ZannahMakes by Susannah Thomson


Now, I’m trying to remember when I first ‘met’ Susannah Thomson from ZannahMakes. I think it was when I put together the original directory of beading designers on here. Anyway, I was struck by her beautiful and unusual designs and she is fast becoming a designer to watch in the beading world. So, if Susannah’s name is new to you, here’s your chance to find out a little more.

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Introducing ZannahMakes

How did you get started in beading?

Ha! I’m really not sure how I got started. It was after my cancer treatment and I was looking for a “lap craft” I could do sitting on my sofa. I found myself at our local bead shop, Shiney Rocks, and took a class. Then, after that I joined their casual beading group.

Did you have any formal training?


Is beading now your full-time career, or is it still a hobby?

I’m also a Speech therapist and I work both jobs from home. I started making patterns to sell to fund my bead habit!

What are your favourite techniques?

I love peyote and geometric work

Quirky and fun design by Susannah Thomson

How would you describe your style?

My style is quirky and ingenious. I’m not massively interested in making what others have made before.

Who, or what, inspires your work?

Much of my work has been inspired by Contemporary Geometric Beadwork, and a lot of it is a result of “I wonder if…” thoughts

Do you have a favourite piece (or pieces) of work? – perhaps something you are very proud of making or something that is special to you?

I’m really proud of my Geo Bangle and Geo Baubles. The technique of hyperloops and their capture into geometric shapes was developed by Joy Davison, Claudia Furthner, and Karen Beningfield. I am standing on their shoulders.

What is your beading space like?

Mission control is my armchair. I run my business, bead, write patterns and relax there. My beads are filed away on acrylic shelves on a dresser.

Do you teach beadwork at all?

I teach geometric beadwork to beginners at Tanzee designs on the second Monday of the month, at home in Bristol on the third Monday of the month, for a full week at Pyrites Craft Camp in Gloucestershire in July and this year we are planning on teaching beginners in 5+ languages at DiMarca Online’s base in Limoges for a week!!

Has your work been published anywhere?

Not yet, but I do have an article on me in the Beadworkers Guild Journal

Do you sell your work? If so, where?

I don’t sell finished pieces but I do sell patterns in my shop at

Do you do other forms of craft as well?

Well, I’ve mostly got my regular crafting down to beading and crochet, but I’m a sucker for basket making workshops too. My crafts tend to be those that make the fabric. I’m not much of an assembler or embellisher (sewing, embroidery etc), and I’m useless with hot crafts (stained glass and glassmaking). The idea of painting or drawing and doing “Art” makes me shake.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to create their own designs?

Getting your design from an object to a written pattern needs a whole new set of skills. I started with photo patterns where I took photos of each step.

Do you have any tips for people who want to sell their work?

Try to price it to value your time and expertise.

Want to find out more?

I hope you’ll agree that Susannah’s style is gorgeous! And, for any other aspiring designers out there, her advice and tips are spot on.

So, if you would like to find out more and try some of her beautiful patterns, here are the details…


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20% off Etsy beading patterns

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2 Responses

  1. Anita Rothgarber says:

    Please put me on your email list. I love your frogs and owls. Just found you. Glad you are here.

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