Karen’s seed bead pieces are simply dazzling!
Her designs incorporate not only seed beads but Swarovski crystals and rivolis (thin, faceted, cone-shaped crystal beads with lots of sparkle), 24 karat gold charlottes, pearls and any other bead that adds “bling” to a piece. She particularly enjoys working with very small seed beads (for beaders, size 15s) because small sizes enable complex detail without making a piece too large. In addition to making necklaces, bracelets and earrings, she has created beaded belts, evening bags, holiday ornaments--even a jewelry box with a King Tut motif.
Her interest in beading began in 1999 when she learned to do bead weaving on a loom. Since then she has mastered a variety of seed bead techniques: her favorite—right angle weave, as well as peyote stitch, brick stitch, herringbone, spiral rope, square stitch (a technique that mimics bead weaving but provides greater flexibility), bead crochet, bead embroidery, fringes, and netting—to create intricate pieces. A math wiz (equally at home discussing the significance of the Fibonacci series as she is discussing beading) she enjoys plotting out complex designs just for the pure pleasure of making them. A single piece may contain several types of stitches to achieve the look she wants—from frilly or sinuous bands to seamless cubes and tetrahedrons. Her intuitive color sense is complemented by her knowledge of color theory that helps her add a color that will make a piece “pop.”