I am thrilled to be able to bring you a new beading designer interview. So, let me introduce Cath Thomas beadwork designer extraordinaire!
If you don’t already know Cath’s work, you are in for a real treat. She is one of the ladies behind Diamond Weave and she has been published in books and magazines worldwide. Her style is unmistakeable!
Cath lives in Switzerland. She was kind enough to have a little chat with me and answer a few questions. So, read on to find out more about her designs and her love of beading.
How did you get started in beading?
I was introduced to beads at 14 years old, by Berthy Bijlard, an art therapist who was my mother’s friend.
My mom did a bit of crocheting with beads. I preferred pearl strands and crystal clasps back then.
The actual bead weaving is something I stumbled upon in 2004 on the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads website. I never looked at anything else since then!
Did you have any formal training?
Not at all.
Is beading now your full-time career, or is it still a hobby?
It’s my full-time hobby. I am not able to make a living from my beading because of disabilities.
What are your favourite techniques?
I love all stitches, but like Peyote best, especially 3D and Cellini.
How would you describe the style of Cath Thomas beadwork?
I don’t really do a style, but should I have to describe it, I’d say that my pieces are relatively modern and – hopefully – elegant.
Who, or what, inspires your work?
Anyone or anything can inspire me. What counts is that it resonates inside of me, like the string of an instrument. If it makes me vibrate, I can translate it into my beading.
Do you have a favourite piece (or pieces) of work?
Oh I have plenty of favorites: my 3D Cellini shapes, Seduction, Roma, Neytiri’s, Time has Wings (composed of the Roller Chain Rope, the Paradox Pendulum, and the Cosmic Spiral), Anthea’s Tiara, Takato, Octavio, Little Mermaid, my tiny dolls…
What is your beading space like?
A chair, a window, a foot rest that serves often as bead tray rest, a computer to stay in touch with other beaders, lots of beading trays in a cabinet, and of course plenty of tubes with plenty of beads.
Beadwork trying to invade the living room… Not a capharnaum, but quite a happy mess 🙂
Do you teach beadwork at all?
I have been teaching through tutorials for a while. But I just started teaching in real life – to people with special needs. It was a “test-workshop” but all loved it, including me. So, now I need to find a place where we can meet on a more regular basis.
Has your work been published anywhere?
Yes! In a book called “500 Beadwork”, in the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork books. Plus in Perlen Poesie, several issues of Bead & Jewellery, Bead and Button Magazine, Beadwork Magazine. I also published my own book, Diamond Weave.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to create their own designs?
Yes: don’t hesitate one more second, because designing is a source of great pride! No matter if your first pieces are not “acknowledged” – just continue, because your inner voice is more important than any other voice,
Do you have any tips for people who want to sell their work?
Yes. Follow the 3Gs!
Use the Good stuff. Choose beads with finishes that will last.
Gather information about what type of metal findings to use (lead, cadmium and nickel are not allowed in many countries).
Go that extra mile.
Where to find Cath Thomas Beadwork
You can follow Cath’s beading stories on her blog: https://samohtac.blogspot.com
If you want to find out more or get hold of some of Cath’s gorgeous tutorials, you can find her on Indiemade: https://caththomasdesigns.indiemade.com/
She also has a beautiful store on Etsy. So, check that out here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SamohtaC