Meet the Artists Behind Art Jewelry Elements

Kristen Stevens, AJE Contributor, and Jen VanBenschoten of Beading Daily at Bead Fest Philadelphia

One of my favorite parts of Bead Fest Philadelphia this year was the opportunity I had to meet some of the wonderful bead making artists from the Art Jewelry Elements group. On my second day at the show, my dear friend Kristen Stevens introduced me to a handful of the artists who make up this artists' collective, and it was a wonderful way to spend part of my afternoon.

In case you've never heard of them, this talented group of artists make handmade beads, cabochons, pendants, and other jewelry-making components using ceramic, polymer clay, and glass. Headed up by glass bead artist Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions, this fantastic group blogs on a regular basis to share inspiration and technique with those of us who love to create and use handmade beads.

I brought back a few pieces from some of these wonderful bead makers, and I couldn't wait to share them with you! Stay tuned for a few new free beading projects coming up in the next couple of weeks as I work my way through all of these beautiful handmade beads!

I saw pictures of these wonderful handmade glass beads on Facebook before I made it to Bead Fest, and I just knew that if I bought only one handmade bead this year, it was going to be one of these by Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions. Creating handmade beads since 2005, Jen uses metal and glass as her chosen form of artistic expression.
These funky ceramic cabochons are from Diana Ptraszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. She works primarily in porcelain, stoneware, and my favorite, raku. Her handmade beads and cabochons can easily stand alone, yet work well as accents for a wide range of designs.
Jennifer Davies-Reazor crafted this beautiful snake cabochon out of polymer clay. My affection for snakes notwithstanding, I totally fell for her nature and mythology-inspired work at Bead Fest, and I can't wait to get my hands on more!
Just like me, ceramic artist Lesley Watt started making jewelry as a way to combat a stressful job, and she is now a successful bead maker and jewelry artist. Her fun clay pieces are inspired by nature and include motifs like flowers, moons, and owls, as well as her more whimsical clay tea pots. Lesley came all the way from Dorset in the UK to sell at Bead Fest with her fellow Art Jewelry Elements artists!
Last but not least, I got to meet the very funny, very friendly Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio. I've always had a thing for hand symbols, so these two tiny ceramic cabochons were right up my alley. A working artist for over 30 years, Karen successfully channels the history of the human spirit into her handmade beads and cabochons.
Copper Links necklace by Kim Otterbein

Do you have a few wonderful handmade beads and components just waiting for a new beading project? For a limited time, check out the project sale in the Beading Daily Shop! Once you spend a little time browsing the thousands of beading patterns and projects on sale, you're sure to find something to help you use up a few of those handmade beads lingering in your stash. (Or maybe you'll find a reason to buy some new handmade beads!)

Make sure you take a look at all the wonderful posts on the Art Jewelry Elements blog, and find out more about each of the artists and find links to their blogs and online shops!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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