Artist Spotlight – Patricia Healey

We at Artbeads pride ourselves on being the best place to find high-quality products that are chosen by designers, for designers. Some of the products we carry should really be described as works of art because the designers behind the pieces are true artists. Patricia Healey is one of those artists. Her ability to bring a life, a warm breath, to copper is incredible. To understand the beauty of her work you must understand who she is as a person. Recently I had the chance to ask Patricia a few questions about her journey of designing jewelry.

Patricia Healey used to manufacture clothes before discovering beads. She opened up a store for her sister in Oregon, where she grew up. Every day she would ride her bike to work, through the woods where she could breathe in nature. As she approached the store, she always wanted to just pass by it and keep going. She realized she wanted to go back to a more creative life. She wanted to work for herself and no one else. That’s when she started working with metal. She started by making collapsible displays (in fact she has made 60 different designs!). It was a lot of work, but the work was on her terms. When she went to shows to sell her displays, they were so bulky and took up so much room that she would end up sleeping on them! This was when she made the transition to making beads—a smaller, more convenient outlet for her work.

The first time she attempted to make a copper bead it was a success. Patricia called her first bead “Two Lovers Alone in the Universe.” It’s still one of her most popular designs today! She used to go to the recycling center and buy old washers and scrap metal when copper was still cheap. When her crew of three (who have been with her for the last 10 years) heard the bizarre name they worried that all of her creations were going to have similar fates. Patricia still has the first three beads she ever made, kept in box at her work station so she can admire them whenever she wants. When I asked Patricia if she has a favorite creation, she told me she gets a new favorite piece each time she produces a new line of creations. It makes sense that with each new creation, a new joy, a new focus emerges. This idea of balance is apparent in the way she describes the process for creating, too.

Patricia told me that every step of the process for her beads is important. There needs to be a balance to everything, even in life. When you feel good, you look good, and you do good. She loves the coloration process for her copper because it’s a hard process that’s fun to master, and she gets to experiment with new colors. She also loves the art of forming the metal and working with tools. Her balancing practice is not just limited to beads. She still makes her displays for tools with the same care taken for her jewelry components.

You can experience the beauty of her balance with our collection of Patricia Healey copper jewelry supplies, including beads, charms and findings. We hope you appreciate the value in knowing why we only work with artists who can deliver amazing products for all designers.


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    • Anita
    • May 9, 2012

    Love the story and her beads…they are always full of warmth and inspire lots of creativity!

    • Loretta
    • May 10, 2012

    I love her work with copper. I love, love love copper. Out standing craftmen ship. Keep up the wonderful work!

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