Past Instructors

Bead Fest Tacoma’s A-list instructors are packing up their personal studios to bring you an unforgettably fun workshop experience! Hands-on guidance, technique expertise and a willingness to work with your individual needs set our instructors apart from the rest.

Take a moment to learn about the vibrant instructors you’ll be working with at Bead Fest Tacoma!

Janet Alexander

Janet Alexander

Janet has more than 40 years of 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, Interweave Bead Fest TX, AdornMe Houston and many other venues. She has also appeared on HGTV’s Crafters Coast to Coast. In addition, she is a 2015 Saul Bell Jewelry Design Finalist.

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Marti Brown

Marti Brown

Marti Brown was always interested in the arts. As a child, some of her fondest memories included art camp, painting in her basement, art classes in summer school, and involvement in choral music. Marti became a professional artist and craftsman after completing her BFA in jewelry making. She has been designing jewelry for over 30 years and loves creating jewelry and teaching. Marti has worked in a variety of traditional and contemporary jewelry metals and processes. She currently works in niobium, a colorful metal, and of course beads.

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Candie Cooper

Candie Cooper

Candie Cooper is a designer with a passion for bold colors and notorious for twisting and layering materials until they sing.  "I'm inspired by so many things.  Most of all, I want my jewelry to tell a story.  A place I want to visit, a nostalgic memory from childhood, romance and more...it's all in my jewelry."  Earringology is her fourth solo book with Lark Books (TBR Spring 14').  In the past ten years, she has authored Necklaceology (2012), Metalworking 101 for Beaders (2013), and Felted Jewelry (2007).  Candie loves sharing unique jewelry techniques with her readers and students through her blog and books. Currently, she's working on product development for the jewelry finding industry, cooking up new DIY book ideas, and working with many craft companies to design new projects. Visit her website and blog at candiecooper.com as well as on your favorite social networking sites.

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Steven James

Steven James

Steven James, a refugee from one of the nation's flyover states spent his childhood breaking his art teacher's rules by coloring outside the lines, peeling the wrapper off crayons and making glue skin in the palm of his hand. Now that he is older, wiser and craftier he still wants to break the rules, but he needs you to join in the fun. Put aside the responsibilities of your life and get back the creative connections you made as an 8-year old. A full-time elementary school teacher, who has made appearances on the DIY and HGTV networks he loves taking a break from his own routine and spending a few hours with adults who will hopefully avoid picking noses, scabs or fights and focus on being as creative and inspired as possible.

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Donna Lewis

Donna Lewis

Donna is an award winning metal clay artist who has twice been a Saul Bell Award finalist.  Her work has been included in several publications by Lark Books, Brynmorgen Press, and Wardel Publications.  She offers workshops at Bead & Button Show, ART Unraveled, Adorn Me!, Sonoma Glass & Bead Festival, Bead Fest Santa Fe, and Bead Fest Texas. Donna grew up in Milwaukee, WI and now lives in Scottsdale, AZ.  She holds BFAs in Art and Telecommunications from Mount Mary College.  Donna invented the LiL BeLLA humidifier which has eased the work stress for many metal clay artists around the world.

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Sara Lukkonen

Sara Lukkonen

Sara Lukkonen has always been doing one kind of craft or another.  About 39 years ago she discovered torch fire enameling.  She had done some kiln work but did not like how long it took.  Tried out the torching technique and have been working with enamels that way ever since.  In 1999 Sara was wearing some of my beads in a bead store and they wanted to know where she got the beads. Thus C-Koop Beads was established. She has been teaching enameling for about 8 years.  Sara has taught at national shows, bead stores and in my studio.

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Jeannine Mankins

Jeannine Mankins

Jeannine has been teaching beading and wire classes for the better part of 15 years in the Sacramento, California bead store U Bead It. 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.”

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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.

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Kieu Pham Gray

Kieu Pham Gray

Kieu Pham Gray has been creating jewelry for over 15 years. She started from the need to @quot;look the part@quot; 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.

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Kate Richbourg

Kate Richbourg

Simply put, Kate Richbourg loves jewelry. She loves to teach it. She loves to make it. She loves to wear it. Teaching and designing jewelry since 1992, she teaches at national shows, bead societies and bead shops and is published in a variety of jewelry magazines and is the author of the popular blog.

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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 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 known 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 coauthored @quot;Organic Wire & Metal Jewelry@quot; and is currently writing a second jewelry design book.

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Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson has been immersed in Wire Weaving since 2009. A self-taught artist, she is always looking for the next challenge in designing using just wire. She started teaching in 2010, has a book out "Fine Art Wire Weaving", as well as multiple magazine articles and an online video thru Craftsy called "Wire Weaving Bracelets: Basics and Beyond".

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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.

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Candice Sexton

Candice Sexton

Candice Sexton has been beading since 2001, and enjoys the relaxing, meditative and creative qualities of bead crochet, bead weaving and wireworking. The author of the 2014 book from Kalmbach Books on bead crochet titled, "Bead Crochet Basics" she also likes coming up with new ways to work with materials and techniques. Visit her website, candicesexton.com Candice Sexton has been beading since 2001, primarily in bead crochet, beadweaving, and wireworking, and is the author of the book, “Bead Crochet Basics.” She enjoys experimenting and incorporating different elements in her designs. Always willing to help her students, Candice is a patient teacher who enjoys sharing her knowledge and helping others discover the joys of beadwork. Visit her Etsy store at www.etsy.com/shop/CandiceSexton or her website at www.candicesexton.com.

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Kristal Wick

Kristal Wick

Internationally award winning designer, teacher and official Swarovski Instructor, she resides with her 2 puppies, Sparkle and Bling in beautiful Colorado. Kristal's fashion endeavors include designing & creating jewelry for the Jimmy Buffet Band backup singers & dancers; appearing numerous times on HGTV, PBS and JTV; teaching on cruise ships worldwide including Debbie Macomber’s Alaskan Yarn cruise. The author of 4 books: Metal Clay 101 for Beaders, Foxy Epoxy, Fabulous Fabric Beads Sassy Silky Savvy; 2 DVDs: Mixed Media: Beaded Bracelets with Fiber Beads and Crystals, Resin, Wire Mixed Media: Jewelry Making with Handmade Beads, Crystals, Resin, and More! Past editor of BeadingDaily.com, her designs have been featured in over 85 publications. Kristal’s jewelry has been represented in galleries spanning the globe including Santa Fes’ Canyon Rd. Alaska, Cayman Islands, Italy, Germany & the Virgin Islands.

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