Julia Atkins

Julia Atkins

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Seed Beads

Category: Fashion Accessories

Bronze Medal Prize Winner

Julia Atkins

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contest 2010 featuring Seed Beads


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Chicago, Illinois.

Describe your artistic style.
I love free form work.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I get most of my inspiration from the natural world but also like to explore fantasy themes.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Delica® seed beads come in such a wide range of colors that are essential to reproduce the vibrant colors of nature.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Butterflies Fan and Fairies Fan

What inspired this design?
Butterfly Fan--A visit to the Peggy Notebart Museum in Chicago which is home for North American butterflies.

Fairies Fan--A little flight of fantasy!

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
A selection of photographs were used to make a collage which formed a pattern. I use brick stitch to provide a firmer "fabric."

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
In 2004 I was taking a patchwork and quilting course and looking at ways to embellish my work when I discovered the joys of beading.

Who introduced you to beading?
A textile tutor.

Do you have an artistic background?
No. I am a retired nurse but have always enjoyed being creative especially in my textile work.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
Recommended by the ladies in my Chicago ''Beader's Day Out'' group.

What other hobbies do you have?
Sewing, reading, yoga.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
The Bead Society of Greater Chicago/Beader's Day Out group. American Craft Council. Beadworkers Guild of Great Britain. Bead Society of Great Britain.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Beading is a full time hobby which is fulfilling to see designs take shape and teach others. It is also extremely meditative and a great way to meet other passionate beaders.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a website www.juliascrafts.com and have also had exhibitions where I have sold my work.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I have taught beading workshops on a voluntary basis as well as paid to spread the beading word and encourage others in this amazing craft.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Understanding color is the key to a good design.

View all of Julia's Design in the Gallery of Designs.