SOLD OUT!!!
tools are NOT sold separately
(*price subject to change based on the US to YEN exchange rate)

included in the kit are: long chain nose, round nose, flat nose, bent chain nose and flush cutter
Ultra fine jaws PERFECT for the fine wire artist
(specified to use with 20 gauge to 34 gauge non-ferrous wires,
cutter is NOT for stainless steel beading or memory wires)

Made with Japanese CUTLERY grade Stainless Steel SUS420J2
A Lisa Kan Designs EXCLUSIVE offering
for the FIRST time available in the USA as a kit

Designed by engineers for engineers
Originally used for circuit board and SMT/IC prototyping

Unmatched by ANY other jewelry pliers in the market TODAY!
and is all you'll need to get the edge

SEE and FEEL the difference

For wholesale inquiries, please email me for minimum ordering qualifications


In this section, you will read the latest and most updated news on the happenings here.  Visit my BLOG for more personal commentary and answers to FAQs from my articles/projects in beading magazines too.  I hope to give you a more personal view of what drives this crazy girl to create and write so much! I'll have somewhat periodic entries, not daily ones like other bloggers, can write.  Time needs to be reserved for creating glassy treasures, designing jewelry and developing new products.  You'll also have a chance to view photos from the shows and I'll periodically have technical commentary.  Then there are the Thursday Tease posts, where I'll share some eye candy on color and texture to inspire you, and periodically break things up.  I hope we will learn and discover together!  (Due to time constraints, I have stopped updating the blog and you can find more information on my Facebook page, link listed below.)

Follow me, my travels, photography, adventures and ramblings on my Facebook page.

Update 04/03/12: 
I am in the process of developing a new Etsy Shop for your shopping convenience.   Limited edition beads, studio specials, design elements and standard lines like the Botanicals, Serenity and Ginkgo series will be available on Etsy soon.  You will also be able to find our limited edition fabric tool/jewelry wraps and Professional Precision Tools on Etsy.  Thank you for your continual support.

In an effort to reduce my show schedule over the course of 2012 and prepare for more creative time in the studio, this site and Etsy will present an array of products I offer at shows.  I am also working on a FULL overhaul of this website and developing an entirely new website over the course of this year.  The transition is exciting but will require hours of programming and code writing.

There are only a few hard copies available as Bead Romantique sells out of it's second printing through various outlets.  Interweave has converted the book to an e-book, which you can download here.  If you have waited to purchase this book and prefer holding the book in your hands, now is the time to get the book before all hard copies are GONE.  I have only 6 copies in stock (as of April 3, 2012).  Just email me or click the book link to your left to order from Amazon.

Update 03/07/12: 
I will be exhibiting at BeadFest Santa Fe from March 17th to 19th.  Please drop by the main exhibit hall, Booth 208, if you are visiting the show. I'll be introducing my new Gyra and Sakura lampwork beads.  You can obtain a free pass to the show from my Facebook page.  From March 30th to April 1st I will be exhibiting at the Glasscraft and Bead Expo in Vegas.  Please visit me there at locations G7 and H7.  The online shop will be closed during this period and will re-open April 2nd. 


Show Info

Only the upcoming four month's shows are listed on a rolling basis here. Visit the Show Schedule for the entire year's list of where I'll be exhibiting.  I look forward to meeting everyone at each show. Come visit and let's chat. If you can not make it to a show, please support your local bead store that carries my work.  Visit Where to Buy for listings by state. If your local beadstore does not carry my work, have them contact me and let's see what we can do.

April 2012
Northern California Bead Society Bead Bazaar April 21, 2012  Oakland, CA  TBD

May 2012
Art and Elegance in Beads, May 4-6, 2012 Portland, OR TBD

June 2012
Bead and Button Show, June 7 - 10, 2012 Milwaukee, WI  Booth 818

July 2012
No shows scheduled, preparing for Philly Bead Fest

If you are a bead store interested in carrying my glass beads, Aria Findings, the Professional Precision Tools, or tool wraps, please email me on wholesale pricing and minimum order qualifications.  

