Bead Bistro





In The News

Jewelry maker, author teaches pewter casting workshop in Killeen
Posted: Sunday, November 9, 2014
Natalie Stewart | Herald staff writer

Several jewelry-making enthusiasts fired up their blowtorches Saturday for a pewter casting workshop taught by nationally known designer and author Kim St. Jean at Bead Bistro.

St. Jean, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., is the author of “Metal Magic — How to Etch, Pierce, Enamel and Set Striking Jewelry” and “Mixed Metal Mania — Solder, rivet, hammer and wire exceptional jewelry.” She brought her knowledge and enthusiasm to Killeen to teach local jewelry-makers how to make unique pieces of jewelry using pewter.

Dale Koebnick, Bead Bistro owner, said when she opened her store more than two years ago, she knew she wanted to bring in authors and jewelry designers to teach classes.

“To bring in people who are nationally-acclaimed authors and jewelers into Killeen is a complete coup,” she said. “(The classes) are very well received. I was surprised at how popular they are. They’re always something different; it could be beading, wiring, soldering or hammering. They’re all different, so, there’s something for every interest.”

St. Jean said what she enjoys most about teaching her craft is seeing someone have an “ah-ha moment.”

“I love that spark and excitement people get. I can’t help myself, even if I didn’t get paid to do it, I would still say ‘look here,’” she said. “It’s ‘look what you can do.’ It’s the sharing of imagination and creativity.”

St. Jean showed her seven students how to cast pewter, turning it into unique and intricate pieces of jewelry.

“I think people are liking the shabby-chic, rustic look because in our world everything has become so perfect,” she said of the ornate pieces of jewelry being made. “We’re being drawn to things that have imperfection. We want things that aren’t perfect. I feel like I’m passing on a legacy.”

Beth Driver said she regularly participates in jewelry-making classes at Bead Bistro. She said her love of making jewelry began years ago when she had a slumber party for her daughter.

“I bought a bunch of beads for her to string, and I couldn’t figure out how to put a clasp on it,” she said. “We ended up just kind of tying knots. It wasn’t until someone brought me to Dale that I saw all the possibilities.”

Driver said the most satisfying thing about the classes is the camaraderie.

“A lot of us come to the classes regularly, and we’ve come to care about each other,” she said. “We’ve become friends outside of these classes. It’s nice too, to walk through the store and someone stops you and says ‘Did you make that,’ and you can say, ‘I did, I did make this.’”

Molten pewter is poured into a Delft clay mold by Kim St. Jean Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 at the Bead Bistro, at 2501 S. W.S. Young Drive, in Killeen.  
Kim St. Jean tests how her pewter button is doing as it cools down, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 at the Bead Bistro, 2501 S. W.S. Young Drive, in Killeen.  
  With heat rising from her molten pewter button just created in Delft Clay, Kim St. Jean uses a wire brush to whisk away the sand exposing her creation, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at the Bead Bistro, 2501 S. W.S. Young Drive, in Killeen.
  Kim St. Jean holds in her hand an Indian head mold that she has made an impression of in Delft Clay, from the Netherlands, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at the Bead Bistro located at 2501 S. W.S. Young Drive, Suite 311, in Killeen. St. Jean will add melted pewter to make a button.