Instructors

Instructors

Your favorite A-list instructors are returning to Bead Fest Texas, and we’re excited to introduce you to a few fresh faces, too! Each instructor is packing up their personal studio to bring you an unforgettable fun learning experience! Hands-on guidance, technique expertise and a willingness to work with your individual needs set our instructors apart from the rest. Plus, Texas is known for smaller workshops, which in return gives you more one-on-one time with your instructors.

Get to know the skilled artists you’ll be sharing your passion for jewelry with at Bead Fest Texas!

Janet Alexander

Janet Alexander

Janet has over 40 years experience in jewelry metal arts as a bench jeweler, designer, and instructor. She has a BFA in metals from the University of North Texas. Janet has taught at Bead & Button, Bead Fest, AdornMe Houston, and many other venues. She has appeared on HGTV’s Crafters Coast to Coast. She is also a 2015 Saul Bell Jewelry Design Finalist.

Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin is a commercial product photographer. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, he opened a commercial photography company. Since then he has created photography for a wide range of clients from individual glass, jewelry and bead artists, to Fortune 500 corporations. Doug’s teaching experience includes photography classes at the Art Center College of Design, the Art Institute of Phoenix, sold out Photography and Photoshop classes at the Bead & Button Show, ISGB Gathering, the Sonoran Glass School, the Tucson Bead Show, and the Mesa Arts Center in Arizona. Doug has taken up flameworking after classes with Bandhu Dunham, Dolly Ahles, Laurie Nessel, and Kim Osibin. His love for all things glass has widened to include glass fusing, slumping, sand carving, casting, neon and plasma sculptures. You’ll leave his workshops feeling empowered to create photos as beautiful as the glass and jewelry art you’re photographing.

Amy Bray

Amy Bray

Amy is a certified Painting with Fire instructor and teaches torch fired immersion enameling at the Las Vegas Glass Craft and Bead Expo. Amy is also a certified metal clay artist and currently teaches fused glass, lampworking, and soldered jewelry techniques locally.

Kaska Firor

Kaska Firor

Kaska began designing and making wire jewelry in 2001. Originally a traditional wire-wrapping artist, in recent years she shifted her focus to working with wire techniques borrowed from basket-weaving and textile arts, including weaving, looping, stitching, coiling and others. Kaska displays and sells her jewelry at art shows in the Midwest where she has won numerous awards. Her work has been published in Art Jewelry and Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazines. Her first book, Weaving Freeform Wire Jewelry, was released in November, 2013. Kaska teaches locally at her studio in Cincinnati, Ohio, William Holland School of Lapidary Arts and at national shows including Bead Fest and Bead and Button. She believes that well designed projects together with fun and supportive class environment are a key to successful learning.

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. When she discovered Metal Clay, she never looked back! Sulie has attained the Silver Metal Clay Diploma from the Mid Cornwall School of Jewelry, as well as the Art Clay 1 , 2 and Teacher’s certifications. She has been a guest teacher on Craftcast, and 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.

Mary Lowe Lukacs

Mary Lowe Lukacs

Mary Lowe has been represented by many fine galleries nationwide for over 16 years. Her work combines her signature Beaded Wirework Fantasy Jewelry techniques with her organic lampwork florals to create vivid and innovative designs.

Jeannine Mankins

Jeannine Mankins

Jeannine has been teaching beading and wire classes for the better part of 16 years in Sacramento, California and the surrounding area. 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.”

Debora Mauser

Debora Mauser

Debora Mauser has been creating jewelry for more than 12 years. For the past 9 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.

Anne Mitchell

Anne Mitchell

Anne started her creative career over 25 years ago as a professional lighting designer. Looking for another outlet for her artistic energies, Anne began teaching chain making and metal working approximately 13 years ago for just pure enjoyment. During those years, Anne found that the creative outlet provided by teaching as well as a consistent demand for her classes was too alluring to deny. Leaving lighting behind in 2003, Anne is now a full-time designer, teacher, and author.

Ralonda Patterson

Ralonda Patterson

Beading for Ralonda began as just garment embellishments for an accomplished seamstress following in her grandmother’s footsteps. But in 2003, beads took over, as they often do! Making dolls, much like grandma did, was fun but making beaded dolls captured Ralonda’s imagination and became the most precious creative outlet. Learning bead embroidery led to learning other off loom stitches and it stirred a burning desire to learn everything there was to know about beading. Going to bead retreats and teaching what she knew was the best way she could think of to learn, share, and have fun. After a few years of beading, Ralonda began teaching designs of her own. She was received with such encouragement and love that it has become her main medium and calling. Only ten years after the beads took over, she has taught at several large bead conventions, stores, retreats, and even private and free classes for her community. She has been published in the galleries of two wildly popular beading books, Heidi Kummli’s Spirit of Bead Embroidery and Kate McKinnon’s Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Volume II, beading magazines, and even written an article for Altered Couture Magazine. Ralonda loves to use a unique approach to materials, bead stitches, and a creative vision to encourage her students to bead in ways they never dreamed before.

