Welcome and beady blessings!
"I believe in the magical quality of beads...
Here you will find pictures, stories, and free downloads for some of my books. Here you may also catch a glimpse of why beading is forever compelling, exciting, challenging, and meditative for me, and see how it has shaped my self-concept from craftsperson to artist.
A new and enduring, artistic life path opened for me first through metalsmithing (in 1975) and then beadwork (in 1987). With many wondrous twists and turns, it took me to Europe and China (14 trips) in search of rare beads, beadwork techniques, and bead making technology. Along the way I met countless fun and creative people, some of them teachers and some students. I taught beading workshops in Baltimore, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Houston, San Diego, Hawaii, and many other places. In every workshop, I passionately encourage students to trust their ability to develop their own, unique visual voice with beads, and for that matter, with any creative pursuit.
Now in my late 70s, my creative life path is developing a few new branches: quilting (many with bead embellishments), book making, watercolor painting, nature journaling, thread embroidery, and Zentangle art, to name a few. You can see examples of my recent work on the What's New? page.
"In the wide world of beads, everyone can find a niche, as historian, researcher, teacher, author, artist, or entrepreneur. But there are a handful of multitalented individuals who manage to embrace it all. Robin Atkins is one of those few. Whether following a meandering line of bugle beads across a swatch of fabric, or hunting glass bead-making industries in Eastern Europe, Robin responds unconditionally to the lure of beads. As a teacher, she advocates a spontaneous approach, a wholehearted surrender to the medium... Quick to acknowledge the significance of friends, students, and mentors in her journey, Robin recalls attending the Second International Bead Conference in Washington, D.C., 1990, and realizing she'd found her tribe. 'Growing up, I was always a bit of a loner. But I walked into the lobby and here were all these people with beads around their necks,' she says. 'There was a feeling of understanding, of being part of a group'... Today Robin maintains an active schedule of teaching improvisational bead embroidery classes, finger weaving, and other beading classes, gently mentoring others to open to the creative process and the power of beads. She also lectures to bead societies and other groups on the beads, buttons, and beadwork of Eastern Europe, among other topics..."
Enjoy your visit to this site! Please contact me if you have any questions or comments or requests regarding this site or any of its contents. Thank you! Robin