NEW Contributors – Kim St. Jean and Sarah Thompson

By on October 19, 2015
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by Judy Ellis,

WireJewelry Tip for October 19th, 2015

Final Two New Contributors – Kim St. Jean and Sarah Thompson

Today I bring to you our final two AMAZING contributors – one whom you may have seen here on, Kim St. Jean,  and a new face to our readers, Sarah Thompson.

These two amazing women both have a beautiful style and a very unique technique and I know that you love hearing their tips and seeing some of the fabulous and intricate work that they do.

I am pleased to introduce Kim St. Jean and Sarah Thompson. Enjoy!

Kim St. Jean:

KSJ Headshot

Following ten years as a public school teacher, Kim combined her love of teaching with her creative talents and began teaching jewelry classes. Mostly self taught, Kim now has been teaching jewelry classes for 17 years. She is an award winning instructor, author and jewelry designer. Kim has been published in numerous magazines and books.

Some of Kim’s published works include:


  • Mixed Metal Mania, Kalmbach Books
  • Metal Magic, Kalmbach Books
  • Colorful Wire Jewelry, Kalmbach Books (June 2016)

Collaborative Books:

  • Metal Style, Karen Doughtery, Interweave Press
  • Crystal Jewelry Inspiration from the Create Your Style Ambassadors, Karin Van Voorhees, Kalmbach Books

Magazine Articles:

  • Lapidary Journal, Jewelry Artist, April 2014: Feature article on Pewter Casting
  • dozens of others back to 2002


  • 21 videos
  • 5 videos
  • 2 videos

She has appeared on several beading/craft television programs and has written three books; Mixed Metal Mania and Metal Magic currently in print, and her 3rd Colorful Wire Jewelry to be published in June of 2016. Kim was elected one of the Top Ten Instructors in the country by the attendees of the prestigious Bead & Button show. She currently has videos available for on-line viewing at and In addition, she has filmed over 20 stone setting DVD’s for

Kim’s Gallery of Work:


Sarah Thompson:


My fascination with jewelry started at a very young age. I still remember my first necklace given to me as a gift from my grandmother when I was 4. It had tiny little teddy bear beads in an alternating pattern of pink, blue, and white. I loved the feel of it when worn, and was

mesmerized by the textures I felt as I ran it through my fingers. As I grew that fascination stayed with me, and by the time I was 14 I became fixated with beads. I spent hours in the library and the local bead store learning what I could from books and magazines.

My resources were limited and I learned to find creative solutions with what I had on hand. As my skills grew I found the most enjoyment in doing off loom bead work. I loved the diversity and dimensions that I could achieve by building layer upon layer of beads onto a beaded foundation. But I still felt like something was missing. As much as I enjoyed working with the beads I found it overwhelming having so many options in bead size, colors, and textures. I yearned to make more elegant flowing designs, while keeping the pieces delicate and wearable. I dabbled in traditional wire work, but found it too simple and limiting for what I was envisioning. During my initial attempts at wire work the tools felt awkward and it frustrated me how easily the wire became mangled as I tried to shape the wire, and I the more I forced the wire the worst it would become.

Everything changed in 2005. I was visiting Seattle during the Bellevue Art festival; it was at this festival that I was introduced to Marilyn Moore’s work. I instantly fell in love with her beautiful vases made from recycled copper wire. I was drawn in by the movement, texture, and sculptural qualities that could be achieved when using wire as a means to weave with. I walked away filled with ideas of taking weaving techniques and transforming it into jewelry with my own style. I could see that this was what I had always envisioned my jewelry to be like. I became obsessed and scoured the internet and library trying to find anything that would teach me how to weave with wire. I came away disappointed, finding nothing that could help me apply my ideas to the wire. I wanted precise, intricate, and refined details, the few ideas I did find was very freeform, organic, rustic, and random in the styling; and was bulkier than I wanted. Over the next 5 years I experimented off and on as I tried to make my vision a reality. Everything I tried was met with disappointing results. I got to the point that I was convinced that wire work in any form was not for me, and was ready to throw in the towel.

My success came when I began melding the same concepts I learned from years of beadwork into wire work. The weave became the peyote stitch, once I realized this it was an easy transition into manipulating the weave in a similar manner as I would if I was beading. I discovered that adding depth and details in wire weaving was better done by layering the wire together one step at a time, instead of trying to do it all at once. I pulled ideas from crocheting to help me handle the wire better, and sketching to help me plan out my ideas; giving it more structural stability. I experimented with the sculptural abilities of the wire and how even subtle 3D shaping added to the design. I loved the simplicity in working with just wire and a single focal piece, yet my design options were limitless. The more I worked the more I fell in love with the wire.

I learned through trial and error. I had no background in wire wrapping or metal smithing. I had no preconceived notions of what not to do or even the preferable way to work with the wire. I developed my own techniques that worked for me. My hope is that I can give you a new way of looking at the wire, and a deeper appreciation of what can be done with it. In 2010 I started teaching my wire weaving techniques. My goal as a teacher has always been to give the students a strong foundation from which they can then begin creating their own original designs. Each of my classes was created with this goal in mind; breaking down the techniques and specific design elements so that they can be learned in a manageable manner.

Sarah’s Gallery of Work:


We are so thrilled to have these two fine jewelry artists and instructors as part of our new contributing staff. Stay tuned this week to see some of their latest tips and techniques!

Happy Wrapping!

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  1. avatar


    October 19, 2015 at 6:48 am

    I would like to Follow “Kim”. Thank you, Please reply.

  2. avatar


    October 19, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Would love to have free patterns from Sarah Thompson.

  3. avatar

    Cathy Hankerson

    October 19, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Sarah Thompson”sd work is as beautiful as it is intriguing. From personal experience, she is a wonderful, patient teacher; full of enthusiasm for her art, and ready to help you acquire her love for working with wire!

  4. avatar

    Carol Praissman

    October 20, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I would love to follow Sarah Thompson. Her pieces are exquisite! Kim’s work is also fantastic. Such beautiful work, so little time. GROAN!

  5. avatar

    Sandy Carl

    October 20, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I have taken one of Kim’s classes at Bead Fest Philly and can say Kim is an awesome teacher and her designs are just as awesome. I have also taken Sarah’s class thru Craftsy and have Sarah’s book and she is just as awesome as Kim! To wonderful teachers sharing their knowledge!

  6. avatar


    October 21, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Sooooo Excited to be getting tips from Kim!!! I also was fortunate enough to take 2 classes from Kim at Bead and Button 2015! She truly found her “calling” teaching metal jewelry techniques!! The amazing thing about Kim is the way she can take a student mistake and nudge you in a different direction, ultimately creating a beautiful piece from what you thought was a failure! If your debating about purchasing any of her videos- BUY THEM- you wont be disappointed! It’s like having an instructor sitting in your studio with you! Can’t wait until Bead and Button 2016 to take more classes from Kim.