Bead Bistro





In The News

Jewelry-makers heat things up
Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Vanessa Lynch | Herald staff writer

Jewelry-making enthusiasts fired up their blow-torches Saturday during a class taught by designer and author Kieu Pham Gray at the Bead Bistro.

With more than 20 years of designing jewelry and a passion for teaching and empowering others with her knowledge of the jewelry industry, Gray is making several stops in Texas.

During her “Tour of Texas,” Gray, owner of the Urban Beader in Cleveland, Ohio, made a stop in Killeen to teach several classes and sign copies of her book: “Hot & Cold Jewelry Connections: How to make jewelry with and without a torch.”

Gray taught several classes over the weekend, including one on torch-fired enameling, where both beginner and advanced jewelry-makers learned how to make enamel charms.

“This is an alternative method to using a kiln,” she said. “This is a quick and dirty way, so it’s not as refined like when a kiln is used.”

Many of the dozen class attendees are Bead Bistro regulars, including Beth Driver. “I was really looking forward to this class.”

“I got into it about a year ago when I was looking for something for my daughter to do during a sleepover. Now I’m hooked and I’m here most weekends,” said Driver, a Killeen resident and jewelry-making newbie.

Dale Koebnick, owner of the Bead Bistro, opened up shop two years ago and offers classes regularly.

“When I decided to open up my own bead store, offering classes was a top priority,” she said, adding that in addition to teaching classes herself, guest teachers like Gray, who are experts in the field, come to teach as well.

Joyce Howard, of Harker Heights, has been making jewelry for two decades and decided to take the class to add another dimension to her repertoire.

“Each different aspect you learn how to do, the more you can embellish your own jewelry,” she said.

Kieu Pham Gray shows a torch to a class at Bead Bistro in Killeen on Saturday March 22. Kieu was giving a class on torch fired enameling.  
Kieu Pham Gray shows her class at Bead Bistro how to use a two hole punch Saturday March 22.  
Kieu Pham Gray gently taps silver opaque enamel on to her copper element Saturday March 22 at Bead Bistro.  
Using a spatula, Kieu Pham Gray places her copper element with blue enamel on top to be fired during her class at Bead Bistro Saturday March 22.  
Using a torch to melt her enamel on to her copper element, Kieu Pham Gray creates her copper charm at Bead Bistro Saturday March 22.  
  Kieu Pham Gray points to her copper enamel charm that she is torching with a heart die-cut shape added for texture in her class she taught at Bead Bistro Saturday March 22.
  A student in Torch Fired Enameling shows a soldering project she made of a necklace at Bead Bistro Saturday March 22.
  Pollyanna Randol of San Antonio turns her torch on to fire her enameled copper piece at Bead Bistro Saturday March 22.
  Pollyanna Randol of San Antonio torch fires her copper piece as Kieu Pham Gray supervises Saturday March 22 at Bead Bistro.
  Dale Koebnick, left, owner of Bead Bistro and Kieu Pham Gray, a professional jewelry maker, pose with torches Saturday March 22.