| Karin Slaton
I was introduced to beads on a Sisters Getaway in Florida. After a first-night walk on the beach, I was expecting to settle in with popcorn, gossip and a tearjerker, when my sister-in-law, Kathy, whose birthday we were celebrating, invited us to join her at the dining room table. As we gathered round, she opened a large case teeming with beads, crystals and gemstones, bounty from her own jewelry designs. Over the next few nights, ideas were tested and beads were swapped as my sisters amassed piles of earrings, bracelets and necklaces they would need to make room for in their luggage, while I created a single 3-strand bracelet minus a clasp. It was the beads themselves, the simple act of touching them, examining their surfaces, teasing out their mysteries, that was the lure for me.
Once home, I ventured into a local bead store to find a clasp for my beach creation, and as I approached the cash register, I noticed a magazine cover and realized you could sew with beads, too! I left with my first tube of seed beads, a package of needles and a copy of Bead & Button magazine under my arm. Since then, I’ve attended beadweaving classes with many national teachers, received training from the metals program at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, and continue to study with artist intensives across the country. I’m always exploring different mediums and techniques, both current and time-honored, to bring depth to my work. Oh, and received a “Best of” award from the editors of the same magazine that launched my passion.
If life is lived in episodes and stages, as Mireille Guiliano, the high priestess of French lady wisdom suggests, then who knows what adventure waits just around the corner for each of us?