Welcome to our B.O.C. blog. Learn about the world of handcrafted ceramic beads, buttons, pendants & components from our talented and knowledgeable Artisans.



This week's artist is Katie Nelson.  Although Katie has been creating jewelry for some time now, she is fairly new to selling it.  I think most jewelry artists can relate to those days when you had so much handmade jewelry that you...or....your significant other said, "Enough is enough....How much jewelry could any one person possibly need? .....Time to SELL!!!"  And that's what she did! Words of encouragement for Katie's fairly new cyber world sales would be fabulous!

How long have you been creating jewelry?

Gosh…I think it’s been somewhere between 4 and 5 years now. I have a friend who made jewelry, and she was doing a craft show, so I went along to keep her company. While I was sitting there, I realized that “Hey, I can do that.” So, I took a class with my mom, and it’s been wonderful, fun, craziness since then.

What was it that inspired you to start designing jewelry?

Besides the fact that I realized it was something I could do, I thought it would be something fun to do. I work in Accounting/Finance during the day, so I feel like I need something creative to do (otherwise, that part of my brain will shrivel and die…). There are so many different things you can do with beads…I’m always finding a new bead-related obsession (which is why I have a stack of things that I need to start working on…)

What other materials do you think work well with ceramic beads/pendants?

I don’t think there are limits to what works well with ceramic beads/pendants! I see such a wide variety of ceramic beads/pendants out there – some look more natural and earthy and (deceptively) simple and some are super ornate and polished and detailed. So, I think it all depends on the bead. For example, I love SummersStudio, Jangles, and RoundRabbit…But, their looks are SO different. If I want something sunny and bright, I will go straight to my Jangles (Jennifer Heynen) stash. If I want something more earthy (or blue, since we both seem to be obsessed with the color), I will raid my SummersStudio (LeAnn Weih) stash. And, to me, Round Rabbit (Nancy Shindler) has more “artistic” beads (for lack of any better way to put it)…I could go on and on – those are just the ones I tend to go to the most for ceramic beads and pendants…I could almost open a shop…Seriously…

Ceramic bead by Round Rabbit Extra
Do you do shows as well as sell online? If not, have you considered doing that in your future?

I am just getting started in the online game. I haven’t done any shows yet…I had the opportunity to do one, but it was my birthday and a busy weekend on top of that, so I had to pass on it. I mostly make my jewelry for fun – the shop is, in a way, to appease my husband because he tells me that I need to start making something off of this hobby in order to support my bead habit…

Ceramic Leaves by SummersStudio and Beads by Elaine Ray
What colors are your favorite to work with? What are your least favorite?

LOVE blues, greens, and browns…The whole world of brown is fairly new to me…For the longest time, I just didn’t care for the color. But, there are so many rich, warm tones of brown that I got over it eventually. I love rich colors and jewel tones. I’m not a huge fan of the orange/yellow/pink realm, but there are always exceptions to that rule…

Are most of your materials such as ceramic beads/pendants purchased online or do you prefer to shop in local bead stores?

I buy most of my art beads online. Etsy (and the bead artists who sell there) love me, I think. And I really am a sucker for the “SALE” word. But, I have found SO many great bead artists online that I tend to stick with online shopping. I know which places I can rely on to give me good quality and which artists I like to buy from, so I feel OK about buying without touching first. And, when I’m looking for something/someone new, I can always count on people like Lorelie Eurto to find some amazing new artist that I check out…Etsy should send her a thank you card…
Ceramic Pendant by Jangles
Do you have other creative interests that you like to partake in when you are not creating jewelry?

I have been making polymer clay beads for the past year or so, I have started playing with resin and making beads with it, I have a kiln for PMC (just need to use it…), and I love making crafty stuff to decorate/perk up the office cube environment (yay for the Cricut!) I just learned bead crochet, so I would LOVE to learn regular crochet at some point…I have neglected it for a while, but I also like to cross stitch (which may explain my affinity for my seed bead work).

Ceramic Pendant by Every Heart Crafts
What is your favorite part of the process (jewelry designing, selling,etc.) and what is your least favorite part?

My favorite part of the process is sitting down with a bunch of beads and letting them tell me what to make. I always tell people that, because I bought their bead yesterday, they may not see it in a piece for a while. I tend to buy beads that jump at me for some reason, so I know that, when they’re ready, they will tell me what to make with them…(I’m not crazy, really…but, then again, I do name my animal-shaped beads…). I love to create, but I refuse to force it…If it’s not there, it’s not there.

My least favorite part is selling…I like to make things for gifts and just so I get the happiness of knowing that I accomplished something else – I sat down with a pile of beads, and look what they turned into? To know that my math-driven brain (I even have a degree in it!) can do that is important to me. So, selling it isn’t high on my priority list. Don’t get me wrong – I love it when something sells (such a nice affirmation!), but it’s not the be-all and end-all of my beady existence…

Ceramic Beads by Round Rabbit Extra...Ceramic Pendant by Jangles
If you would like to know more about Katie, you can visit her blog.  DEFINITELY....pop on over to see all of her creations for sale in her Etsy Shop....You won't be disappointed!!!  If you like any of the designs featured, simply click it for a more detailed description.


  1. Thanks again for asking me to take part in this - I love how you put it all together - and I love what you did with the pictures I sent you :o)

  2. Great interview with one of my favorite people! Yay Katie! Thanks so much for being so supportive of ceramic artists!

  3. I'm happy that you like it. It was my pleasure to put this together:O) MaryAnn

  4. How fun to meet Katie and get to know more about her. I think she does wonderful work with ceramic beads. We all love her support of our art work. Thanks Katie and MaryAnn.

  5. Very cool interview. Love your work Katie. :)

  6. I always love to see what Katie makes with my ceramic beads! Thanks Jennifer Jangles


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