Mary Sue Klein

Mary Sue Klein

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010 featuring Seed Beads


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Allegan, Michigan

Describe your artistic style.
I like to mix seed beads with semi-precious stones, wood, shells and natural things before I use crystals. I want my beadwork to reflect the beauty of the world that God created for us.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
The natural world, fabrics and sometimes things just come to me and I don't know where it comes from. I like to duplicate woven textured things.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I most like seed beads, semi-precious stones, shells, wood, nuts and sometimes metal and wire.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Corners of the Divided Waters Necklace

What inspired this design?
The inspiration came from the large stones of chrysocolla and larimar, which reminds me of the colors of the ocean, sky and clouds meeting and merging.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
It definitely developed as I worked on it. I glued the stones onto the fabric and from there I developed around them. I know that I wanted it to flow and be very wavy. I didn't know what it was going to look like until I was done.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
It started as occupational therapy after I was struck by a bus in 2002. I sustained massive head injuries. It took me 1-1/2 hours to thread my first needle.

Who introduced you to beading?
The occupational therapist bought me a little loom at the flea market for $2.50.

Do you have an artistic background?
I liked to do counted cross stitch and make coats of arms for people from it. I won a lot of local awards in Missouri.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Someone gave me their phone number when I asked around about where I could buy quality beads for a good price.

What other hobbies do you have?
I like to play with my dog Boo-Boo Honey Bear and baking.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Beads have overrun my life and my house! Beading makes all of the bad things leave my head. The worries melt away. I can't think anything I'd rather do.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
Fire Mountain Gems is the first contest I've ever entered. I sometimes sell my work at pow-wows, shops, galleries and to friends.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
No, I don't currently, but I have in the past.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Be patient with yourself. Keep trying and be determined. It takes a lot of patience and time, but then you can make anything you want. When you start making something and it doesn't look like anything, don't throw it away. Keep working on it. You have to do several rows before it starts to look like it will work.

View all of Mary Sue's designs in the Gallery of Designs.