5 questions with Cathy Jakicic

Cathy demo

Cathy Jakicic has been creating jewelry for more than 15 years and always enjoys teaching a novice how to make jewelry. The editor of Bead Style magazine from 2005-2013, she is celebrating the release of her third book, “Quick & Easy Stitched Jewelry,” published earlier this year. It’s a departure from her earlier books, "Beading Projects from a Beading Insider” and “Handmade Memory Jewelry,” and also from her work on Bead Style, in that it focuses on stitched creations for those looking for a bite-sized project — whether they are beginners or busy veterans.

Cathy lives in Milwaukee, WI, and Eclectica Beads in Brookfield recently hosted her for a book signing and demonstration. We caught up with her there!

Signing book with Suzanne Stimac
Cathy signing a book for fellow beader Suzanne Stimac.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH BEADING? 

When I was just starting out in my career in journalism, my often-odd schedule allowed me to take a lot of classes at the Milwaukee Art Museum. I had exhausted all the museum’s drawing and painting options and noticed that there was always a lot of laughter coming from the jewelry classes — so I gave it a whirl. The teacher, Melissa Levenhagen, was very generous with her time and talents and I was hooked.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU FROM STRINGING TO STITCHING? 

I was actually into stitching before I started stringing!  I’ve always enjoyed the delicacy of stitched jewelry and the meditative (and sometimes challenging) quality of the stitching process. But I also love the relatively “instant” gratification of a strung piece. I tried to bring the two together in “Quick & Easy.” Most of the components in the book can be worked into strung jewelry pieces.

CAthy with book and Pokemon color chart

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Not surprisingly, it’s color — whether it’s in nature, a fabric pattern or someone’s boldly dyed hair. Lately, I'm even looking at the colors of various Pokemon! Most of my ideas start with the desire to translate some color combination I’ve seen into a piece of jewelry. When I was editing the magazine, the most popular questions were about color. So many jewelry makers are struggling with color confidence — trusting their instincts to put together their own colorways. Guiding people through that process can be particularly satisfying.


WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PROCESS?

After I choose my colors, I work on figuring out which ones are going to take center stage and which will be accents. After that, it’s often a lot of trial and error. I sometimes look at the work of others as a launch pad - but never as an end point. Imitation is not always the sincerest form of flattery. You need to respect another person’s work and believe in your own capacity to create something original.

sample image
A sample project from "Quick & Easy Stitched Jewelry."

BUT IN THE BOOK  YOU SAY ALL THE PROJECTS AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE COPYRIGHT-FREE. HOW DOES THAT WORK WITH WHAT YOU JUST SAID?

Well, the key is, again, respect. I am happy to give permission for people to use these designs to make something to sell or teach a class. That’s not what I do for a living. But I would never suggest that a reader make that assumption unless permission is explicitly given. Most designers/teachers I’ve met are very good about keeping the boundaries clear. That said, I’m happiest when someone sees something I made and uses it as inspiration to make something original and completely their own. But, I also know sometimes it’s relaxing to simply reproduce an appealing pattern — and it’s a great way to perfect your beading skills. Often design confidence only comes after mechanical skills are mastered.

cover
"Quick & Easy Stitched Jewelry," ISBN 978-1-62700-231-8, 112 pages, 150 color photos, $21.99US. 

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE BOOK.

I created the projects for both the new stitcher who wants to dip a toe in without committing to a 40-hour necklace, and the more experiences beader who's looking for project ideas for an afternoon, evening, or the rare lazy weekend. All projects include a stitched element with easy instructions for completing the piece, and I offer ideas for variations in style or color, so the piece will represent your own personal style!

Quick & Easy Stitched Jewelry is currently available through the Jewelry & Beading Store, at bead stores like Eclectica, or wherever books are sold!

 
FIND MORE: beads

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of FacetJewelry.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
PRODUCTS YOU MIGHT LIKE
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
$3.95
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Get awesome news, tips, & free stuff!