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Karen Bruns began surface beading on wedding and bridesmaids dresses back in 1990, as a means to stay home with her children. She later began bead weaving and jewelry making professionally in early 2008.

In late 2008, she began designing her own patterns. She is an accomplished International Bead Instructor having taught bead weaving and jewelry making in Mexico, Indonesia, Spain, and India. Through the generous donations of her church and other folks, Karen was blessed to set up a small jewelry making business for a wonderful woman in Mexico.

In June of 2009, she and husband, Carl, were preparing for a Speak-English trip to Indonesia with Island Literacy Network to work with high school students. Karen was invited to teach several groups of Indonesian women and children the art of bead weaving techniques and jewelry making skills. She has taught over 96 students abroad in the four countries and established an ongoing relationship with the women she taught to foster their continued growth and encourage them in their newfound skill.

In 2011, she added Dichroic glass making and metal smithing skills to her repertoire.

In January of 2013, she began her travels to a remote village in Kondamangalam, India, where she continues to teach beadweaving and some wirework techniques for jewelry making. 10 women were taught and small businesses were successfully started for them. They are being given micro loans by a local woman and her organization to buy the necessary tools. After 5 days, one woman had earned more than she typically did in a month working in the quarries.

In the U.S., Karen is an Adjunct Instructor at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California. She teaches privately in Tracy, Elk Grove, Stockton, and Livermore, CA; in Boston, MA; and Washington D.C. She has also been a Guest Instructor at Bead Dreams in Stockton, CA.

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