Heather Kingsley-Heath

My name is Heather and I’m an English beadwork designer. I began beading out of curiosity, and just fell in love with the materials, with the huge range of techniques, and with the endless possibilities they offer. You can always spot me in a crowd because I love to wear my beadwork!

I’m fascinated by the structures that can be created with just beads and thread, it’s like drawing in 3D with sparkle and colour added in. My beading life is a curious mix; I frequently travel to teach because, for me, the best fun happens when meeting new people, sharing techniques, and exploring the learning process together.

I travel far and wide and some years I seem to be permanently on planes, trains or motorways heading out to the next group of beaders, I love it! For the last few years I’ve been an Ambassador for International Beading week, started by the Beadworkers Guild here in the UK. Many artists offer free designs to encourage beaders to bead together, to support their local beadstores, and to inspire newcomers to help keep this wonderful craft thriving.

This year I offered Flora, a simple flower that can be used to teach a beginner or to create elaborate beading in the hands of more experienced beaders. Between my travels I have the peaceful solitude of working in my studio, creating new jewellery designs for classes, patterns and kits. I keep sketchbooks of ideas and my phone photo library is full of random snap shots I use for research. Beading starts with an idea, a pile of beads and can get pretty messy as a design emerges.

Another way I share my love of beading is through books and magazines. I’ve written several technique based beading books, one on Netting, and three on Albion Stitch, which is a way of working with picots I devised and that I love because it is so versatile.

I’ve just completed a huge project, a book called ‘Tudor Inspirations’, working in collaboration with another English bead artist called Melanie de Miguel. It’s a delicious mix of our designs, each made of elements that are interchangeable, so beaders can pick and mix elements to make their own combinations. We’ll be hosting two beading retreats in England next year, where beaders can join us to explore ‘Elemental beading’ and explore the entire hoard of Tudor Inspirations jewellery.

You can find Heathers designs, kits, books and upcoming class schedule at:

www.heatherworks.co.uk

For more information about Tudor Inspirations and the Elemental beading retreats:

www.tudorinspirations.com

For more information about the Beadworkers Guild and international Beading Week:

http://www.beadworkersguild.org.uk/international-beading-week.php

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