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Tutor Profiles

Here at The Whimsical Bead, we don’t employ our Tutors based purely on their qualifications, they are chosen for their passion and their dedication to their students, art and The Whimsical Bead. Each of them are highly experienced, professional and are experts in their medium.


Meet the Team…

Owner/Boss Lady/Chief Enabler

Dani is the Creator & Director of The Whimsical Bead and Indi Mae is her trusty side-kick and in reality, the reason most people visit the Studio.

For as long as she can remember she has loved to ‘create’. She began beading and creating jewellery in 2004 after attending a short 2 hour class during a particularly challenging period in her life.  She soon become obsessed with all things shiny (and in particular artisan beads, silver and gemstones) and not long after that her beads were over the house – they had become her ‘therapy’ – and she had enough to start a small shop……literally!
In 2006 The Whimsical Bead was born.
Somewhere during that time Dani discovered a wonderful medium that she had not heard much about – polymer clay.
It sparked a passion in her and for her it never ceases to amaze and never becomes boring – there is always something new to learn. Dani’s first love however, was metal, which started early in her teenage years, although she never had the opportunity to explore this passion until recently. She loves hammering, forming and playing with fire and shiny things.

Dani’s inspiration comes from the world around her. The majority of her pieces combine her love of colour and texture.

Dani loves to teach and pass on her knowledge and she feels very lucky that people want to learn from her.

Dani says, “There is nothing like empowering someone with knowledge and watching that knowledge grow as their enthusiasm does. Many of my students are amazed by what they have been able to achieve in class and leave with such a huge smile on their face and an eagerness to keep creating. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I’ve helped create that happiness and enthusiasm”.

Dani suffers from multiple chronic illnesses and so she understands each student has individual expectations and needs when attending workshops. She encourages students to contact her in regards to any queries or concerns they may have, as she is happy to work with you and any issues you may have when attending workshops – from food intolerances to anxiety disorders – whatever it may be, Dani hopes you can feel comfortable to attend the studio and explore your own creativity.

Dani has a number of awards for her jewellery work. She holds a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment and Certificate III in Retail Supervision .
She has a Diploma in Children’s Services and has previously worked in the Early Childhood Industry for almost 17 years.
She also has a current Working With Children Check, First Aid, Asthma and Anaphylaxis training.

You can read more about Dani and her journey on the ‘About Us’ page and you can view and shop her jewellery and artwork at Dani Art & Jewellery.

Dani looks forward to welcoming you to The Whimsical Bead Studio.

Dani’s ‘Right Hand Gal’/’Crew Member’

We met Brooke in late 2013 by chance at a bead show and now, the Studio just wouldn’t be the same without her.

Brooke is Dani’s ‘Right-Hand Gal’ and will often be at the studio to assist with workshops, Open Days, students needs and anything else Dani needs her to.

Brooke has a passion for creating in her chosen mediums of chainmaille and polymer clay. She also dabbles in many other crafts/mediums and is always willing to give something new a go. Brooke does teach the occasional workshop!

Brooke trades under the business name ‘Brooke and Belly’ (previously Oolagrue).

Chainmaille/Seedbeading/The Whimsical Bead ‘Crew Member’

Karen is an experienced teacher and is passionate about her chosen mediums of seedbeading and chainmaille.

She loves to combine these mediums to create beautiful, unique pieces of art and is often found designing her own projects and patterns.

Karen has been involved with The Whimsical Bead longer than anyone, as a student and later as a tutor for about the last 10 years – we’re so glad she’s chosen to stick with us for so long!

Karen operates under the business name Karens Jewellery 4 You.

2020 will see Karen taking some time out from teaching as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment for multiple cancers. Whilst this news was a shock to everyone in The Whimsical Bead community (not to mention Karen herself and her family), Karen is in good spirits and her treatments are going as well as they can. You are sure to bump into her here at the Studio as she still comes to visit as often as she can and will always be a part of our community. We wish her all the love in the world as she embarks on this journey.

Polymer Clay

Leanne has had a passion for creating art since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Spanning several decades, she has found ways to express herself through several mediums, dabbling in watercolours, botanical illustration, pottery, mosaics patchwork and many other art forms. Leanne studied Colour and Design at the Melbourne Studio of Art and was a teacher of fine embroidery.

Leanne is inspired by the beauty of nature, colour and texture and is known for the vibrancy of colour found in her artwork. Her love of jewellery making led her to rediscover her passions for polymer clay.

“When I’m in my workroom creating I feel like everything including time, stands still. It is my therapy, meditation and happy place. It is a time for being fully in the moment and recharging my spirit.”

With a thirst for knowledge relating to her creative passions and a desire to impart her knowledge, Leanne believes there is nothing more satisfying than encouraging others on their own creative path.

Leanne creates under the business name Leanne Fergeus Art and you can find her over on Instagram and Facebook @leannefergeusart

Wire Work

Alana has been creating and making since around 8 years of age and has always been delighted by pretty sparkly things, so of course designing jewellery was the perfect avenue for her!

Being surround by a rainbow of beads and an array of components makes her very happy. As a jewellery maker wire is one of her favourite mediums, as it can be bent and shaped into almost anything!

Alana has been a Whimsical Bead customer for many years and we’re so pleased that she’s decided to join us as a tutor in 2020!

Alana trades under the name Sparkling Dragon Designs and you can find her on Instagram & Facebook.

