Vicki Lapp

Vicki's love of beading began when a friend invited Vicki to bead with her. Burdened with a stressful job involving instructional design, Vicki appreciated the chance to nurture her creative side. However, Vicki knew 40 minutes into the workshop that she would be teaching it! She had found a delightful way to use her instructional skills and develop her creativity at the same time. As she learned different beading techniques, she started devising ways to put the steps into a teaching environment. She has particularly enjoyed seeing, with just a few simple instructions, how creative people can be. Vicki's true beading joy is working with color, and she has found some of her favorite color combinations from beads simply lying next to each other in a bag. Vicki's other passions include tennis and dancing, but she has found that teaching jewelry-making allows her to feed her need for truly connecting with people. She honors the vulnerability that students feel when first tackling a project, and she appreciates their willingness to learn, to try something new, and their feelings of accomplishment after finishing their jewelry. Vicki is also the owner and manager of Bead Inspirations, and she relishes being able to create a safe space for people to explore their creativity.


Carol Bernau

Carol has been beading and working with wire for about 10 years. She recently began selling her work at Bay Area art shows. Her current love is seed beads because of the myriad number of possibilities they offer for color, light reflection and texture. Carol particularly enjoys teaching basic introduction courses and seeing the wonderful creations her students make! In "real life," she has been a human resources exec and she currently works part-time as a human resources consultant and lives in Oakland with her beloved family - a man, a dog, a cat, and a koi.

Take a class with Carol!


Lydia Chapman

Lydia was first drawn to beads when she witnessed her mother using seed beads in a needlework project almost two decades ago. Once she learned that there were unlimited possibilities to working with beads, she was hooked! Her true passion is wire & bead jewelry, be it by creating chain maille jewelry, wire-wrapping beads, or riveting found objects to metal blanks. Her love of teaching stemmed from wonderful experiences teaching college courses at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Once she obtained her degree, Lydia knew she wanted to continue teaching; she jumped at the chance to be a jewelry-making instructor and soon began teaching a variety of classes here at Bead Inspirations. Lydia is also Assistant Manager and Class Coordinator here at the shop.

Take a class with Lydia!

Tom Colson

Take just one class with Tom and you will understand why students return to take his classes year after year. Tom makes creating jump ring chainmaille jewelry a rewarding experience with his easy-to-follow instructions and simply elegant weaves. Students around the Bay Area know that Tom's inspiring workshops are always gratifying, and not only will they create gorgeous chain maille pieces, they'll have a lot of fun during the process!

Steven James

Steven inspires students with a unique approach to jewelry-making: "Don't be afraid to experiment and stretch yourself creatively." In addition to jewelry design, he educates the masses on the do-it-yourself approach to living with appearances on the HGTV and the DIY networks. An elementary school teacher by day, Steven is also a project designer for Lark Books, and his independent work has appeared in several publications including ReadyMade, BeadStyle, BeadUnique and BudgetLiving, as well as various newspapers and websites around the country.

Take a class with Steven!


Iris Sandkühler

Iris's longtime love of the arts definitely shows through in her inspiring workshops. From studying glass work, painting & drawing to creating gorgeous pieces of wearable art, Iris continues to expand her creative endeavors through teaching. In addition to hot and cold jewelry-making workshops, Iris features online "distance learning" classes through Sandkühler Studio. In addition to teaching throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Iris has also taught workshops in Alaska, Illinois, Ohio and Hawaii and held the position of Fine Arts Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University. Her work has been exhibited in Germany, Japan and even the White House! She recently published her first book, Wire & Fused Jewelry: Techniques from the Sandkühler Studio, available through our retail store.

Take a class with Iris!