Glass Art Highlights

In this section, you will see the current glass bead series I offer.  Some of the selections will only be offered periodically at shows, to make things interesting. I am always developing new ideas but sometimes these ideas take many years to perfect or germinate in my mind, before they are ready for you. Being somewhat of a "perfectionist", I am very particular to the technical challenges of my glasswork.  Some have asked at shows and so I will state it here officially, NO I DO NOT HAVE A FACTORY making these beads. It is just me, myself and I - all made in Southern California, in my sstudio with one of four possible torches! (I like playing with FIRE!). 

Sometimes, looking at all the beads on my table(s) at shows, it may appear that there are three people or a SMALL nation helping me (I wish! I need all the help I can get!), but it's just ONE person here with a mission.   The website only shows a fraction of the colors and variations of each series.  I enjoy making beads in a series because I'd like to think that I am a story teller through my work. Every single glass bead is made one at a time and then offered to you for your continuation of the storytelling, (each bead series has a story behind it's design and purpose because there should be purpose in why we create, no?  Read below.) to be transformed with your magical touch into fabulous finished designs. I also offer one of a kind prototypes and limited test beads at shows only. Unfortunately, I DO NOT duplicate the older styles shown in the lampwork gallery but only those listed below and in the catalog.  When new designs are ready to be announced, you'll see it here! You will also find a selection of my work on my Etsy Shop.

"Botanicals" Floral Series

When we purchased our home in 2002, one of my wishes were to have either plum (ume) or cherry (sakura) blossom trees planted in the front garden. Not to disappoint, we planted two plum blossom trees. Although the trees are still quite young, this Spring (May 2009) they blossomed beautifully (see above left). Can you see above why I love plum and cherry blossoms? They are stupendously gorgeous.

The Chinese view the plum blossoms as both a symbol of winter as well as a harbinger of spring. Because the tree blossoms in the winter in China, it also serves as an example of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. The Japanese, on the other hand, believes the plum blossom “Ume” as a protective charm against evil and traditionally plant the tree in the north-east part of the garden, from the direction where evil is believed to travel. Interesting tidbits of info...

Above right is a sample photo of the first batch of plum/cherry blossom inspired Botanicals. The floral shaping is inspired by the blossoms from my tree, but since I love to play with color and I know beaders like me do as well,  I've since created these Botanicals in a myriad of colors. The photo only shows a smidgen of available colors.  As colors become standardize, I will add them to the website's online catalogFrom time to time, there will also be limited colors made with rare production glass from my vault.  Once limited colors sell out there will be no way of making more of that color combination.  You will note them in the catalog as "Limited Production".

I like to use a 6mm margarita crystal in the center for a hint of sparkle.  These flowers can be used in many designs and mediums - from hairpins, brooches, rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces
(see above for some sample ideas!) to whatever your imagination takes you so don't limit yourself.  Visit the catalog to see what colors are now available for ordering!  Check out the free tutorial on my blog for the "Under 15 minute Botanical Silk Corsage Bracelet."  Have fun and enjoy!

"Luft" Hollow Series

Luft (German for "air") is a hollow series that plays with minimal texture for visual appeal and is a special transparent metallic finish that is similar to Sandstorm and Strata Metallic. It was introduced at Tucson 2008.  Hollow beads are ideal for beadwork design because they are light but durable, so you can use MANY of them if you wish.  The minimal texture adds a tactile feel while allowing the metallic finish to shine as the main feature.  The metallic finish compliments iris, AB, satin and luster beads well.  Surface decorations will range from batch to batch but may include dots, flatten dots, swirls or any combination of these. The Luft bead accents your design, but attempts to not take center stage, adding just enough subtle pizzazz with it's glistening finish. There will be MANY colors available overtime. At times, non-metallic Luft beads may be offered at shows, when I test out new color combinations or surface decorations.  What magic a poof of air can add to two joined disk beads! These beads will be periodically offered at shows.

