San Francisco Bead and Design Show – Craft Gossip Exclusive Interview and Giveaway

The San Francisco Bead and Design Show will be taking place from May 21-23, 2010. For more information about the show itself please see below.

Carole Witt of String Bead in Chico, CA will be teaching a number of workshops, on topics including riveting, polymer components, soft soldering and mixed media.  Here is some background info about Carole.

Instructor Carole Witt taught high school art in the north state for 15 years before becoming the owner of String Bead, Chico’s largest bead store. As a proud graduate of the Revere Academy of Jewelry Art, Carole, and her husband Craig, added a 1000sq.ft. fabrication shop/classroom to String Beads extensive bead and supply store increasing their ability to reach more students and share the art of jewelry making. She and her remarkable staff have a line-up of over 50 classes offered. They keep the costs low so that everyone has the opportunity to learn skills they need to follow their dreams.

Carole kindly agreed to a mini-interview for Craft Gossip.

KM – Can you tell our readers what inspired you to start making jewelry?

CW –   My mother started me making jewelry when I was fourteen. By the time I was sixteen I owned my own torch and spent my free time sitting cross-legged on the floor soldering rings and setting stones. My husband wanted me to learn how to work in glass and that opened up a whole new world. In 2006 we bought the local bead store and moved it from a 1900sq.ft. to a 3200sq.ft. space. With a 1000sq.ft. jewelry fabrication and glass bead making shop. What inspires me the most at this point is teaching others to expand their jewelry making and design skills.

KM – You are teaching a workshop on cold connections, can you explain your favorite piece that you have made with this technique?

CW –  One of my favorite cold connection pieces is called no-time (pictured). It’s all fun gears and watch pieces. And is all about time getting away and that’s how things are for me at this time.

KM – What style of jewelry most inspires you?

CW – Texture and color inspire me the most. Anything with a Nouveau twist will catch my attention. That’s why I ‘m loving the mixed media/steampunk movement because anything goes, etching, Photo transfers, rivets, grommets, and hinges! YEAH!

KM – What is the most unusual material that you have incorporated into a piece of jewelry?

CW- Gears, and a picture of a princess kissing a frog are the most unusual materials up to this point.

KM- What is the most useful tool on your jewelers bench?

CW – My bench pin is the most used tool. My favorite tool is my ½ round-1/2 flat pliers.

Thanks Carole for taking the time to answer a few of my questions.  I hope that this little bit of insight into Carole’s work and history was interesting.  Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I conduct mini-interviews with two other exhibitors in the SF Bead and Design Show. If you want to contact Carole directly, her details are:

String Bead


If you would like to visit Carole at the show, her booth number will be M167

To celebrate this mini-series of interviews and the show itself, Garan-Beadagio, the organizers of this show have provided us with the following giveaway:

Two admission tickets to the show (value $10ea), one ticket to Carole Witt’s class titled “Riveting!” for Friday, May 21, 1-4pm, and one ticket to Carole Witt’s class titled “Mixed Media” for Sunday, May 23, 1-4pm. (value $69ea). Which I will split between two lucky readers.

Leave a comment here if you would like to be entered in the giveaway.  Leave a second, third, etc., comment if you Tweet, blog, Facebook, etc, about this post.  Good Luck!

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San Francisco Bead and Design Show, May 21 – 23, at Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market Street, San Francisco. 10-6, Fri-Sun, open to the public.

More than 150 artists and merchants showcasing: handmade, antique, vintage and contemporary beads, gemstones, designer components, vintage findings, gold & silver, handmade jewelry, cloisonné, ceramics, wearable art, embellishments, textiles, hand dyed ribbons, art clothing, hand painted silks, millinery, embroideries, accessories, collectibles, antiquities, and objets d’art. Along with workshops in jewelry, clay, mixed media and bead making. For more information visit,


  1. Susanna says

    Wow! Thanks for this amazing opportunity. I’ve been beading for a while, but have not yet ventured into metals. Taking a class with Carole and going to the bead show (both new experiences) would be the highlight of my summer!