Barrie Edwards wore many hats before discovering jewelery making. Along with being the mother of four boys, and wife of many years, she was a sales clerk, a secretary (back when that’s what you called them), a pet store manager, even the owner/operator of a reptile import/wholesale company (what was she thinking?),
In 1993, she discovered a beginner’s jewelery making workshop through the Vancouver School Board’s Continuing Education program, and devoured the eight Saturday morning classes with a vengeance. This turned out to be the biggest life altering experience she’d ever had. Once the classes were over, she began the process of teaching herself the craft. Within six months she was selling her jewellery at a Steveston boutique, and signing up for art and craft shows throughout the Lower Mainland.
After two years of designing, creating and selling, she decided that she wanted to try to give back some of what she had learned, and began teaching silversmithing classes. Her goal was, and still is, to give students somewhere to ask questions that would otherwise go unanswered and offer them a relaxing, enjoyable introduction to making silver jewelery. She continues to teach these classes at Mountain Gems in Burnaby, and at the Fraser Valley College in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.
Several years ago, one of her students introduced her to lampwork glass beads. In her usual manner, she threw herself into it with a passion. Her familiarity of flame and heat has enabled her to excel in this intriguing new medium. She began teaching lampwork classes, again offering students an opportunity to learn from a generous teacher.
In 2004, she decided that BC needed it’s own bead show, so she organized the first annual Fraser Valley Bead Show. 2008 will be the fifth year of the show, and promises to be bigger and better than ever!
To this day, she remains thoroughly hooked on silver, gemstones and beads and balances a busy career as a silversmith with an equally busy career as a bead artist and show organizer.