EDMONTON, AB | A mom & daughter team, Carrie & Judy have been creating jewelry for women who want to wear accessories that make them look as special on the outside as they feel on the inside. They started their business, Bead Tree in 2003 and have not looked back.
They pride themselves on having a direct connection with the wearers of their jewelry as it provides an opportunity to know where the jewelry comes from, the process of how it is made and the care and craftsmanship behind it.
Meet the Artist
Hi, I'm Carrie, the Glass Bead Creator! When I'm not spinning my fingers making wee glass wonders in a flame, you can find me gardening in my yard or snapping photos of the dazzling sunrises in Edmonton. I have a university degree in English with a minor in Archaeology. I have travelled to over 20 countries, I know how to twirl a baton, which has never come in handy, but is still a cool skill, my favorite dish is spaghetti & meatballs, i am most happy when i'm outdoors and I squeel at the sight of kittens.
Well hello, I'm Judy, the Jewelry Maker! When I am not designing and creating wearable art, I am painting on real canvases, creating hangable art. That or simmping on a glass of wine & watching the beautiful sunsets in Edmonton. I have a university degree in Fine Arts and have shown my paintings in dozens of galleries throughout Alberta. I earned my pilot's license when I was 23 years old and saw the REAL Elvis perform live in Vegas. You can find me in the woods taking photos of Aspen & Birch trees throughout the fall and I am happiest when in the company of my family, and I am addicted to audiobooks.
Did you know?
The name Bead Tree is a nod to Carrie's father, and Judy's Husband, Bob. He loved to go for walks in the woods and always took time to appreciate the beauty of the trees.
We discovered glass bead making by accident shortly after my Dad passed away from cancer in August 2002. In September of that year, my Mom & I took a bead stringing course through a program offered at a cancer institute, along with a variety of art classes for cancer patients & people affected by cancer, as a form of therapy. (My mom was facilitating art courses there at the time & that’s how she heard about the beading class & decided to sign us both up for it, thinking it would help us with our loss.)
We began the classes, stringing together a variety of beads into bracelets & necklaces while sharing our stories & on the last day, we were shown some special glass beads, made by a local Artisan named Phil. We were each allowed to pick one of his beads to complete our projects. When I first saw his little glass wonders, my heart skipped with excitement ~ it was magic! I was blown away by how beautiful they were & that they were locally made.
We got in touch with Phil & he offered to teach both Judy & I how to make them. During his class, I fell in love with the process of melting glass with a torch & making miniature works of art. Judy, being a prolific painter, discovered that her love for colour & pattern played a big part in the designing & stringing together of jewelry.
At the time, I had just graduated with a BA & though I was tired of school, I was going to go back to work on a Master's in Anthropology. My Mom, on the other hand, was a full time Artist, but was having trouble finding her focus after losing her husband. When we were finished the class with Phil, I said to her, “let’s go into business together! I’ll make glass beads & you can design jewelry with them.” She had been thinking the very same thing.
By January 2003, I had set up a studio at her house where my Dad's office was & she set up an area to work on making jewelry near by. I would come over every day & we would work together, which was so good for us. I truly believe this business was a gift from my Dad. It helped us heal, bond & move forward.
Our creative collaborations continue to be a great source of joy for both us & we hope the love of what we do is reflected in our pieces. The glass beads are made, one at a time, therefore, each one is different, all are unique. It is this special quality that we try to connect to our customers, accentuating their own beauty & uniqueness.