Meet Our Instructors


Amy Katz has been part of the world of seed beads since 1993 as a student, teacher and designer. Her admiration for high-end jewelry pieces is her inspiration. As her commitment to her own designs grew, Amy made the decision to give them a fine jewelry look using seed beads, crystals, pearls and other elegant materials. Using imagination, this vision has come to life as her signature style. Amy is a national teacher with a passion for sharing her love of the work. She is also the co-author of Beading Across America and author of Seed Bead Chic.

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Kaska Firor is a jewelry artist, author and an educator. She has been working with wire for over 20 years and is a recipient of many awards for her intricately woven jewelry. Among others she is two time 1st place winner in the wire category in Bead Dreams Competition at the Bead and Button Show.

Kaska is the author and co-author of two books, Freeform Wire Woven Jewelry and Wire & Fire. Her work has also been published in several other books and trade magazines such as Art Jewelry, Step-By-Step Wire, Bead Style, Lapidary Journal and SNAG’s Jewelry and Metalsmithing Survey.

Kaska teaches at national conventions, jewelry schools and studios throughout the United States. See Kaska’s work and workshop schedule at:

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Kieu Pham Gray

Kieu Pham Gray has been creating jewelry for almost 20 years. She started from the need to “look the part” while working in retail management for Neiman Marcus. Making jewelry for herself and friends, Kieu’s jewelry line was created. Since then she has sold her designs to over 30 stores in 10 states and participated in numerous juried art shows. Today, Kieu teaches jewelry making at numerous venues across the US, teaching everything from beading to silversmithing. Together with her husband, Andy, they run, where they work to provide the industry with specialty goods and tools. In an effort to share her passion and knowledge for the jewelry industry, Kieu teaches a wide range of classes at her stores and throughout the United States. Detailed instruction and personal attention has been the key to success with her students.

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Sulie Girardi was born in Chicago, but has lived in Vienna, Austria for the past 30 years, where she owns and operates Vienna Impressions, Austria’s largest source for rubber stamps. Sulie started working with metal clay several years ago, and never looked back. She has obtained the Art Clay Levels 1,2, and Teachers Certificate/Higher Diploma, as well as the Metal Clay Diploma from the Cornwall School of Jewelry in Cornwall, England. She teaches in her own studio and is also a Guest Instructor. She comes to the US frequntly to teach at Bead Fest, Bead and Button and Metal Immersion. Sulie’s work has been published in magazines in Europe and the US, and has won Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in the Fire Mountain Jewelry Competition. In 2019 she was a Finalist in the Bead Dreams competition at Bead and Button. She has made a number of videos for Craftcast.

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