"Sandstorm" Focal Series

Sandstorm is based off of the Strata and Strata Metallic series and introduced at Tucson 2008. A mix of transparent and opaque glass are used to create a floating sandstorm maelstrom that swirls about with small earthy inclusions that traverse down the center of the tube bead. It's metallic finish compliments iris, AB, satin and luster beads well.  These tube beads range from 1.5" to nearly 3".  These beads will be periodically offered at shows.

"Ginkgo" Leaf Series

I have been developing the ginkgo leaf in my dreams for awhile now - nearly two years, since 2005.  I had always wanted to interpret my appreciation for the beauty of the ginkgo leaf in glass but it was not yet the right time. I had to think and mull over how I would sculpt and technically execute the leaves because I wanted to "do it justice". I wanted the leaf to be just right and a close facsimile to the real thing.  March 19, 2007 was finally the right time to give the glass ginkgo life! And here it is.  

This series is an extension of the Serenity leaf series.  The ginkgo symbolizes peace, sensibility and hope for better and peaceful future to the Japanese.  The ginkgo leaf is amongst my favorite  motifs in Art Nouveau and is often utilized in many art mediums.  It's fan shape is so romantic.  The ginkgo is a plant species unlike any other as it has it's own plant classification.   It is a living fossil dating back over 270 million years.  To learn more about this leaf, visit the Ginkgo Leaf Museum website.

Overtime, this series will compliment the many colors available in the Serenity and Serenity Milkglass series so that the leaves can be designed and implemented together if you wish. The series will also have it's own unique limited colors, from time to time.  Each leaf is individually sculpted therefore shapes will vary in each strand, as no two leaves are the same in nature.    After studying hundreds (maybe even thousands) of ginkgos, I would have to say that these are sculpted very close to the real thing.   What do you think?  It's a real joy to see a ginkgo leaf form in the flame with careful sculpting under my guiding hands.   I LOVE making them.   These leaves are perfect for a necklace or earrings.  Use them as you would the Serenity leaves.   Many more fantastic colors are yet to come and will be added to the online catalog as they are developed.  

"Nouveau" Pendant Series

I dream a lot about beads  if you haven't noticed. 

I have been dreaming about making the Nouveau pendant series since early 2006.  I had explored the drop shape in March 2006, creating several smaller prototypes with abstract designs, but had to leave the concept behind to move forward with other impending projects and deadlines.  This is how long an idea can germinate because if it's not "perfect" it is not ready for you.  I had just finished submitting the first 10 project proposals for my book, Bead Romantique, so romance was still definitely on my mind. One week prior to exhibiting in Tucson 2007, I decided it was time again to bring forth my original drop pendant concept.  The Nouveau pendant series pays tribute to the Art Nouveau age which I love the most.  It embodies the stylized flowers that were popular in the era.  Each drop pendant has six stylized crocus-like flowers seemingly dancing and floating around it's circumference.  The custom blended colors bring the 3-D flowers to life and create additional depth.  Each pendant has a sterling silver bail (sometimes I offer gold-filled too) with a 2.5mm ring.  It takes 3 days to make each pendant, from the custom blended floral canes, to the execution of the pendant and lastly, the finishing of the bail.  The Nouveau pendant can be easily woven into beadwork, strung with ribbon, or incorporated as a pendant with an addition of a jump ring.  The use of two or more complimentary transparent glass colors in the base drop add visual depth and the satin finish provides an internal vintage glow.  On rare occasions, the pendants are left un-etched because the clarity of the Italian glass should be left un-altered to shine on it's own.  These pendants will be periodically available at my shows.  Additional pendant shapes may be added to the series over time. 

The Nouveau pendant is featured in a festoon necklace in my Bead Romantique book, utilizing beaded quatrefoils and Vintaj brass findings/chain.


