The Nature-Inspired Creations of Kathleen Lynam

Warren Feld
9 min readMay 30, 2020


Kathleen was one of our bead-weaving instructors at the shop. Her primary sources of inspiration came from nature. I wrote this marketing intro for her jewelry making business she did on the side:

Intuitive. Inspired by Nature and the world around me. Translating feelings and senses and vague images into beautiful jewelry, wonderful beadwork, exciting wearable pieces of art. Beyond following step by step. We’re on the edge and we’re high strung about it.

Kathleen wrote:

Nature inspires all great art, including bead weaving.

Flowers, leaves, vines, and butterflies, (to name a few), are fairly common examples of attempts by bead weavers to transform nature into beadwork. Some are spectacular, like Diane Fitzgerald’s “Ginkgo Leaves.”

Along with other design elements, the color of your beads and the size of your beads and the materials of your beads play major roles in how successful your piece turns out. I have told my students that a solid foundation in the stitches, like we teach at our Stitch of the Month at The Center For Beadwork and Jewelry Arts / Be Dazzled Beads, will allow them the freedom to choose the best stitch for the project. This is particularly true when designing your own piece.

The following is an example of how I was inspired by nature and the resulting Poke Berry Lariat piece.

During a walk one day, I saw some poke weeds. I had so much fun playing with these when I was a child — I love making ink out of the berries! So I went over for a closer look.

Beading is always on my mind, as I examined the stem and berries. It could be done! At least, I could try and re-create this glorious work of nature using beads. I broke off the stem (a bright magenta) and the berries (both purple and green). I took the stem and berries to the bead shop to match up the colors.

The shape of the berries resembled some freshwater pearls. Again I used the actual berries (purple and bright green) to match up the colors with the pearls.

I already had certain stitches in mind. I decided to make this a lariat necklace. Bead crochet was my obvious stitch of choice for the vine-like rope. I

Warren Feld

Beading and jewelry making have been wonderful adventures, from custom work, production work, and teaching. *Design is about the ability to make smart choices.