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Sunday, October 31, 2010


As a birthday present to myself, I took a class
yesterday entitled "What Can I do With a WigJig?" taught by Milly Valentin for the Bead Society of Greater New York. I had heard from other bead society members that Milly's classes were great and I have to concur--we learned a lot and had a load of fun. The photo on the right shows the main class project.

I am afraid that my photos are not the greatest-- my camera objected to photographing without flash--but they will give you an idea of Milly's wire jewelry that she brought to inspire us. The world of wire was pretty much new territory for me.

Here is part of a simple but elegant bracelet that Milly made. Almost all of our class time was spent learning to make various components on the WigJig or other wire bending devices. If you have never seen a WigJig, visit for more information and hundreds of free patterns. Milly also showed us how to wrap a bead with wire, as she did for the crystals on this bracelet.

Here is a photo of Milly at the head of the class as she is packing up her supplies and jewelry. It was hard to get a photo when she was standing still because Milly is a bundle of energy.

Here is one of Milly's pieces with crystals and wire.

Another piece with square wire and herts.

Here are some of my humble efforts. On top are two different styles of earring wires plus a wire component in the center. More components are in the middle row and the start of my necklace is on the bottom of the photo. The connectors for the components are made with the Coiling Gizmo, another new tool for me. More on that at
When I have time I am going to start the necklace again in copper wire with larger beads but I am pleased with my first efforts.

One of my fellow students is also a reader of my blog but I didn't get her name--it was the end of class and we all had to scoot when she said hello. I am sorry that we didn't get a chance to talk, maybe we will connect again at the next bead society meeting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gönül Paksoy and Edible Beads

I was thrilled to see that Gonul Paksoy, one of my favorite Turkish artists is featured in the latest issue of Selvedge magazine. One of her areas of exploration is making necklaces of edible beads, using items the the rest of us would normally just eat.

Here is a photo of her necklace made of cranberries from her new book "Edible Beads" that is included in the Selvedge article. Photos are by Rehan Eksi.

Here is another necklace of pistachios.

This is the cover of the issue of Selvedge (Issue 36, Sept/Oct 2010) that contains the article on edible beads. If you are unfamiliar with the magazine, it is a wonderful publication from the U. K. that covers textiles. For more information, visit

We first discovered the work of Gonul Paksoy at the International Bead and Beadwork Conference in Istanbul, Turkey in 2007. First, the Rezan Has Muzesi had an exhibit of Dr. Paksoy's bead collection and some of the jewelry that she made from the historic beads. Along with that, Ms. Paksoy mounted an exhibit of necklaces made with food items, i.e. edible beads.

Here is one of her necklaces made of wrapped candy that was exhibited during the bead conference. Photo by Don Recklies.

Here is another necklace made of coiled orange peel and dried fruit; photo by Don Recklies. The museum set out dried and fresh fruit for people to make their own jewelry but, unfortunately, no one had eaten dinner and many participants ate the "jewelry supplies" instead of making art.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I will be teaching two bead crochet classes at the Innovative Beads and Embellishments Expo in Edison, NJ on November 20 and 21, 2010. The first class is

Based on a bead crochet stitch that I learned in Turkey, this sparkly bracelet looks impressive but is actually quite easy and works up quickly. Students will learn how to string beads in a pattern and crochet the Turkish Loops stitch. Once the bead crochet is done, students will make a button and loop closure and embellish the loop with a peyote stitch decoration or needle-woven flowers and leaves. Only basic crochet skills are required. This class is a good introduction to a bead crochet technique that lends itself to experimentation with many different beads.

When: Saturday, November 20, 2010, 2:00-4:45PM
Class Fee: $60. Pre-register before November 18 and save $10
Kit Fee: $40

NOTE: The photo of the Innovative Beads class page only shows the green bracelet but kits for all 3 bracelets shown will be available in class.

The second class will be:


Based on a Turkish oya (lace) stitch that I learned from a shopkeeper while visiting theRoman ruins at Ephesus Turkey, this bracelet is a fun introduction to a form of bead crochet that uses larger beads and interesting fibers. Learn how to string beads, work the oya stitch known as Railroad, and make a button and embellished loop closure. Because this stitch is worked from side to side, there is no guseesing about how long a piece needs to be. Only basic crochet skills are required; you must know how to make a chain stitch and a single crochet (UK double crochet).

When: Sunday, November 21, 2010, 2:30-5:30 PM
Class Fee: $60. Pre-register before November 18 and save $10.
Kit Fee: $20

For more information about the show, classes, and registration, visit

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


A few years ago, in the dreary and grey weather of February, I was craving color. So I designed and made this colorful snake necklace named Ziggy.

Recently I decided that he needed a friend so I designed a bracelet. Introducing Little Ziggy:

Ziggy is a little more sparkly than his bigger brother because I used Swarovski crystals for the white centers of the green vlowers as well as part of the fringe on his tail.