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Meet Sarah Beardslee, jewelry designer and beadworker at Arlington Open Studios!

“I don’t have time in the day to make everything I want to make,” says Sarah Beardslee with a laugh. From historical inspiration to intuitive craftsmanship, Beardslee has been a jewelry designer for more than fifteen years, but formerly created her business Beads By Beardslee in 2009. Her work consists of embroidered bead patterns, crystal healing pieces, and intricate designs.

small green and gold beads surround a large brooch with a green carved into it.
Fern Brooch by Beads by Beardslee

Although originally trained as a musician, Beardslee has always kept her hands busy with jewelry design. In 2009, after her daughter expressed interest in creating jewelry with her, she opened her business and sold jewelry with her daughter by her side. Besides owning a business, Sarah Beardslee is the president of Arts Medford in Medford, MA, and is the driving force behind a new arts center being built in Medford.

A large green malachite stone hangs from an intricately beaded green chain with a large dark clasp.
Malachite Necklace, Beads by Beardslee

Much of Beardslee’s work comes from historical inspiration. “There was an exhibit on Afghanistan, a whole archaeological dig that happened. The dig was based on a group of nomads who were from the first century…there was this one necklace that I absolutely fell in love with.” The necklace happened to be from a nomadic princess; Beardslee took it upon herself to recreate that necklace with present day beads and materials. She also tells a story of a trip to Israel where she was allowed to purchase several pieces of two-thousand year old Roman glass from a small vendor in Jerusalem.

Beardslee’s work focuses on intuition. Sometimes she has a plan set in stone, but most of the time, “the beads will tell [her] what they want.” On November 12th, 2022, you can find Beads By Beardslee in the Town Hall at this year's Arlington Open Studios happening November 12, 11am - 5pm!

Small beads of purple, green, white, and yellow gather to form a snowflake shape. The pendant hangs from a thick, silver chain.
Orchid Snowflake Necklace by Beads by Beardslee

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