Kristal, Crystals, Fabric Beads, Sparkle, and Bling
I first met Kristal Wick in 2004. We were both teaching at a Swarovski Create Your Style, DIY event in Tucson, AZ. Kristal was teaching classes on making her signature fabric beads, Sassy Silkies, after releasing her best selling book, Fabulous Fabric Beads. She then embellished her fabric beads, using them in finished jewelry. Kristal also used her hand-dyed fabric to make these amazing purses that were totally decked out with Swarovski flatback crystals and silk bead tassels (and more crystals!). Kristal taught her class before I moved in to teach mine so we first bumped into each other there. We talked shop, oohed and ahhed over each other’s class samples, the jewelry we were wearing, and in general spent a few minutes getting to know each other.
Kristal and I became fast friends and have stayed close over all these years. How excited was I when we were told Kristal was rejoining our Interweave team! Well, there were squeals of delight, talk of beading soirees, Swarvoski crystal pajama parties, and lots of planning for some new bead-weaving and jewelry-making videos! These new adventures will have to wait until Kristal gets settled into her new digs, so why not take a look at all Kristal has already put out into the world for us to enjoy and learn from.
In this new collection that is all Kristal all the time, I am most excited to take a look at her fabric beads eBook. Inside this book there are over 30 ways to design spectacular fabrics used to create her custom beads (including leather, silk, wire, wood, and resin, to name a few). There is so much knowledge shared, so many amazing photos to whet our appetite, and truly a smattering of Swarovski crystal lovin’. If you know Kristal though, we wouldn’t expect anything less – not only is her name Kristal but she drips in crystals even if just in conversation. Oh, and her puppies are named Sparkle and Bling, so, there you have it. Through and through a sparkling woman!
Kristal and I had the pleasure of spending some time together during a recent trip. I asked her a few questions to get the inside scoop on some of what goes into her work, what she’s been up to since holding the reigns as editor of BeadingDaily.com, and find out what she has in store for all who adore her and her designs, as we need more Kristal!
Here’s a pic of Kristal with the most amazing, Martha Stewart on set of the Martha Stewart show. We can all live vicariously through this moment and know Kristal stood there not only for her own experience but for each of us!
Here’s the inside scoop:
BD: You dyed your own silk for a long time. Can you share any tried and true tricks and any advice for those of us who want to make beads like yours?
KW: The entire Sassy Silky bead line started with my deep passion for dying and playing with surface techniques on silk. You can use almost any type of fabric to make the beads in my eBook. From ripping up that old shirt to buying fun cotton quilting fabrics at your local shop, you can apply any of my surface designs to these fabrics. And then, you don’t have to go to the trouble of dying your own! That’s the shortcut. When I was first creating all these surface design techniques for the book, I literally bought fifty different ¼-yard fabrics at a time to see how they would react! I’m sure the shop clerks who had to cut each one for me ran the other way when I entered their store!
BD: When gluing crystals onto fabric, especially silk, what type of glue do you recommend? And how do you control the glue so you don’t muck up the fabric around what’s being glued? And if you do, what do you recommend for covering up the imperfections?
KW: It really depends on what type of fabric you’re gluing onto. I mainly glue Swarovski flat back crystals onto fabric using 2-part epoxy. If it’s a fabric that won’t melt from the heat, I like to use the Swarovski hot-fix crystals and the heat setting tool. If you end up with any imperfections, add another crystal (or two, or three!), whatever it takes to cover your boo-boo!
BD: Kristal, you recently relocated to Ft. Collins and took the reigns as Content Strategist for the Interweave Bead and Jewelry Making Group. We are thrilled to have you at the helm and close to the studio again. What can we expect from you in the near future? Anything new on deck?
KW: I am so pleased to be back at Interweave with my beady peeps! I do have a few surprises up my sleeve and working out some of the details now. You know I love to play with my jewelry-making pals so stay tuned to see what kind of shenanigans we get into! My cutie patootie pups, Sparkle & Bling, may even be making some guest appearances.
BD: Being so in the know about all things crystal and beading, what have you seen that is new in trends and/or what’s coming up in the industry that is new and exciting?
KW: Loads of crossing over mediums like combining crystals and fibers. And there’s some interesting layering effects happening with enamels and resins. Tassels and fringe are still hot and mixing their components to include crystals, cord, beads, and metals is definitely showing up on the runway these days.
Kristal, thank you for your time, all the creativity and sparkle you bring to our community, and thank you in advance for all the fun stuff we know you’ll be bringing us soon!
Have you dyed your own fabric and created a piece of art from it? Please share your designs with us at BeadingDaily.com!