"Haiku" Focal Series

The art of Haiku poetry was officially born in Japan at the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1770).  This poetic form has always consisted of three-lined verse of seventeen syllables, arranged in alternating lines of five, seven and five syllables each.   Having traveled to Japan on several occasions, I am deeply drawn to their arts and esthetics.  You will see the Japanese influence in my glass work often.  This series was inspired by the changing seasons and the beauty of nature portrayed in classic  Japanese Haiku poetry.  The focal beads are my interpretation of the changing seasons and of the falling leaves/blossoms floating in a pond.  The variety of colors in the Haiku series were also influenced by beautiful silk kimonos.  The focals in this catalog are only a sampling of some of the fabulous colors now available (violet, coral, aqua, lavender, cranberry pink, soft pink, denim,  teal, and more colors are continually being developed).  There are 7-8 different steps and multi-layers of glass combined to create the depth in the Haiku beads.  Every angle you look will tell a different story.   The shape of the Haiku bead is reminiscent of the Inro box worn on the Obi (kimono sash) which held small objects and trinkets.   The finished necklace and lariat above provides you two of many design options for the Haiku focal.  For a more expansive selection, visit me at one of my shows or email me to select from the show stock when I open it up between shows.

In April 2007, the Haiku bead was chosen as an editor's pick and two of the beads graced the cover of Beadwork's Annual Beads 2007 issue.  Jean Yates' Passion's Poem, featuring a Red Haiku bead, graces the cover of Simply Beads April 2008 MagazineThe Haiku beads have also been featured in a number of publications since it's creation in 2005 at my first Tucson show.

"Mesa" Focal Series

The Mesa series was created for Tucson 2005, my first major show.  Since it was the first time I attended and exhibited my glass work in Tucson, I wanted to create a focal series to pay tribute to the Southwest.  As a fan of turquoise and silver, it is no surprise that I am also a big fan of Southwest arts and crafts.  Each focal contains a painterly approach of my interpretation of the Southwest.  The colors in this series are predominantly burnt oranges, tans, turquoise blues, raw umber and sienna.  Each bead is framed with a black border as if the bead was a painting.  The colors lend themselves well when combined with turquoise beads and whether just strung up or in a crochet rope design, you will have a little bit of the Southwest near you at all times.  The focals are very fun to make because of the randomness of the swirls (as if the wind was blowing)  and the unpredictability of the final colors.   Some of the Mesa beads are etched to give them  a soft worn look and feel.  These tubes range from 1.75" to nearly 3".   The finished necklace above provides you one of many design options for these long tube beads. These beads will be periodically offered at shows.

"Fusion" Focal Series

A careful mix of Italian glass and metal colorants creates the ceramic like appearance of the Fusion series.  The surface decorations often times appear metallic due to silver fuming and repetitive flame reduction.  The shapes are generally flatten oval tabs with smooth edges or scalloped edges on one or both of it's sides.  Sometimes, there are etched and non-etched versions with streams of color transparent glass around the tab, which are offered periodically at shows.   This series attempts to mimic my love of ceramics in glass and is made with Italian glass.   

The Fusion bead was featured in the Spring 2006 issue of Stringing Magazine, my first time writing for Interweave PressMy River's Edge necklace was selected for the cover of this issue What occurred thereafter, was pure magic.  Today, I continue my collaboration with Interweave and now write for Interweave's various magazines and publications  The finished necklaces above provide you two of many design options for these flat tabular beads.   These beads will be periodically offered at shows.

"Le Fiore Vive" Floral Focal Series

The Le Fiore Vive series was born on Sunday 12/29/02 and averages 1.25 to 2.50 inches lengthwise - a miniature canvas - as I like to work on the small scale.  Le Fiore Vive is Italian for "The Living Flower".  And in glass, the beauty of these flowers will indeed live forever.  Many of my creations are inspired by mother nature's colorful palette. All the flower colors are custom blended to create the 3D effect and depth.  It takes 2 days to make each bead, from the custom blended floral canes to the execution of the bead itself.  Using glass as my paintbrush, 2.5mm to 3mm custom blended canes, are slowly "painted" on petal by petal then stem/leaf canes are added carefully, while keeping the surface decorations un-melted for a 3D effect.  I hope you will drop by often to see the numerous flowers I intend to add to this series over time.   The beads are fully decorated on the entire circumference of the bead surface.   This series has taken a metamorphoses and improved over the years.  Sometimes, I offer this series in watercolor versions using enamels (fine powdered glass).  For the time being, since Tucson 2006, I re-introduced this series with new shapes (vases and tubes) and longer stem freesia-like flowers.  Previous pieces to this  series can be viewed in the Gallery.  These beads will be periodically offered at shows.

