Friday, March 23, 2012

Artist Interview

Artist: Catherine Taylor

Etsy Store: JewelryTaylorMade


While in college, Catherine Taylor majored in Interior Design and for many years worked in furniture stores, as a wholesale furniture manufacturer's sales representative, and freelance interior designer.  She then became a licensed life & health insurance agent and worked for major insurance companies in group employee benefits sales.
Her bead work journey started out due to a family tragedy. In 2005, her husband John Taylor had a misdiagnosed blood clot. This subsequently resulted in amputation which led to many other complications. His recovery was extremely long, and they were fortunate that she was able to care for him 24/7. That same year, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disease, and Reynaud’s disease. Her world as she knew it was shattered; all she had known up to that point was a corporate world. She recalls how your world can change overnight.
Several months after her husband's amputation, she started to teach herself to bead.  She started with simple stringing which eventually grew as she gained new skills and new desires to expand her creativity.  This led her to eventually to try bead embroidery and bead weaving. She could find solace in her beading, it became her new hobby.  Through the learning process with bead weaving and bead embroidery, she found herself on a new journey.
The White Enchantress
Many of her inspirations come from the ocean since they live on the sea for six months out of the year on their own yacht they named the "Chips Ahoy."  Many times her designs include dolphins, mermaids, sea shells, starfish and many other themes from the sea.  Other inspirations come from her large library of bead magazines and books from other bead artists.
 She does not have one particular style but wants her pieces to enhance and make the wearer feel beautiful.  Her styles tend to lean towards the romantic or Victorian preferring a more elegant theme in her work.  Some designs are thought out before hand but she says most just evolve spontaneously.  Since joining the Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild they have stretched her creativity with their first challenge in ways she herself would not have and that they have had a positive effect on her bead work vision and journey.
Her pieces usually start with a focal piece that sets the stage for her design; she says she tries to portray a story in each piece.  She loves to work with unusual beads, crystals or pearls and likes to use Miyuki and Toho seed beads.
Her bead work has been a process about growing and learning that is always continuous and she wouldn't have it any other way.  She has taught bead embroidery (and crochet) and hopes to be influential for others to expand their artistic talents in the bead world.  She feels if just one person can feel the way she does about bead work then it has all been worthwhile for her. Her future plans are to keep exploring new techniques and markets and to constantly expand what she has learned.
Snow Angel
She is married to John Taylor, and they have 6 beautiful granddaughters whom she adores. They have also become new parents to a Bernese mountain dog named Lulu. She resides in Overland Park, KS for half the year and the other half is sailing to the Pacific Northwest islands during the summer months. This summer (2012), they plan to cruise to Alaska which will be 3-4 months of exploration.  It will be interesting to see what new designs she comes up with from this experience and what new themes may develop.


  1. Thank you for sharing Catherine Taylor's interesting Bio. She does beautiful work. It's wonderful that she spends 5-6 months on a boat traveling around seeing amazing sites.

  2. Wonderful Interview! Thanks for introducing us to Ms. Catherine. She does beautiful work.

  3. Nice to meet you, Catherine! Your work is beautiful, and I admire that you're always learning. That's something I aim for in my work, too.

    The more bead embroiderers I meet, the more I'm convinced that beading is wonderful art therapy for those of us with injuries and health problems. A way to direct our energy away from the pain and towards something uplifting.

  4. Great to get to know you....beautiful interview.