Caroline Trask has been a bead painter and jewellery designer since 1984. Caroline first encountered beads and bead collecting while at high school in
England where she and a friend would search second-hand shops and jumble sales for the especially coveted Venetian Glass antique rose-bud beads and
trade beads. It was at this time she discovered some Peruvian handpainted wooden beads with simple geometric designs in a market in Bristol. Several
years later while at Art School in Queensland, Australia studying Jewellery Design and Ceramics she used some spare porcelain clay to handroll some beads
and this is where her bead painting career began.
After one year at Art School and finding she wanted to persue bead painting and her own style of jewellery design
(definitely not part of the college curriculum) she left the school and returned to live in England. The next few years
she spent travelling and living in different parts of the world, refining her bead painting skills and collecting beads
she found on her travels.
As the bead painting became more intricate so to was the desire to create more elaborate pieces of jewellery. After
several years of exhibiting and selling work that was primarily strings of handpainted beads and earrings, Caroline
began incorporating the collected and antique beads with the handpainted beads and a new style of jewellery
It was at this time,1987 that Caroline began showing her collection at the Australian Craft Show held annually in
Sydney. It was inspiring to be surrounded by so many great Australian Craft Artists of the day. By 1989, also annually
in Canberra and Melbourne. With many other regional exhibitions in Australia and spending time living and working
part of each year in New York and back in England, this style of life and work continued until 1997.
In 1995, Caroline had attended the International Bead Conference in Washington D.C where she was selected to exhibit her jewellery featuring her hand-
painted beads in the International Design Collections. This was a fascinating experience, as while she had been working with beads for over ten years had
little idea of the bead community that existed in the U.S at that time. It certainly did not exist in Australia or England, remember this was pre the internet
when information was not so easily accessable. However all the new designer beadwork was being done in glass and polymer clay, not another bead painter
to be seen, which reconfirmed that her work was quite unique. Caroline's style of construction was also quite unique at that time, in that she used the
collected beads within her work for their shape in relation to each other to create the structure of the piece. The colours of and within the beads were used
almost as paint strokes in a painting. Each bead within the piece was of equal importance, be it in the tiniest seed bead to the most intricately painted which
created a certain delicacy and beautiful balance to her work. Further explanation of her working process in the Gallery section of the site.
Until this time the work had mostly been "one-of-a-kind" with a small limited edition of earrings. Caroline's work
would now be split into two collections, the "one-of-a-kind" pieces for gallery exhibitions (read more on this work
in Gallery section of the site) and a new limited edition production range. Caroline Trask Jewel Garden was created
in colourway collections, incorporating earrings, necklaces and bracelets. This fine handcrafted jewellery features
gems, freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystal, vintage and collectable beads, lampworked Venetian glass beads and
others and the exclusively handpainted beads by the designer. These limited edition production ranges you will
find in the jewellery section of the site and also of course the shop section.
In 1999 Caroline was given the opportunity by Craft Australia (now defunct unfortunately) to show her work at the
San Fransisco International Trade Fair in the International Handmade Section alongside eleven other Australian
Craft Artists of Glass, Wood, Ceramics and Fibre. Caroline sold her collection to galleries and shops in San Fransisco,
L.A, New York, Chicago, Seattle and other regional centres. She again attended this show the following year with
In 2001, Caroline's signature "one-of-a-kind" work was represented by Raglan Gallery, Sydney, Australia at SOFA
Chicago with great success and again in 2002. This style of work you will find in the Gallery section of the site.
For the past few years the demand for Caroline's production range left her little time to create the "one-of-a-kind"
pieces. After 25 years working with beads Caroline decided to take some time away from the pressures of selling
and spend time to find what it was she had originally loved about beads, painting and jewellery.
During this time Caroline persued many different avenues in the arts. Handbuilt beautiful large pots with intricately
painted geometric patterns. Went back to handpainting furniture, some of which you will find on her Facebook page
Caroline Trask Jewel Garden. But perhaps through some strange coincidence ended up sorting a rather large and
fantastic button collection for a friend. Whilst doing so she acquired many beautiful antique and vintage buttons
which for her held a sculptural quality. This led to the new work you will find in the Flowers section of the site. It
incorporates her skills in painting, jewellery making in a sculptural format using recycled cardboard and paper to
make the frames. Whilst being excited by the new work, she has found a renewed vigour and delight in creating her
jewellery pieces which after all is what the break was for.