Permanent IBW ambassadors

Liz Thornton - UK

I am very happy to be an ambassador for International Beading Week.

I first started stitching beads together many years ago (over twenty five, which is rather scary) and have been talking and writing about beadwork ever since.  I love to introduce people to the craft and to encourage them to try it for themselves.  That moment when a struggling beader suddenly understands a new stitch, when the penny drops, is so satisfying and there are smiles to share.  And that is what International Beading Week is for – to enable the whole community to come together and share the joy and pleasure which beadwork can bring both to the practitioner and to the person who delights in the finished work.

I look forward to seeing many people during the course of the Drop-in sessions which the Guild will be hosting during the course of the week.  I don’t want to miss any of them!


Erica Sandor - Slovakia

Beading is my passion: my hobby and my work at the same time. It is part of every one of my days. It fulfils me and brings me new friendships. Being a permanent ambassador of the International Beading Week is an honour and happiness. I hope you will join me in learning this wonderful art!

Jessica Hayman - UK

I've tried a variety of different crafts but nothing really resonated until I discovered bead weaving. Without the Beadworkers Guild I don't think I would have progressed much past simple stringing, my eyes were truly opened to the immense potential in beadwork.

The infinite ways to combine beads of every shape, size & colour to create fun, elegant, simple or complex shapes and pieces holds me captivated, there's no right or wrong just what you enjoy and if that's different from everyone else well that's just fine! I cherish the inspiration I have got from the people I have met over the years and if I can inspire even a fraction of that I will be very content.

It's so exciting that we have a week all of our own shared by so many different nationalities so lets make IBW amazing.

Katie Dean - UK

I am honoured to be a permanent ambassador for International Beading Week.

Beads and beading have so much to offer, whether it is respite from illness or a difficult period in life, or just having an opportunity to express your creativity. I see how much happiness people gain from learning to bead. Everyone I know says how relaxing it is and, in this stressful world, that is so important. The sense of achievement you get from learning a new technique or working with a new pattern is something very special.

In its first year (2015) National Beading Week did a fantastic job of spreading the word about beading and everyone who took part had enormous fun and since then it has grown to a worldwide event. With competitions, special offers from beading shops and special beading events, there is so much to enjoy if beading is already your passion and so many ways to discover this wonderful craft.

Cath Thomas - Switzerland

I am proud to be a permanent ambassador for International Beading Week. This special event is all about showing the art of beading to a broader audience, and getting together to celebrate it.

Making our craft better recognised is a subject close to my heart. Together with other members of the Guild, I manage the dedicated Facebook group: "International Beading Week - First week of August every year", to encourage people from all horizons to participate in this week of beading frenzy, to inform about upcoming meetings and share photos and videos of events. Members can also participate in an informal year-long beading challenge.

I love beading. Not only does it save my sanity, but the shared love of the craft connects me to a world of passionate beaders around this planet through social media, and became the foundation of very meaningful friendships.

Sam Norgard - USA 

I am honored to have been asked to be an International Beading Week Ambassador!  Thank you!

I'm a Professor at the prestigious university for creative careers, the Savannah College of Art and Design. As far as I know, these may be the only beading courses that apply toward a University degree.  I teach design classes in Foundation Studies, Beaded Surfaces and Structures in the Fibers Dept. and Bead Technique for Jewelry in the Jewelry Dept.  It is a delight to witness the cutting edge work in which my students engage

I look forward to getting involved and sharing ideas, collaborating, and working with groups.  During the past couple years I have been honored to work with Kate McKinnon.  This work has connected me to a network of thousands of beaders worldwide.  I see a joyful and vast future for beading and look forward to being a small part of it.

Patty McCourt - UK

I am delighted to be an IBW Ambassador. I want to encourage the younger generation, and anyone else who wants to get interested in this amazing and rewarding art form, and I am happy to play my part.

I started beading in 2004 and have loved every minute of it! I thoroughly enjoy the entire process of creating a jewellery piece and over the years have tried many different techniques and materials in my creations. I have learnt a lot during all these years and I am happy to say that I am still learning.

I am proud of the hard work the Beadworkers Guild has put into IBW and happy to see its success as it has become a worldwide event. So, come along and join us, have fun beading and support International Beading Week

ETSY: PattysBeadShop (I sell shibori and a few beads)

Heather Kingsley-Heath - UK

It is a real honour to be a permanent IBW ambassador. I love beading, I love our community and enjoy travelling the world to meet and work with many beaders, it is the magical part of my job.

IBW is such an important event, it’s not just about the free stuff, it’s about getting together to bead, welcoming newcomers, supporting our bead shops and local groups and supporting all the designers who keep us bead inspired with lovely new creations; all of which keeps our amazing global beady community thriving and full of energy.

Make IBW the week you support your nearest bead shop, join a class or group, or buy a pattern you’ve been thinking you’d like to try.
follow my blog…

Melanie de Miguel - UK

I am so excited to have been asked to be a permanent ambassador for IBW. This means I get to talk even more about my favourite subject - BEADING!

I took my first beading class in 1999; I was in a room filled with like-minded souls, having fun, sharing ideas and inspirations - it felt like an extended family. Wherever I am, at whatever bead show, I still feel as if I'm surrounded by sisters, grans and aunties - we are a wonderful community!

For as long as I can, I will continue to bead, design and teach, and most importantly, spread the word about this amazing craft. We must keep it alive and continue to explore its beautiful, infinite potential, and with IBW we have the perfect opportunity to make some real beady noise!