Terry James

I love beads and beaded jewelry; I started collecting beads just after college. I liked that I could buy a simple strand of beads for an affordable amount of money and that wearing the beads brought me enjoyment. Then I found some beaded items that needed repair, so I wanted to know how to do that and where to get the supplies. I saw an ad in the Boston Globe for the Bead Affaire and I found BDI, which brought all my interests together – beads, history, techniques, artists, resources, etc. My interest in jewelry has expanded beyond beads, but beads, particularly glass beads are still my first love.

I enjoy learning the history of beads and other jewelry (I just came back from London and was fascinated to see beads going back to Egyptian times and earlier – all of my museum visits seemed to involve jewelry!). I did some silversmithing and lampworking along the way, but was never in a position to install a torch set up at home. So when I saw the amazing things that some BDI members are doing with Polymer Clay, which doesn’t require a torch or kiln, I was excited to try that. I’ve made some simple polymer pieces and want to combine my interest in beads with polymer and see where that takes me.

I’ve learned a lot and made many bead world contacts through BDI and the Bead Affaire; these contacts have brought me many learning opportunities. Over time, this has led to me taking some excellent (and fun!) classes taught by BDI members – Beth Williams, Nancy Tobey, Karen Thibault, Stephanie Sersich (the bracelets shown here were started with her Spiny Knotted kits!) and others.