Rachel Nelson-Smith is a master beadweaver pushing the boundaries of improvisational beadweaving, combining stitches and wire techniques to surprise and delight the viewer. Since 1996, she has taught basic to advanced classes and shown her work in the California Bay Area, across the United States, internationally and privately.
Seed Bead Fusion: 18 Projects to Stitch, Wire & String (Interweave, 2009) is her first instructional beading book, and her second is Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs (Lark, 2011). Examples of her vibrant work have appeared in numerous publications. In Masters: Beadweaving (Lark, 2008), she was featured with other contemporary beadweaving masters. Her contributions to instructional jewelry-making books, including Contemporary Copper Jewelry by Sharilyn Miller (Interweave, 2009), Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence (Lark, 2009), and 500 Silver Jewelry Designs (Lark, 2011), demonstrate Nelson-Smith’s ability to capture the muse.
Her designs have been available at national bead shows, including the Bead & Button Show and Puget Sound Bead Festival, and around the United States in bead stores and for bead societies since 2005. Nelson-Smith also schedules speaking engagements in various parts of the country and teaches abroad in the Dominican Republic, Canada, Jamaica and Mexico.
Since 2000, Nelson-Smith has collaborated with American glass bead artists Leah Zinke, Wayne Robbins and Patty Lakinsmith, and Ronit Dagan of Herzdia, Israel, to create major works such as “Confluence” and “Tongues & Torsos.”