KY Wire Gems crafts unique jewelry: bracelets, necklaces, rings, brooches, cuff links, headbands, and earrings using a myriad of stitches with needle and fish line. This art is normally referred to as off-loom bead weaving. I use quality Swarovski crystals, Toho and Miyuki seed beads, various gemstones, and assorted glass beads.
Sharing the love of beading
Teaching beading classes has enabled me to share my love of beading. The limit of six students ensures sufficient time to assist with beginning beaders, help with color selections, and untangle knots. All materials are included in the class price. Currently, the classes are held at the Kentucky Guild Visual Arts Academy and FABS Gallery on the Square in Bardstown.
Although several Master Beaders inspire and lead me in new directions with their published instruction books, I have developed several pieces “around” glass art beads that I purchase from other artisans. The most pleasure comes with the pieces I have designed myself.
The library has become a valuable source of books on the history and design of old and ethnic jewelry.
Subscriptions to Bead and Button and Beadwork Magazine allow me to stay abreast of new products and ideas.
History of the Passion
Since I have never been one to wear jewelry, my sister Karen had to push me to try making jewelry as a craft. We attended a few classes and invested a small fortune in tools, wire, findings, and beads. In short order I was obsessed with this new hobby. I quickly found the only way I could spend upwards of thirty hours per week making jewelry was with needle and thread.
As a craft, beading is the most diverse of any creative medium I have attempted in fifty years. I continue to take classes and have mastered peyote, herringbone, right-angle weave, albion, netting, african helix, brick, square, ladder, cellini spiral, dutch spiral, and bead embroidery, which involves another slew of stitches. Added to the plethora of stitches is an endless variety of sizes, shapes, and colors of beads, crystals, gemstones, and seed beads. I am honored to know several artists who make art glass beads and polymer clay beads that I also use in my pieces.