Bead Bistro
2501 S. WS Young, Dr, Suite 311
Killeen, TX  76542
254-432-5307
Store Hours | Mon-Fri 10am - 6pm
Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday Closed
 
 

 

 

In The News
 

Jewelry workshop crafts sense of togetherness
Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2015
Rachael Riley | Herald staff writer

With flat-nosed pliers, round-nosed pliers, wire cutters and a pen, area jewelry enthusiasts learned how to craft beads and wire Saturday into handmade designs.

Killeen resident Beth Driver got into the hobby when a friend signed her up for a class. She previously struggled to put ends together when crafting together a necklace.

“It was the best thing I ever did for myself,” Driver said. “I think I come here just as much for the camaraderie as anything else.”

Fellow bead hobbyist Esther King found the pastime when she visited Bead Bistro Gourmet Beadery to purchase a gift certificate for her granddaughter.

She also took a class.

“I enjoy it a lot. I do it all the time. It’s something at home I sit down and do for myself,” King said. “I don’t sell mine. I give it away a lot. I want it to always be fun. I don’t want it to be work.”

Driver and King sat in on another class Saturday at the bead store for hands-on instruction of spiraling, looping and coiling wire for caps, cones, petals and lacy wire bezels to encapsulate the beads under the direction of author and national instructor Melody MacDuffee.

MacDuffee’s own interest for turning beads into jewelry started about 25 years ago.

“I love big earrings, and my holes were starting to get stretched out so I started playing with thinner wire and making my own components,” MacDuffee said.

Noticing others were submitting designs to bead magazines, she did the same, which led to publishing three books with a fourth debuting in April.

Through the magazines, bead-makers in Ghana contacted MacDuffee.

“This is life or death for them,” she said.

With young adults who only receive an eighth-grade education, many who are AIDS orphans, MacDuffee formed a preventive nonprofit organization, “Soul of Somanya,” with others to help them market their jewelry.

“We’re starting to hear success stories of kids who were with us early in the project, and they’re coming back and telling us what they’re doing,” she said.

The organization pays them 2.5 times more than minimum wage, and many save money to continue their education, MacDuffee said.

“We’ve sort of helped them launch into a life that has more possibilities and more options,” she said.

As she hosts workshops for hobbyists stateside, she also brings the African jewelry items with her for a “trunk show” to help pay their wages.

While conducting another local workshop today on making “curlicue earrings,” the jewelry, highlighting African Krobo recycled glass beads, stone cabochons and other African made jewelry items will be for sale at Bead Bistro, Gourmet Beadery.

Owner Dale Koebnick said there’s still are seven spots open for the workshop, which is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

The trunk show jewelry will be sold during the same hours at the shop, at 2501 S. W.S. Young Drive, Suite No. 311, behind Game Exchange between In-N-Out Burger and Hobby Lobby.

Completed bezels holding stones rest upon a jewelry instruction book written by author and instructor Melody MacDuffee, Bead Bistro Gourmet Beadery, Saturday, February 14, 2015.  
Students watch author and instructor Melody MacDuffee demonstrate a technique used to make lacy wire bezels at Bead Bistro Gourmet Beadery, Saturday, February 14, 2015.  
Students Phil Barts, left, and Renee Jackson watch author and instructor Melody MacDuffee demonstrate a technique used to make lacy wire bezels at Bead Bistro Gourmet Beadery, Saturday, February 14, 2015.  
Students Phil Barts, left, Renee Jackson, and Judy Rosten watch author and instructor Melody MacDuffee demonstrate a technique used to make lacy wire bezels at Bead Bistro Gourmet Beadery, Saturday, February 14, 2015.  
  Kay Justice works on creating a jewelry bezel to hold a stone in a class taught by author and instructor Melody MacDuffee during a class at Bead Bistro Gourmet Beadery, Saturday, February 14, 2015.
  Diane Hill works on a jewelry bezel design in a class taught by author and instructor Melody MacDuffee during a class at Bead Bistro Gourmet Beadery, Saturday, February 14, 2015.
  Author and instructor Melody MacDuffee demonstrates a wire bezel design during a class at Bead Bistro Gourmet Beadery, Saturday, February 14, 2015.