More About the Author
Welcome to my Author's Page! Creating with beads makes me happy, entertains and challenges me! In my books, I share everything I know and love about how to create beautiful beadwork, whether professionally or simply as a delightful pastime.
If you are new to beads, you may not realize yet that beads are one of man's earliest artifacts, and that beading exists in nearly every culture throughout the world, from our earliest times through the present. New beads, made by artists and factories around the world, join vintage and ancient beads to provide a magical mix of raw materials for our playful and inventive pleasure. My books show you not only the techniques for creating jewelry and other art, but also inspirations and methods for developing your own imaginative voice with beads.
Most beading books seem to stress projects. The artist/author designs something and gives exact instructions for how to make that specific project. My books are different. I cherish and believe in nurturing the creative impulse in every individual. Thus all of my books stress techniques and process rather than projects. I give examples that may inspire you, while at the same time sharing methods for building confidence and design skills, the goal being for you to develop your own artistic voice, successfully conceiving beadwork in your own unique style. If you doubt your ability now, you have a delightful journey ahead of you.
Perhaps you'd like to know how my "beadlust" originated. It all began in 1952 when I earned my first Girl Scout badge for beading a 60-inch, loom-woven strap. It was only supposed to be a 4-inch book mark, but beading was so much fun, I made it longer, first belt length, then even longer, stopping only when I ran out of beads. It hung on the door frame of our kitchen for many years.
After earning a MA in counseling psychology, I worked for 10 years as a counselor and later in professional theatre management, all the while pursuing jewelry making, fiber arts and quilting on the side. In 1985, I gave in completely to my passion for beads, forming a dual business, Atkins Creations and Beads Indeed, making my living ever since by creating beadwork, teaching beading techniques on a national level and writing books and articles about beadwork methods, history and design.
My work has been shown in exhibitions and shows. I'm honored that one of my beaded pieces, "Rosie, the Uncaged Hen," is featured on the cover of "500 Beaded Objects." I've taught beading methods and techniques on a national level since 1988, including at many national bead, quilt, weaving and fiber arts conferences. I am the author of 7 books about beading, including "The Complete Photo Guide to Beading," "Beaded Embellishment" (with Amy Clarke), "Heart to Hands Bead Embroidery," and "Beaded Treasures." I'm also a contributing author/artist for books by other authors, including Margie Deeb, Lynne Perrella, and Deborah Cannerella. I am fortunate for opportunities to travel, especially in Eastern Europe and China, where I studied ethnic beadwork and the technology of bead making.
In closing, I'd like to share a story about a very talented beader who had a crippling stroke, which impaired her fine motor-coordination. After that, she couldn't do beadwork anymore. She never felt sorry for herself, never skipped a beat; instead, she promptly took up flower gardening. Color and beauty were not lost to her. Hopefully I'd be like her if anything like that happened to me. In the meantime, you'll find me in the studio playing with my beloved beads!
Thanks for visiting this page. If you'd like to see some of my work, you're welcome to visit my websites:
my website: robinatkins.com
my blog: beadlust.blogspot.com