Bead Work

Paula loves to bead … it is how she relaxes, gets creative and learns. Paula has been beading for more than 15 years, and her great thrill is that her passion for beading is being shared with others – either through teaching, sharing her craft or seeing others wear her finished jewellery.

Beading away in her studio, with her current favourite TV show on the iPad, is one of the things Paula loves to do!
With a cup of peppermint tea and loads of lovely shiny things to play with, it’s how she likes to spend her time.

We’ve known Paula for a number of years now and we’re so pleased that she’s decided to join us as a tutor in 2020!

Polymer Clay Sculpture

Profile Coming Soon…….

Bear Making

Naomi is a Melbourne based bear maker. She loves to create bears and bunnies of all sizes from mohair, alpaca and mini-bear fur.
She has been creating teddy bears under the name Bearly Bears since 1996, but in a full-time capacity since 2017.

Naomi originally started off creating small and tiny teddy bears which fit in the palm of her hand, but her pattern has evolved over the years to include a variety of sizes. Each bear is unique.

She absolutely loves what she does and can’t imagine ever not making bears. She has so many ideas for future creations floating around in her head.
Naomi says, “I wish there were more hours in a day!

Naomi creates under the name Bearly Bears. You can find her online and on Facebook and Instagram.

We are so pleased to welcome Naomi to The Whimsical Bead in 2020.

Metal Clay / Polymer Clay Sculpture

Lara has been involved with the Arts and Crafts movement at some level for most of her life.

She worked for 13 years in the family business, which taught porcelain doll making and other associated crafts. During that time she was lucky enough to have had exposure to several excellent sculpting teachers, which is her preferred method of expression. She also traveled to the US to study antique doll conservation and restoration.

In early 2014 she returned to the US and completed two Metal Clay accreditation programs and is one of only a few in Australia who has completed this training.
At present Lara divides her creative time between fabricating small run or one of a kind objects and jewellery using contemporary clays and teaching classes in base metal and precious metal clay.

As of August 2018, Lara is living and working in Germany with her family. She plans to return in 2021 and will hopefully be back teaching with us once more.

Saw Piercing

Clare Davidson graduated from Curtin University of Technology with a Bachelor of Arts – Jewellery Design in 2008 where she discovered she loved making jewellery even more than she loved wearing it. In her final year at University Skadi Jewellery Design was born. Using silver, brass and leather Clare loves to create works of art which appear as delicate as lace with the strength of metal.

Almost every day from her first day of university until now, Clare has been hand piercing intricate designs and takes great joy in passing on her thousands of hours of experience to help inspire other people. Very few people realise that when done correctly, saw piercing can be a form of meditation and Clare believes that’s a message worth spreading!

Mixed Media

Mel Mahoney creates earthly, whimsical unique creations from many different mediums, including sculpture with clay or creating something from unusual objects found on her travels.

Mel is inspired by her lush surroundings, by mother nature and is driven by her need to create.

Mel lives and creates in the beautiful Yarra Valley under the business name Moss & Whimsy. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.


Wendy is from Parramatta NSW, is an accomplished artist and an experienced teacher.

In her own words, Wendy is a maker, designer, creater and teacher.
She loves to create with her hands. Wendy says ‘I love to create with my hands, its somthing that I must do. Creating is my meditation. To be able to sit at my bench and sketch ideas and then to make those ideas come to life.

Like most children, Wendy’s first introduction into jewellery was when she was at preschool and made her first Fruit Loop necklace…who would have known then that it would become her life’s passion… jewellery making, not Fruit Loops!

Over the years, Wendy experimented with many forms of jewellery making and whilst still at high school discovered lapidary. It is also where she was introduced to metalworking. What followed from there was a desire to learn, play and experiment with many mediums. Studying gemology to traveling overseas and taking various workshops, she continues to learn and experiment with her jewellery.


During the day, Elle-May is the boss lady at in.cube8r gallery, a home to more than 100 Melbourne creatives at any one time & a space that combines retail & a gallery in a beautiful way.

Elle-May runs marketing & business related workshops, at incube8r and other locations, for small groups of creatives on topics ranging from marketing to goal setting, planning to building website. The workshops are designed to be short, affordable & informative, giving creatives a to-do list that they can go home & tackle on their own with all the information they need (and no sales pitch at the end).

Elle-May has a Diploma of Design & a Bachelor of Communications (Media) and comes from a background of marketing charity product. She has worked for 10 years building websites, doing graphic design, and being in charge of implementation and innovation within the company. She has been responsible for marketing to hundreds of thousands of Australians and has spent countless hours researching and training.


Polymer Clay

Debbie is a polymer artist from Western Australia who has a passion for teaching. She loves imparting her knowledge onto enthusiastic students and teaches regular workshops in Geraldton WA and in Outback Australia. She also teaches online.

Debbie is internationally known for her polymer work.

Polymer Clay/Mixed Media

Christi is a US Polymer Clay/Mixed Media artist who visits The Whimsical Bead studio whenever she is in Australia.

We were so thrilled when Christi was able to join us for our 10th Birthday Celebrations.

Christi is an award-winning artist and her work has been showcased in numerous books, magazines and exhibits. She is the author of over a dozen ‘how-to’ books on creating with polymer clay.

Christi teaches throughout the world, using humour and positive energy to encourage students to stretch their creativity, technical skills and artistic confidence.

Polymer Clay/Metal/Beadwork/Mixed Media

We have welcomed a number of high profile local and international visiting artists to the studio over the years and continue to do so.

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