Summer 2021 Workshops

Heart of Texas Bead Retreat

Summer Retreat

June 24-27, 2021


Cynthia Rutledge

Cynthia is a contemporary artist and teacher focusing on beadwork as her medium. She specializes in peyote stitch and off-loom weaving techniques with an emphasis on developing sculptural unsupported shapes in beadwork.

Her work has been exhibited in national and international shows and has appeared in Nicolette Stessin’s Beaded Amulet Purses, Carol Taylor’s Creative Bead Jewelry, and Carol Wilcox Wells’Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide to Classic Off-Loom Stitches.

“My attraction to 3-dimensional shapes has created a fascination for me throughout my life and has fueled my creative spirit. My choice of beadwork as a primary medium has followed that same fascination. As my beadwork has evolved, my work seems to always lean towards the building of shapes and forms that are functional and wearable.

The choice to use beads as my medium was primarily influenced by my love of color. Beads reflect and absorb light, hold shape and dimension, and in so doing, offer chameleon-like qualities. It is not always the end result that is the most important to me, however. The process of working with beads and thread is meditative and calming, which allows time for reflection. Engineering each piece is always a challenge that thrills me, as well as giving me the power to make the decisions that need to be made for each piece. The more I experience the wonderful qualities of beadwork, the more I realize my relationship with beads will always be one of learning, experiencing and sharing.

The decision to teach grew from my personal desire to share my love of beads and all the wonderful things that can be created with them. The commitment that I have to teaching stems from my desire to share the knowledge I have gained while developing my own skills in this medium. Ultimately, my mission is to help to keep this art form alive and well.”    (photo of Cynthia by Mark Rutledge)

To view more of Cynthia’s designs, visit Cynthia Rutledge

Photo by Mark Rutledge

Fortuna’s Wheels of Fortune Bracelet

Description:  Click HERE
Workshop: This is a one-day workshop designed for the Heart of Texas Summer 2021 Retreat
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced – Students must have a basic understanding of Peyote stitch and Cubic Right Angle Weave (CRAW)
Cubic right-angle weave
Peyote stitch, flat even count
Peyote stitch, flat odd count step up/step down
Peyote stitch, flat circular, even count with increasing
Zipping techniques
Materials: Kit Mandatory
Kit: $ TBD
Kit Colors: Additional Colors coming soon!
Students should bring: Kits come with size 11 beading needles but make sure to have an assortment of sizes for tight spots; Small sharp scissors and a thread burner; Microcrystalline beading wax (optional, but highly recommended); Beading surface of choice; Magnification; Lighting; Any basic beading supplies that you like to have on hand.


Sherry Serafini

Unusual objects and shapes become part of a new story as Sherry stitches beads and gemstones, one at a time, to a felt like base.  Most pieces are born spontaneously as the beads and Sherry’s imagination dictate the design.  She seldom works from sketches.  Sherry finds this meditative form of art to be a rich counterpoint to a society full of instant gratification.  Some pieces take a year to complete. Each is unique.

Sherry was raised in a military family, moving every few years. She credits that nomadic lifestyle with giving her an adventurous and uninhibited approach to her work.

Sherry was voted one of the top 10 instructors in the United States by Bead & Button magazine. She lectures and teaches throughout the U.S. and has won numerous awards for excellence in design, including Saul Bell Outstanding Jewelry Design Award, Bead International 2006, People’s Choice Bead Dreams, Runner Up Best in Show Bead Dreams, Kennedy Best of Nationally.  She has been published and has written articles for several well-known magazines.  Her work has been featured on the covers of trade magazines and catalogs and is the co-author of the Art of Bead Embroidery with artist and dear friend Heidi Kummli and Sensational Bead Embroidery by Sherry Serafini.

Sherry’s beaded art is known internationally and is owned and worn by Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, and singer Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. Her beadwork has been seen at fashion week in Milan by the artists who commission her.

To view more of Sherry’s designs: Sherry Serafini

Leaping Lizard Cuff

Create a bead embroidered cuff with a beautiful lizard cabochon by the fabulous Jean Christen. Lizard is separately beaded on foundation then attached to cork fabric. Other components are beaded and then attached with a little herringbone stitch. Then embellishments of Swarovski pearls and crystals complete the piece.

Cuff will be customized to fit your own wrist. Clasp is a slide bar clasp.