In April 2003, the Le Fiore Vive beads were selected to be part of James Kervin's Book More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Glass Beadmaking, 5th Edition.  In February 2005, Lark Books also selected the Le Fiore Vive beads (watercolor versions) for inclusion in Kimberly Adam's, The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking.

"Strata" and "Strata Metallic" Focal Series

Strata are bands of different colored or differently structured material exposed in cliffs, road cuts, quarries, and river banks.  Living in a mountain community, there are many cliffs and mountains nearby.  I was inspired to capture the striations of the cliffs in glass,  thus the name of this series.  Some Strata beads are etched for a soft worn feel and resemble agate slices.  For Tucson 2008, while prototyping the Sandstorm series, the Strata Metallic series was born. This new variation with it's metallic finish compliments iris, AB, satin and luster beads well.  These tube beads range from 1.5" to nearly 3".  These beads will be periodically offered at shows.

Publication Highlights

You will be able to find my articles and projects  in beading magazines starting  in 2006.   I am excited and fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the editorial team, at each of the respective magazines, and hope to continue my collaboration as a writer/designer.  From time to time, other wonderful artists also use my glass beads and products in their designs through collaborative efforts.  For additional information about other publications where you'll find my work, visit the Publications page.  Below only lists the most recent publications.

Additional Publication Highlights will be posted ASAP from 2009-2010,
for a listing visit the Publications section!  I have been SUPER busy!

Australian Beading Magazine: Vol. 2 No. 3
Our Beading World

Jean Yates and I were invited by the editor of Australian Beading Magazine, Kelly Norton, to write a new column "Our Beading World" for Aussie beaders to cover hot trends in the world of beading.  This is quite an honor.  In the debut column you will have an opportunity to read a mix of reviews on a book, artist-made beads, findings, crystals and much more.  I will be writing this column with Jean until the remainder of the year as I have other pending projects scheduled for 2009.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy what Jean and I have to say about the products we love to use and some of the artists behind the handmade beads that we are both passionate about to introduce to Aussies.

Bead Trends Magazine: May/June 2008

Bead Trends Magazine is a new idea book-magazine with beautiful photography and easy to create jewelry in many fun categories.  In the May/June issue you can find a special section featuring lampwork designs.  The first project in this section is my Calypso necklace which utilizes two of my Island Storm beads (pages 134 and 135).  The colors were inspired by the colors of the Carribean in hues of blues and violet.  The textures of the drusy drops tease the eye, as light bounces with each movement, somewhat reminiscent of reflective pools of water.  The necklace is interwoven with a web of seed beads and crystals capturing ever ray of light. 

Beads 2008: The Ultimate Beader's Resource

In Beadwork's annual special issue Beads 2008, you will find my Gingko and Nouveau pendant as two of the editors top picks.  Three ginkgos and a Nouveau pendant were selected to be part of the cover art along with other top picks!  How exciting.  You can see a closeup of these beads under the "Zen" category on page 18.  Not only that but editor Danielle Fox designed a lovely Nouveau Riche necklace found on page 53 accented by Vintaj brass elements with the Nouveau pendant.

