Bonnie Scheels

Blue Bracelet

Bonnie Scheels

Jack's Magic Necklace

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Contest 2010

featuring Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain


Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Phoenix, Arizona

Describe your artistic style.
Traditional to eclectic.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
I'm drawn first to the color palette. I'll find beads with color and texture I'm drawn to and then work from there.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I LOVE it all...but am thrilled with the metal clay process and designing something of my very own...I also enjoy making lampwork beads.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Blue Bracelet

This incorporated some of my first lampwork beads, so it holds a special place in my heart.

What inspired this design?
The colors.

How did it come together?
I was experimenting with lampwork bead designs and colors. I'm partial to blues and purples and I also like the chunky look for bracelets, thus all the sterling silver.

Have you ever entered any of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contests?
Yes, I entered the metal clay contest for 2010.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
I started stringing over 12 years slowly evolved to more intricate beading, metal clay work and lampwork beads.

Who introduced you to beading?
I remember seeing my first Bead and Button magazine in a bookstore 12 years ago and was hooked from then on.

Do you have an artistic background?
I have been drawing and painting on and off most of my adult life, right now I'm enjoying pastels and watercolors.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
I think it was it a Bead and Button magazine advertisement for Fire Mountain Gems…and have been a faithful customer since...I can always find what I need.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I am relatively new to Phoenix...a transplant from the Midwest and haven't joined anything yet...but I do hold an impromptu beading class approximately once a month with several of my co-workers and friends.

What other hobbies do you enjoy?
I also enjoy sewing for my grandchildren.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
It's a part-time career. I have several of my items in boutique stores in Scottsdale and also have a store on

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I'm not very successful yet as I still am working full-time in the medical profession, but plan to do craft fairs and markets in the near future.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I haven't as yet, but need to look into that in the near future.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Practice, practice and find your own style.