Beading buffet-style

By on November 8, 2010

Mutual Ground fundraiser
Monday, Nov. 15
5 to 9 p.m.
Sugar Grove Library
Participants can purchase ready-made jewelry or jewelry they make; there will also be raffle tickets for baskets of prizes, and a silent auction.

All proceeds go to Mutual Ground’s Walk for Hope 2010 in remembrance of Kari Layne Clawson

by Lynn Meredith
Sugar Grove—It’s hard to imagine a more relaxing way to spend an evening than stringing beads into necklaces and bracelets, sipping wine, sampling appetizers, all while helping out a good cause.

That’s what Louise Coffman thought when she looked around her house and saw that she had a few extra beads lying about.

“I have a particular problem,” Coffman said. “ I buy too many beads. I probably have 100,000 right now and a shipment of 2,000 from China set to arrive soon. There’s no way I could make or wear them all.”

Coffman has been trying to do just that for the last 10 months, donating her creations to sell in the Sugar Grove library bookstore and selling them herself. But she has wanted to do more with her favorite new hobby.

“I had in the back of my mind that I was not going to be selling (the beaded jewelry) to make money for myself. I wanted to sell (the jewelry) to make a contribution and pass it on,” Coffman said.

She envisioned an event where people could come together in the community and leave with something to take away. The proceeds will benefit Mutual Ground, a shelter for abused women and children in Aurora.

Participants at the event can choose from a buffet of beads that they make into their own combinations. Experienced beaders will be on hand to help with the more difficult parts like putting on clasps.

For those who want to dash in and out quickly, Coffman will have her creations for purchase with prices from $6 to $50. She will also demonstrate Kumihimo beading, a braiding technique that involves using a small loom to braid crystals.

A stained glass artist, Coffman fell in love with beads. When she won a beaded necklace as a door prize, she was hooked.

“I turned to my friend and said, ‘We could make this,’” Coffman said. “That was the slippery slope. I really got interested in how you put it together. I love glass so much. The colors are so beautiful. You can do some interesting stuff with combinations.”

Coffman uses earth tones in a mix of different materials, such as pearls with metallynn beads and crystals.

She said that using her love of glass and beads to benefit others is rewarding.

“It’s so important to give what you can,” she said. “I know Mutual Ground and other places are really suffering in this economy. It’s something I need to do. I’m thrilled about it.”