Workshop : Designed for The Heart of Texas Summer 2021 Bead Retreat
Skill Level: All Levels
Techniques: Bead embroidery, Peyote, Herringbone, assorted weaving stitches
Materials: Kit Mandatory
Kit: $110
Students should bring: Includes everything needed to complete the cuff except for Fireline 6lb test, size 11 beading needles, scissors and E-6000. Full color directions are included. Lighting/Magnification, your usual beading supplies as needed.
Kit Color Options: Click HERE

Heather Kingsley-Heath

English beadwork artist Heather Kingsley-Heath’s work is delicate, richly detailed and infinitely wearable. Inspired by history, heritage, vintage and treasures; all of which she interprets into ingenious new combinations of stitches that will keep you engaged and inspired. 
Heather is also known for her more experimental figurative and sculptural pieces which combine a huge range of seed beading techniques with other materials.
As a tutor Heather is a kind, patient, gentle and inspiring teacher, generous with her design processes and techniques. She teaches regularly both in the UK and overseas. 
She writes and publishes her work as books, kits and patterns as well as creating pieces to commission.

To view more of Heather’s designs: Heather Kingsley Heath

Cristabelle is a vintage inspired cuff style bracelet, perfect for a Jane Austen heroine. Delicately studded with tiny pearls and sparkling crystals, the band is fastened with a pretty European Claspgarten clasp. The raised centre motif has four daintily bezelled chatons, interlinked with pearls. To the sides, antique cut Swarovski brolettes are a glittering transition from centre motif to bracelet band.

Cristabelle is worked in Albion stitch, Modified Right Angle Weave and Netting. Sizes 15 and 11 seed beads, 2mm glass pearls, 3mm Swarovski crystals, 8mm Swarovski chatons. The centre motif measures 4cm (1½inches) at its widest point. The 1.8cm (¾ inch) wide band can be extended from 18cm (7 inches) up to 23cm (9 inches) with the listed materials quantities.(Please let me know if you will need a longer band when ordering your kit)

Workshop : Designed for The Heart of Texas Summer 2021 Bead Retreat
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced [Which means, you are already comfortable working in a variety of beading stitches and have mastered thread tension.]
Techniques:  Albion stitch, Modified Right Angle Weave and Netting
Materials: Kit Mandatory
Kit: $95
Students should bring: The samples shown have been worked with K.O and OneG beading thread. If you prefer to use Fireline, a 4 lb or 6lb smoke can be used. I recommend that you work with the thread you are most comfortable using. Needles, I used a size 10 needle, it can be a good idea to have a size 11 or 12 to hand just in case. Any lighting, magnifiers, glasses usually used when beading. Lighting/Magnification, your usual beading supplies
Kit Color Options: Available in 4 colors


Melanie De Miguel

Based in London, Melanie de Miguel is an internationally renowned beadwork artist, tutor and author, known for her delicate, filigree beadwork trapping crystals. Melanie teaches her designs at shows, beading retreats and bead groups throughout the UK, US and Europe; she has her own YouTube channel for beading tutorials and her work has also been featured in many publications and beadwork books. Melanie absolutely loves to teach and is an inspiring tutor, constantly endeavouring to make her workshops fun and challenging.

A qualified science teacher, passionate about her subject, Melanie’s fascination with thread paths, and constant desire to experiment, led her to create the new beadwork technique – Hubble stitch, about which she has now published two books.

Melanie has also collaborated with her great beady pal, Heather Kingsley-Heath, to write a new book of totally elemental designs – Tudor Inspirations.

To view more of Melanie’s designs: Melanie De Miguel

Circe’s Promise

Quite the ferocious feminist, Circe constantly sought to maintain power over men, hence why she transformed Odysseus’ men to swine when they arrived on her island of Aeaea. But cunning Odysseus, with the help of Hermes, evaded her magic spell and therefore, in wonder and amazement, she fell in love with him. Before ‘allowing’ her to seduce him, he managed to persuade her, with his usual silver-tongued wiles, to restore them as men. The sailors all remained on Aeaea for a year, whilst Odysseus and Circe conducted their affair and, even though she bore him a son (and two others at later visits to the island), Odysseus extracted a promise from this beautiful goddess that she would help him and his men with magic and knowledge to return safely to their native land, Ithaca.

