Cath Thomas received the gift of beading from her mother's friend and multi-talented art therapist Berthy Bijlard at age 14. However, she immersed herself in beadweaving only in 2004 after seeing beadwork made by artists for that year's Bead Dreams Contest.
She started dreaming of making her own "dream necklace" and hasn't stopped beading ever since. Being creative helps her cope with light-intolerance. Her favorite techniques are off-loom stitches such as Peyote, Herringbone, Diamond Weave and variations and combinations of techniques to create three-dimensional beadwork. She also likes bead embroidery because it lends itself well to incorporating metal and other elements.
Cath's main inspiration comes from Mother Nature and geometrics. She says that her left brain is a control freak attracted by geometrics and that her right brain is a poet in love with nature's splendor and all living beings. She strives to blend geometric and organic shapes, and often uses "game tactiques", to create her pieces.
To challenge herself and think outside the box, Cath participates in contests from time to time. In Fire Mountain Gems & Beads beading contests, she won the gold medal five times - two in 2006, of which one was the Grand Prize Gold Medal, one in 2016 and two in 2018. She scored a third place in 2007, a second place in 2009 and another second place in 2018. Finally, she won the 2019 Beadworkers Guild challenge in the Expert category.
She also likes to participate in special projects, collaborations and explorations and sometimes creates designs to raise funds for nature-related causes. Cath has contributed and still contributes to beading books and magazines. She also wrote a book in close collaboration with Gerlinde Lenz about a new beading stitch, the Diamond Weave, which was a labor of love. She manages three Facebook groups: one for the Beadworkers Guild's International Beading Week, one for Cellini Peyote Freaks*, and her Petal to Pod group.
When she doesn't bead, she is either busy with her birds or fish, or plays with essential oils and aromatherapy to make her own perfumes, creams and remedies.
Visit her website for special pieces, and find details and information about her work process and other beady adventures on her blog.