Australian Beading Magazine: Vol. 2 No. 1
Les Bijoux d'Amour

My second project for Australian Beading Magazine, Les Bijoux d'Amour, was inspired by my love of pearls.  I use pearls in every imaginable shape, size and color in my work.  This time around I wanted to challenge Aussie beaders to think outside of the box and use findings in other ways than they were intended.  The magazine is yet available in the US but hopefully soon there will be a bookstore near you that carries this beautiful publication.  The above necklace, although strung symmetrically, can be worn offset for an alternate version.  You can find the project on pages 88-91.  In this same issue, you will find Jean Yates' L-O-V-E-L-Y charm bracelet using my peachy borosilicate beads too (pages 32 - 36) which also happens to grace part of the cover.


Beadwork Magazine: April/May 2008
"Petit Fiore Bracelet and Earrings"

The April/May 2008 Beadwork continues to offer projects to their readers which we did not utilize in Bead Romantique.  In the Petit Fiore bracelet and matching earrings (available FREE on Beading Daily), I've used the versatility of right angle weave with picots to create a corsage of colorful flowers for your wrist.  The margarites add a bit of sparkle to each flower center and the Ezel Findings clasp/earring findings add a bit of the glamorous finishing touch.  I love using chain in beadwork too, if you haven't noticed, which add fluidity and movement to the earrings.  And yes, size 15/o's do the trick too to give the pieces a fanciful delicacy!  You can see that I also made a silver version of both bracelet and earrings which I gifted to my friends at Ezel Findings.  Enjoy these projects and keep your eyes peeled for more in the upcoming year!

Beadwork and Finished Jewelry Highlights

For additional finished pieces and eye candy, please check the GalleryThis is just a fraction of some of the beadwork that I've created since 2003.  I will add to the gallery from time to time, as my designs get published in various beading magazines. Unfortunately at this time, I do not have the time to offer my designs for sale since I am focusing in offering them to you through my articles. Your input and constant inquiring at shows in purchasing kits or buying the finished pieces are a constant encouragement for me to continue sharing my designs through my articles. I enjoy teaching through this platform, as I do not have time to teach in a classroom setting.  Besides, I want to encourage everyone to explore their own creativity and build a "Beading Nation" in the process  Let's hear it for handmade!  I hope you will explore beading on your own and enjoy the craft that has bought me so much pleasure (and if you are up for the challenge, use all size 15's in your beadweaving. I love 'em!)

The Dragonfly Maidenhair

My friend, Dee Perry of Clasp-on Clasp-off and Bead Need, designs some of the most beautiful clasps available in the market.  I simply love how she  transforms buttons into clasps.  She was very generous to gift me with a few of her clasps while I was at  BeadFest Miami.  I'll have to give full credit to the dragonfly 3- strand Y clasp as being the key feature that made this design come together so well.  The ginkgo is also known as the Maidenhair Tree.  You can view  a close-up of the necklace on my website's opening page and in several of my  Beadwork Magazine ads.  The lavender necklace on the left is in my personal collection and the blue version on the right is my gift to Dee.  The double drilled triangle pearls is a unique finishing touch to the collar and are stitched in alternating orientation.  The graduated fringe incorporates three of my ginkgo leaves as well as clusters of pearls.  I hope this necklace provides you further ideas on how to incorporate the  Ginkgo leaves into beadwork.  You can also create a similar look with the Serenity series with any 3-strand Y clasp.  


Pearly Mosaic: Pushed Up a Few Notches

Aha! You folks think I DON'T sleep and you are almost right.  Did you know that I've mastered the art of beading with one eye shut and one eye opened?  Here are two alternate versions of the Pearly Mosaic necklace featured in the June/July issue of Beadwork, with graduated circles and pushed up a few notches to show how you can create a different look with the same techniques.  The design reminds me of crochet circles.  I can also see the same technique used to weave random floating circles around the neckline or converted to a smaller bracelet design. Hmmm... more ideas to get me into additional beady trouble.

