Give a warm welcome to our new 2017 instructors!

The Fresh Faces of Philadelphia

Exhibitor Diane Hawkey at Bead Fest Philadelphia 2016
For years, Bead Fest has introduced the best instructors, exhibitors and artisans to the East Coast’s jewelry arts community and 2017 is no exception! One of the most exciting aspects of Bead Fest Philadelphia is meeting the fresh faces each year.

We are so honored to have an eclectic mix of jewelry artists from across the nation joining us, and we love that they come armed with a unique perspective and new inspiration to share. We’re thrilled to welcome a longtime Bead Fest attendee who chose to take her passion to the next level, a Bead Fest artisan who will be showcasing her talents in the classroom and Expo floor, and a chain maille master ready to share her expertise!

Are you ready to meet the talented artists making their instructor debut at Bead Fest Philadelphia? Keep scrolling down to discover their Q&A’s and learn more about their jewelry art background.

Diane Hawkey

About Diane: Diane has been an artist all her life. Over the years, she has explored many materials and mediums including fiber and glass, metal work and clay. Working primarily in ceramics, she continues to explore new techniques and ideas, incorporating beads into her mixed media sculptures.

Diane Hawkey

Where do you find inspiration for your designs? 

“I find inspiration in many places in everything around me. Sometimes I am inspired by paintings. A lot of my work is inspired by the natural world and when the universe is aligned. I am [also] inspired by vivid dreams.”

Do you have any favorite jewelry trends right now?

“My favorite trend is mixing materials, like leather and wire and beads and even fabric. I think the look gives jewelry a lot of energy.”

Featured workshop: Now That’s A Jig! Presents: Fortune Teller Necklace | Register

What is your absolute favorite technique to work in and why?

“My favorite technique is always the new one I just learned. I’ll never tire of learning new things.”

In your opinion, what is the top reason to attend Bead Fest?

“I am not sure I can pick just one. There are so many wondering beads to see and bead artists to meet at Bead Fest, along with great classes for all levels of experience.”

She’s exhibiting! Discover a unique and exciting mix of porcelain and clay art beads at Diane’s table located in the Artisan Alley.

Betony Maiden

About Betony: Betony has been creating jewelry for 10 years, and she loves artisan components, playing in mixed media, wire, and metal. Her designs tell stories of life, and her hope is to connect with others through her designs.

Maiden Designs Studios

Does the city or community you live in impact or inspire your designs?

“I was born and raised right here in Northeast Philadelphia. Our city has some amazingly rich history so it is hard not to be inspired. Seeing the old buildings, their architecture, the old cemeteries,  horse drawn buggies, our parks, local places and people in my community, so yes this plays a huge role in inspiring me.”

If this is your first time teaching at Bead Fest, tell us what you’re most excited about. 

“This is my first time teaching at Bead Fest. I’m nervous to the extent that it’s a new territory for me to be at such a huge event, but I’m so very excited because I get to meet some new people, see some old friends, and I get to be the teacher instead of the student.”

Featured workshop: Hammered Wire Paddle Earrings | Register

What is the most rewarding part of sharing your creativity with others?

“I have an online persona called The Beadwench, long story short this grew so much from when I first started. The most rewarding part is in sharing not only my creativity, but myself, with so many amazing people around the globe. I inspired someone to actually create that? It’s a feeling so indescribable that the only words I can use for it is, PURE JOY!!”

Who (or what) is your spirit animal?

“Well I’d have to say The Beadwench is my spirit animal!! We all have a spirit animal or person inside of us. For me it’s my sassy, funny, happy-go-lucky, bold, loud, and boisterous Beadwench… She has been with me my entire life!”

Mary Soucy

About Mary: Originally a seed bead and polymer clay artist, Mary finds new ways to use beads, rings, rubber and metal in her chain maille items. She creates everything from whimsical and colorful flowers from rubber and acrylic to elegant rhinestone creations.

Bead Me A Story

Tell us about the first piece of jewelry you made. Do you remember what techniques you used?

“The first jewelry project I made as an adult was a netted seed bead necklace. I had taken a book out at the public library that showed me how to make it. It took a lot of hours to make but turned out stunning and got me hooked.”

What is your absolute favorite technique to work in and why?

“I don’t have a favorite technique but I love to create new weaves. Either in my primary medium of chain maille or in seed beads, I love to figure out new ways of doing things.”

Featured workshop: Rhinestone Ball Necklace | Register

Do you have any favorite jewelry trends right now?

“Bling! I just love anything that sparkles and uses metal and glass together.”

How do you develop your workshops and come up with names for them?

“I make smaller projects first and see what the capabilities are of a specific technique, then I try to figure out a way to kick it up about ten notches. I just try to keep most of my [workshop] names simple but fun.”

She’s exhibiting! Stop by Mary’s booth, Bead Me A Story, to say hello and to shop a plethora of rubber o-ring kits on the Expo show floor.


Along with our creative newcomers, all of your returning  fan-favorites will be instructing at Bead Fest Philadelphia. Our impressive roster includes Kieu Pham Gray, Kate Richbourg, Richard Salley, Susan Lenart Kazmer, Debora Mauser, Jeff Fulkerson, Candie Cooper, and many more familiar faces.

Workshop seats are already filling up, so commit to your jewelry art goals today before it’s too late!

At Bead Fest Philadelphia, there is a workshop for everyone–even beginners on a budget! Tell us about the workshop you’re most excited about in the comments, or let us know on our social pages!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *