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The Nature-Inspired Creations of Kathleen

Posted by learntobead on May 30, 2020

Poke Berry Lariat, by Kathleen Lynam


Kathleen was one of our bead-weaving instructors at the shop. Her primary sources of inspiration came from nature. I wrote this marketing intro for her jewelry making business she did on the side:

Intuitive. Inspired by Nature and the world around me. Translating feelings and senses and vague images into beautiful jewelry, wonderful beadwork, exciting wearable pieces of art. Beyond following step by step. We’re on the edge and we’re high strung about it.

Kathleen wrote:

Nature inspires all great art, including bead weaving.

Flowers, leaves, vines, and butterflies, (to name a few), are fairly common examples of attempts by bead weavers to transform nature into beadwork. Some are spectacular, like Diane Fitzgerald’s “Ginkgo Leaves.”

Along with other design elements, the color of your beads and the size of your beads and the materials of your beads play major roles in how successful your piece turns out. I have told my students that a solid foundation in the stitches, like we teach at our Stitch of the Month at The Center For Beadwork and Jewelry Arts / Be Dazzled Beads, will allow them the freedom to choose the best stitch for the project. This is particularly true when designing your own piece.

The following is an example of how I was inspired by nature and the resulting Poke Berry Lariat piece.

During a walk one day, I saw some poke weeds. I had so much fun playing with these when I was a child — I love making ink out of the berries! So I went over for a closer look.

Beading is always on my mind, as I examined the stem and berries. It could be done! At least, I could try and re-create this glorious work of nature using beads. I broke off the stem (a bright magenta) and the berries (both purple and green). I took the stem and berries to the bead shop to match up the colors.

The berries
The stem of the poke plant

The shape of the berries resembled some freshwater pearls. Again I used the actual berries (purple and bright green) to match up the colors with the pearls.

I already had certain stitches in mind. I decided to make this a lariat necklace. Bead crochet was my obvious stitch of choice for the vine-like rope. I decided to use size 8/0 seed beads for the crochet rope to provide strength and a balance to the berry clusters that I would add on to the rope.

For the berry clusters, Ndebele would have strength, provide movement and mimic the way the real clusters are attached to the vine. Using the same magenta color as the crocheted rope, I switched to size 11/0 Japanese seed beads.

The tubular Ndebele stitch was easy to begin right off the crochet rope — both from the ends and a berry cluster about 4 inches from one end. From this Ndebele base, the last stitch, fringe, was used to attach the pearls.

To represent the ripening of the berries, I used a combination of green and purple pearls on 2 of the berry clusters. I decided not to add any leaves. My “Poke Berry” necklace was ready to be worn.

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry: What Works!

What Glue Should I Use When Making Jewelry?

Why Am I So Addicted To Beads?

A Very Abbreviated, But Not Totally Fractured, History of Beads

The Martha Stewart Beaded Wreath Project

When Choosing Colors Has You Down, Check Out The Magic Of Simultaneity Effects

The Use of Armature In Jewelry: Legitimate or Not?

Pearl Knotting Warren’s Way

Organizing Your Craft Workspace…Some Smart Pointers

You Don’t Choose Clasps, You Choose Clasp Assemblies

Know Your Anatomy Of A Necklace

Mini Lesson: Making Stretchy Bracelets

Mini Lesson: Making Adjustable Slip Knots With Thicker Cords

Mini Lesson: How To Crimp

Mini Lesson: Attaching End Caps, Cones, Crimp Ends

Mini Lesson: Brick Stitch

Mini Lesson: Flat Even Count Peyote

Mini Lesson: Ndebele Stitch

Mini Lesson: Petersburg Chain

Mini Lesson: Right Angle Weave

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Everyone Has A Getting Started StoryThe Nature-Inspired Creations of Kathleen

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Glass Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Lampwork Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Crystal Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Seed and Cylinder Beads

The Jewelry Designer’s Orientation To Choosing and Using Clasps

How To Design An Ugly Necklace: The Ultimate Designer Challenge

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

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Meet Kathleen Lynam, Bead Weaving Instructor

Posted by learntobead on March 5, 2009


Kathleen Lynam is our bead weaving instructor at The Center for Beadwork and Jewelry Arts in Nashville.     She teaches our Stitch of the Month program, as well as intermediate and advanced classes in bead weaving.

Kathleen’s Website

Poke Berry Rope

Poke Berry Rope

Kathleen, by profession, is a puppeteer.    She teaches Head Start teachers and Elementary School teachers how to use puppets to teach concepts, history, health care, among other things.   

The Germ

The Germ

As a teaching artist I am affiliated with several institutions:  The Tennessee Performing Arts Center oversees the regional Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts and ArtSmart programs. I have been a Wolf Trap artist since 1992, working extensively in the preschool classroom providing one week or seven week residencies.  By partnering closely with the classroom teacher, each residency provides original songs, stories, and activities that are developmentally appropriate, educationally sound, and awaken the student’s curiosity for learning. 



A Master Artist with Wolf Trap since 2001, my workshop, Let Your Voices Be Heard:  Using Puppets to Bring Stories to Life, has been presented to teachers throughout the United States. I became a teaching artist with the ArtSmart program in 2006. This meaningful program prepares students to understand/appreciate a particular performing or visual work of art. A unique partnership with teaching artists, educators, and students creates intense explorations of the work of art.

Beaded Bead

Beaded Bead

Value Plus is a program sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission. This five year reform model provides residencies that integrate learning through the arts into non-arts subjects such as math, science and language arts.

Teaching Through Puppetry

Teaching Through Puppetry

As an artist, I am particularly drawn to color, texture, and sculptural design.  I have been commissioned to make puppets by universities, historic homes, and private individuals.  I have designed, sculpted, painted, and dressed all of the puppets used in my shows. I have made hundreds of colorful puppets from simple finger to complex foam puppets that are used in the classroom.  Over 700 hand sculpted finger puppets were sold nationwide by Crizmac Arts Catalog.  In 1999, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts purchased my Master Artist series of puppets featuring Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Kandinsky, Monet, and Chagall.

Bead Embroidered Cuff

Bead Embroidered Cuff

Combing a love of bead art and puppetry resulted in a well-reviewed show at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, TN in 2002.  As a bead artist and teacher, my original patterns and designs have been published in Beadwork Magazine and Netted Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald.  My beadwork is currently on display at the Open Window Gallery in Nashville.

Punch Pop-Up - Netted Beadwork

Punch Pop-Up - Netted Beadwork

I love teaching classes on bead weaving at Be Dazzled Bead Store in Nashville, Tn. My students have proven time and time again that they are brilliant, innovative, and a whole lot of fun! These classes are designated “Stitch of the Month” and are designed to teach 12 major bead weaving stitches/techniques. Each class provides a history of the stitch, how to basics, variations applicable to the stitch such as decreasing/increasing, flat/ tubular, and most appropriate beads. Students will work on mastery of the stitch by creating a bracelet.


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