Serenity Blossoms and Merlot

I designed these necklaces to showcase the flexibility of using borosilicate beads mixed with the Serenity leaves.  All silver used in the Serenity Blossoms necklace are Karen Hilltribe Thai Silver with the exception of the daisy spacers which are from Bali.  The Merlot necklace has a mix of Toho cranberry seed beads, ruby rondelles, faceted garnet and iolite rondelles with vermeil Bali daisy accents.  It is not the easiest to photograph borosilicate beads and you won't find these beads in the online catalog but only at the many shows I have scheduled.  The colors on computer screens simply do not do justice to the way boro (aka pyrex) glass glows in proper lighting.  This glass has two different personalities.  In fluorescent light, it is muted and neutral in appearance.  But under halogen or in sunlight, the beads appear to glow from within.  The colors just "pop"!   You will be able to  fully appreciate  the nuances of this glass in person because the eye does not lie.  I specialize in LIMITED production, custom blended small rondelle, disk shaped, and triangle borosilicate beads to accent all those larger focal beads you may have collected from other artists.  The beads are perfect for bracelet designs and anywhere you want a small punch of color

The rondelle versions were used in the Berrylicious bracelet from the Spring 2006 issue of Stringing Magazine.  I also challenged the editors of Beadwork Magazine to design with the disk versions  in their November 2006 issue.   Since colors are custom blended in small batches, the selection will differ from show to show.  If you see a color you like, it is best to snatch it up because I can not guarantee I can duplicate the same colors later!  The borosilicate beads have also been featured in a number of other publications.


Tequila Sunrise

I have always admired Michael Barley's glasswork so imagine how thrilled I was when I had the opportunity to schedule a workshop in Port Townsend, WA in July 2005.  The trip was extra special because just a few months before (May 2005) I took the leap to pursue my glass full time.  I don't regret that decision a bit!!   Up to that point, I had isolated myself by being self-taught to develop my own personal style but it was time to venture out and take workshops to fine tune my techniques.  Michael is a meticulous and patient instructor.  I consider him to be one of my two mentors that have influenced my work the most, even if I only studied under him for TWO days.  (My other mentor is the fabulous Kim Osibin, whom I've been fortunate to spend 2 days with on two separate occasions.)  I admire Michael's attention to detail, form, function and technique.  The bead above was a "practice" bead I made in his class.  I had thought to just keep it in a box for memento sake but the bead screamed to be made into this vibrant necklace.  The necklace is in my personal collection and is  a 5-strand design utilizing various shapes of Carnelian beads, both smooth and faceted, for added textural effect.  Faceted lemon jade, hessonite garnet and olive quartz also added color variation to spice things up with a hint of Bali vermeil findings.   You will find a profile on Michael, written by me, in the October/November 2006 issue for Beadwork Magazine.


Metal Art Highlights

For the time being, since May 2005, I decided to set aside my metalsmithing and enameling (with the exception of the two workshops I attended with my friend Kelly Russell in 2006, on PMC - see below) to focus 100% on glass. However, this is just temporary and you will see some interesting offerings in the future.  I know I'll be unable to stay away from metals much too long.  I can't commit to a timeframe of when you'll see products in this category again.  A girl has only so much time in the day to create but I use every second of every moment!  In the meantime, you can view some of my previous work and get a sense of my metalworking style to anticipate what exciting things may be in store. 


Dragonfly Summer

(October 2006) It took a year for her to get here but I was able to convince my friend Kelly Russell, to come into town to teach two workshops at the San Gabriel Bead Company.  I've been toying with the idea of playing with PMC more and combining it with my glasswork.  I made the above double sided bead (which also serves as a pendant) with Kelly's guidance.  I LOVE the effect of the single dragonfly camouflaged behind the wisteria leaves.  Textures were created by using Gwen Gibson's tear away technique. We used the ancient Korean technique of Keumboo to apply 24kt gold foil to the fine silver bead.   A nice patina was added using liver of sulfur.  What fun!  I have some exciting ideas I'd like to explore when I have more time to play and more equipment!  Kelly is a GREAT instructor and if you have a chance to take one of her workshops don't miss it!