Four diamond-shaped tiles incorporating sparkling chatons of decreasing size, completed with a beautiful crystal drop, are suspended from fine ropes. Embellished beaded beads bisect the rope at each side of the necklace, allowing us to play with colour reversal. Circe’s Promise is a striking but delicate necklace, composed of 6 beaded elements, all of which have the potential to be used independently of one another, to create different, unique beaded jewellery. This design is light and easy to wear, and also highly adaptable. To create backgrounds from which to set up bezels and effectively embroider attachments, I have employed a little-used beading technique to house the beautiful crystal elements at the centre of the necklace, but the lion’s share of the necklace is worked in mixes of Hubble Stitch sub-techniques.

Circe’s Promise measures 14½”/37cm from the clasp to the tip of the drop crystal, and each side rope measures 10”/25cm, producing a total length around the neck of 20”/50cm. The ropes can easily be lengthened to your preference, but I would need to know when you order your kit.

Workshop : Designed for The Heart of Texas Summer 2021 Bead Retreat
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – this implies you have some working knowledge of beading techniques, and it would be very helpful, but not essential, to have some familiarity with Hubble stitch and all of its sub-techniques. Good, even thread tension is important. It will also be helpful if you are comfortable working with very small beads.
Techniques: Hubble Stitch (Basic, HorSO, VerSO, Inverted and Intermittent Wave), Ladder stitch.
Materials: Kit Mandatory
Kit: $95
Students should bring: All materials required to make the necklace are included in the kit, except for needles and thread. Bring several each of sizes 13 and 15 needles – these sizes are absolutely essential due to the use of size 15º Czech Charlottes. I use only 4lb Fireline (0.13mm) in Smoke. If you are not comfortable using Fireline, then by all means bring the thread of your preference, but it must be of the same thickness, otherwise the design will not work. We will be using very small beads so it would be extremely helpful to bring magnifiers and good lighting. Clear nail varnish, small blob of Blu tack (the pliable stuff used to stick posters to walls), flatnose pliers, scissors/thread zapper and anything else you might use in the normal course of beading.
Kit Color Options: Click HERE  2 choices currently available – Purple/Gold or Emerald/Gold but more color options will be available – coming soon.


Cliff Swain-Salomon

Cliff Swain-Salomon is an off-the-loom seed bead weaver known for creating non-traditional jewelry shapes and pushing the boundaries of color exploration. After injuring and losing use of both of his hands for over three years, he began beading when a friend recommended he try it as part of his hand rehabilitation therapy. Once he started, he was hooked.

In all of his pieces, Cliff integrates over 30 years of study in multiple fields, including graphic design, painting, as well as apprenticeships with several medicine men and women, exploring sacred geometry and chromotherapy. He has exhibited his work internationally, including at the Toho Bead Galleries in Osaka and Tokyo Japan. Several publications have featured his jewelry including Facet Jewelry, Style Magazine, and Bead and Button. Cliff was the grand prize winner of Bead Dreams in 2018 where he received the People’s Choice Award and has also received several other awards including—the Facet Jewelry Reader’s Choice Award July 2019 and Judges Award November 2019.

Cliff teaches beadweaving at various stores, for bead societies, and for retreats internationally. Before becoming a full-time artist/teacher, Cliff had worked as an instructor for a college of natural medicine, as a chef, and had held a private holistic medicine practice.  He is married with a 3 year-old daughter and lives in California, near San Francisco.

To view more of Cliff’s designs: Cliff Swain-Salomon
Wild at Heart

Designed in honor of Cliff’s mother—an adventuresome character who runs circles around people even half her age—this wild prairie rose pendant necklace reflects her love, its resilience, and its infiniteness. Five heart-shaped petals adorn a bezeled Swarovski chaton, surrounded by softly striated leaves.  To complete the necklace, the pendant attaches to a beaded rope of Russian Snake Chain studded with 2mm Swarovski Pearls.

Workshop : Designed for The Heart of Texas Summer 2021 Bead Retreat
Skill Level:  Advanced.  A strong understanding of Peyote and RAW is required for this class.  In class, modified St. Petersburg (Russian Feather Stitch) and Russian snake chain will be taught.
Techniques:  Peyote, RAW, Brick, modified St. Petersburg (Russian Feather Stitch), Russian Snake Chain
Materials: Kit Mandatory
Kit: $95
Students should bring:Lighting/Magnification, your usual beading supplies including needles, One-G thread or Miyuki thread (depending on colorway) will be included.  You can use 4# fireline if you prefer (must be 4#)
Kit Color Options: Coming Soon!

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