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.

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. Their children are all happily married and busy raising their grandchildren. In 2006 Nancy retired after 30 years from McCormick & Company and started work in earnest on her real passion of creating jewelry. Nancy’s workshop is in her home, where she also enjoys teaching her craft. Making jewelry has been a passion of hers for years, and over time she discovered she especially loved working with sterling and fine silver and beautiful gemstones. Nancy is 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.

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 in 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 know 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 has authored two books on jewelry design: “Organic Wire & Metal Jewelry” and “Cool Copper Cuffs”.

Shanna Steele

Shanna Steele

Shanna Steele is a self-taught jewelry designer and artist. She worked in the bead and jewelry supply industry for a decade before deciding to start her own business selling her finished pieces. Shanna has been published in magazines and is a 2018 Designer of the Year for Beadwork Magazine. She lives in Fort Worth with her husband, son, two dogs, and a room full of beads and craft supplies.

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 it’s 6th year of introducing attendees to the world of Jewelry Art.

Gail Stouffer

Gail Stouffer

Gail is a designer, a maker, and an educator. She is a searcher, a mother, a wife, and a child. The ever-present balancing act of these roles informs her daily life and her work as an artist. Gail works in a variety of materials and processes to convey her ideas. Working with Precious Metal Clay engages her life-long fascination with physics and chemistry, allowing her to practice jewelry making’s age old processes while integrating the most modern, innovate techniques. Teaching is one of the most gratifying things she does as an artist. Gail loves her students! Helping a student realize their goals, dreams, and potential is exciting and fulfilling to her. Whether it’s a technical challenge or a concept development issue, Gail loves the actions of problem solving and overcoming hurdles. Sharing the laughter and support of fellow students during the process, well it just can’t be beat!

Maggie Thompson

Maggie Thompson

Maggie discovered beading about 25 years ago and fell in love with it! Four years ago she turned this passion into her business, Maggie T Designs. Maggie’s original designs have been featured in both classes & beading kits at Beadville USA in Chaska, MN. She has also taught kumihimo classes at the SE Bead Society in Rochester, MN and at the April 2015 UMBS “Demo & Do” event. In Feb. 2015, Interweave Press published her first ebook “Kumihimo Made Easy”. Maggie’s second ebook “Elegant Kumihimo” was published in Oct. 2015.  She also did a webinar entitled “Beaded Kumihimo Basics” in June 2015, also for Interweave Press. Maggie is a member of the Upper Midwest Bead Society (UMBS) and serves on the Board of Directors as Membership Representative for 2015, 2016 & 2017. Over the past 2 years Maggie has developed “My Kumi Stand” a portable kumihimo stand in a case (patent pending) which can also be purchased in her Etsy shop.

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.

Francesca Watson

Francesca Watson

Francesca Watson is a designer, maker and instructor who lives and works in the Texas Hill Country outside San Antonio. In 2012, she walked away from 25 years in administration and small business management to focus on living a more creative life. She and her husband now operate The Makery, a working and teaching studio in Bulverde, Texas, where she offers workshops in metals, enamels and jewelry-making. Her passion is creating unique, wearable, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces using unusual stones, while her explorations in mixed media and photography allow her to indulge her love of paper and journals. Francesca and her husband, Nick – who is also an artist – live on just over an acre in the country, which they share with two dogs, a flock of chickens, a large garden, and a variety of Texas wildlife.  In addition to teaching at The Makery, she hosts an annual metals retreat at Sage Hill Inn in Kyle, Texas and teaches nationally at venues including BeadFest, Bead & Button, Glass Craft Expo, Adorn Me!, and the annual Tucson Gem Shows. Francesca is also a Level 1 Certified Art Clay Instructor.

Shae Wilhite

Shae Wilhite

Shae Wilhite designs and teaches beading at Sweet Beads, the Las Vegas bead store she owns with her mother, Stacie. Her designs have been featured in publications like Beadwork Magazine, as well as on the red carpet, at movie premieres and on television.

 
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.

2018 Sponsors

India Gems