Sunken Treasures and Gargoyle Rings

(October 2006) The results of the second workshop with Kelly Russell are shown above.  We explored PMC hollow forms using both lump and sheet clay.  The Keumboo application and antique patina gives the ring a lovely worn appearance, as if found from some archaeological excavation.  I simply LOVE it!   A stone can be set in the center, but I loved the patina so much, that I think I'll leave it as is.  I had made an extra ring shank so decided to create the Gargoyle Ring from a borrowed mold.  The possibilities with PMC are endless  and exciting.   I have a LOT of exciting ideas to add metal clay into my repertoire and look forward to exploring PMC further but for now, I better get back to focusing on  glass  and preparing for all my shows.


The Lizard King
 Carved Turquoise Sterling Silver Pendant

(May 2002) The Lizard King was inspired by a friend who is  a Jim Morrison (Doors) fan.   Using two of my favorite components - silver and turquoise - from my vision became  it's reality.  "I am the Lizard King.  I can do anything."  This was a perfect birthday gift and I enjoyed creating this piece for my special friend.  I have MANY unset carved turquoise cabochons and pendants, featuring different animals but mostly lizards, that I've collected over the years.  I have so many that I  may consider offering some  at shows or online later, if I can part with them.  I'm still thinking about parting with them...  STILL THINKING.  Hmmm... For now they are securely stowed away and protected. Ha ha - and all mine.

Dichroic Scroll-Linked Sterling Silver Bracelet

(Mid 2004) Jan Small, a fabulous fused glass artist and instructor from Florida, gifted me with a bunch of her fused cabochons in 2004 when we met through Ebay.  I have rarely seen fused glass as beautiful as Jan's and her gift inspired me to bezel set the cabs into this creation.  Each bezel is hand fabricated.  Beaded silver wire was used to adorn the cabochons and the beaded rings were individually soldered onto each bezel setting.  The bezel set cabochons  were then linked together with two delicate scrolls which were hand wound with simple hand tools.  It was a challenge to solder the scrolled links to the bezel setting and there were many trials and errors but the results were well worth the effort.  Since less is more, the bracelet ends with a handcrafted hook closure.  Thanks Jan for this inspiration!  (Click the pictures for a larger view)

Blue Topaz Filigree Sterling Silver Bracelet with 3D Flowers

(Mid 2004) I designed this bracelet for the Orange County Fair's Jewelry Design Exhibit in 2004.  The entire bracelet was hand fabricated down to the round and square wires that were curled by simple hand tools (not on a jig).  I had to even make the square wire from round wire because I didn't have time to order it pre-made.  Thanks to drawplates and a few strong fellows who helped me get that round wire squared!  There are 3 dimensional flowers that were individually sawed out (not cast) and each layer soldered individually with a genuine blue topaz bullet cabochon adorning the center of each flower.  On the ends of the cuff bracelet are two 8mm round blue topaz cabochons to finish the look.  The scrollwork is actually based off of an old wrought iron gate design book from my extensive reference library and each scroll is terminated with soldered silver balls that I made from jump rings.   This was a VERY challenging bracelet to make and it is part of my personal collection. 


Organic Enameled Plate

(Winter 2004) I am a novice  enamelist and above is my favorite enameled plate that I've made thus far,  in 2004.  I'm enjoying making decorative metal art pieces that are not associated with jewelry in abstract designs.  In the above design, I used liquid flux enamel which was left to dry on a fully coated copper plate.  The freehand design was later scratched off  with a pointed tool (aka a high-tech bamboo skewer stick ;o)).  The thinly coated areas created an organic break where copper was exposed in the first firing.   Some of the firescale on the  exposed copper were left  to create the interesting organic results.  Powdered flux enamel was then sifted onto the plate.  The plate was fired a total of 4 times.  I had fun experimenting, achieving and creating organic textures with enameling.   Enameling has allowed me to mix  my love for glass and metals together into one medium.  How exciting!   I am sure there will be interesting developments in this area in the future.  But I had to set the enameling aside since April 2005, and for now, it's 100% focus on glass and preparing for all my shows.   I shall explore enameling in the future again, so it's NOT goodbye forever.  (Click the picture for a larger view)



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Last modified: April 3, 2012