Karen Millsap

Karen Millsap

Tiger Collar
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010
featuring Seed Beads

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Florence, Kentucky

Describe your artistic style.
Eclectic--I like working in various media and different styles, although I am probably more of a traditionalist than anything else.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Nature, animals, flowers, the ocean and the sea shore.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Glass, natural gemstones, metals and fibers.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Tiger Collar

What inspired this design?
My love of animals and exotic places.

How did it come together?
I had just started working in polymer clay and wanted to incorporate a polymer clay accent into an elaborately beaded collar. I laid out the general shape, selected matching gemstones I had on hand and the piece evolved from there.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
Many years ago, I took a class on Native American arts and crafts where I learned Indian beadwork techniques.

Who introduced you to beading?
A Native American woman who taught a class on Indian arts and crafts. Unfortunately, I don't remember her name.

Do you have an artistic background?
I've always loved arts and crafts from an early age and have been involved with arts and crafts ever since.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
Some students in my Native American arts and crafts class recommended Fire Mountain Gems as a great place to buy beads.

What other hobbies do you have?
Tennis, gardening, reading, painting, sewing, knitting, and crochet.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
Miami Valley Lampwork Bead artists and International Society of Glass Beadmakers.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Beading and jewelry-making is a part-time career for me. It is also my way of escaping from everyday stress.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell off my website www.beadsnsuch.com, on Etsy, Artfire and at local craft shows.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I make handmade glass beads for Beads of Courage, an arts-in-medicine supportive care program for children coping with serious illnesses.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Find your own unique style to differentiate yourself from everyone else out there.

View all of Karen's designs in the Gallery of Designs.