Jessica Tiemens

Jessica Tiemens

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2009 Beading Contest

Silver Medal Prize Winner

Category: Freeform Expression: Fashion Accessories and Clothing

Meet the Designer-Artist

Where do you live?
Rural, Virginia

Describe your artistic style.
As there are so many different types of materials with which to work, my artistic style is eclectic, ranging from steel bead weaving to flowing silk and chain.

What inspires you as a designer-artist?
My approach to designing considers how each element will affect the piece, but my inspiration comes from music, myth, striking imagery, reinvention, interaction of beads themselves, and literally from dreams.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love working with seed beads, pushing what can be done with them, combining them with pearls, glass, and stone, or integrating them with metal components in an unusual way.

What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Do Not Cross

What inspired this design?
The "crime scene" tape featured on the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, show.

How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
Once the idea for a beaded crime scene lariat was conceived, a bead pattern was made and followed. Luster and Matte finished beads were selected to add dimension to the piece.

Share Your Background

When and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
As a little girl I collected plastic craft gems, which turned to glass faceted beads over the years, leading to the discovery of bead catalogs and making jewelry.

Do you have an artistic background?
My family is full of artists, writers, multi-taskers, hard workers, schemers, dreamers, and coupon queens. So I definitely grew up in an artistic environment.

How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®?
My jewelry making aunt gave a copy of the 1998 catalog to my grandmother, who gave it to me when I first discovered beads.

What other hobbies do you have?
I read as much as I can, hunt down good music, and make self-published mini-magazines.

Do you belong to any beading societies or beading groups?
I belong to an online community ( and to a group of beaders who meet regularly at a local shop.

Beading Success

What role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Though it's my second job, it's a full-time occupation because I'm designing in my head at all hours! I bead primarily out of love, but use it to supplement my income.

If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I sell through my website ( through craft fairs and accept custom orders from acquaintances met while out and about.

Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
I plan to donate a number of pieces to next year's Bead and Button silent auction against breast cancer.

Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Do what you love. Be the best you can be at it, then get better. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Also, be very, very patient and willing to try different things.

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

Bead Star

Jessica Tiemens

Moon Mother Talisman
Bead Star 2009 Contest
Honorable Mention
Category: Pearls

Beads have been bossed around by Jessica Tiemens since 2002. They resisted for awhile, then succumbed to her brassy insistence. Now all the cake pans in the house are occupied by her fantasies-in-progress. See more of her work at

Courtesy of Bead Star 2009 magazine by Interweave Press LLC.