Artist Profile - Carolyn Burns

Welcome everyone to my first installment of my Artist Profile. My numero uno will be lucky Carolyn Burns. So get yourself into a comfy chair, grab your favourite drink and get to know Lyn!

NAME: Carolyn (Lyn) Burns

To start with tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a 26 year old Jewellery Artist. I run a home based computer business with my husband as well as being a full-time “beader”. I have had tutorials published in Australian Beading magazine and I teach a small group of ladies basic beading techniques.

How did you first get interested in beading/jewellery making?
I started making jewellery as a hobby in 2004. I started off with a basic’s kit that I bought online. I had no idea at the time what to do with anything. I made a basic pair of earrings which consisted of 3 plastic pearls on a head pin and a small elastic bracelet with the remaining plastic pearls. Over time and a lot of internet research I found out about different styles of beading and techniques. I have experienced many mediums in beading and jewellery making such as making my own polymer clay beads to Lampworking. I honestly never felt at home with wirework, but admire those who can! I thankfully have found my calling with seed beads.

Where do you gain your inspiration from? E.g. Trial & Error, Books etc.
My inspiration has always been colour, when designing a new piece I get out my sketch book and draw what first came into my mind. I find colour palettes for that subject. I like to research topics to gain as much insight as I can. I often find that the piece I end up with is nothing to what I had scribbled down earlier. I once made a pair of earrings (Gold chain & findings with green cat’s eye and topaz Swarovski’s) after seeing a cup of two minute noodles with added peas and corn, I like to challenge myself with competitions entries as well. There is definitely an abundance of trial and error in my work, I have a giant UFO box on my desk of piece that just didn’t turn out as I had envisioned. I also read constantly, I have approximately 200 (give or take a few) books, on bead weaving, stringing and the odd one or two of lampwork and polymer clay techniques. I also keep up to date with trends via fashion websites and have plenty of beading magazines on the shelves. I also use a colour website and concoct my own palettes and use various palettes other user’s have made as well and interpret that into my designs.

What type of beads or materials do you use in your designs or like to work with?
I have been hooked on seed beads for a while now, when I first started to bead I vowed to myself that I would never work with seed’s as they are way too small. Now my theory is the small the better, I prefer to make shapes and focal beads with seed beads. I try to incorporate seed beads into most of my work. I am also a hoarder when it comes to Swarovski! I have quite a score of factory packs to fiddle with on hand. Swarovski colours are just astonishing. I look forward to their new releases every season!

Do you tend to stick to a general theme with your designs?
I’m really into a romantic theme at the moment. Romantic and vintage pieces will be a big theme for me this season. Most of my designs have been very intricate but, I also believe in simplicity of designs sometimes more often than not, less is better.

What techniques do you use in your jewellery/bead making?
I do a lot of bead weaving/stitching. Peyote is one of my all time favourite stitches and almost always start to use this stitch first when trying new things.

Do you plan your pieces before constructing them or are they made as you go? On average how long would it take you to make a piece of jewellery or bead?
I plan and research. It can take days or even weeks to create a piece. The design process for me is long, but I want the end result to speak to the wearer. The piece has to have its own story or memory to me. After all is it wearable art!

What do you find to be the greatest and most fulfilling about your jewellery/bead making and designing?
Beading is the ultimate in relaxation. There is nothing more satisfying then sitting on my back deck or in my garden and beading or sorting beads. I can spend hours just looking at colour combinations. I am extremely passionate about beading and I find it fulfilling to learn new stitches and gathering inspirations whether it be photos of flowers or even everyday items.

Where can your pieces be seen or purchased?
On my website at

Finally do you have any advice or tips for those who are starting out in bead/jewellery making?
Don’t think your pieces are never good enough to show, always be proud of the piece you have created. We all have to start out somewhere and beading takes patience!

I would like to thank Lyn for participating in my first Artist Profile!


Eureka! Beads said...
February 17, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Great profile, very interesting to read :)

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