Following up on my interview with Kathy Perras regarding her inspiration and background, this article focuses at perhaps Kathy’s most famous creations – the Siberian Tiger beads. As I mentioned previously, the original Siberian Tiger released by Trollbeads was designed by Kathy Perras and was only available for a short period in 2003. Later, Lise Aagaard designed another Tiger bead in 2005 that was also retired shortly thereafter. My understanding is that these designs were difficult to make which caused them to be pulled out of production so quickly.
It was only in 2011 that Kathy began making her iconic Tiger beads again at her studio in Portland, OR. These have been in high demand since they came out because it’s the perfect alternative to having an original (and incredibly rare) Siberian Tiger. Coupled with the fact that animal print patterns are back in the fashion spotlight, it’s not surprising that Kathy can hardly keep up with her customers. There is currently a wait list for these beauties, so contact Kathy through her Etsy shop PerrasBeads.
Interestingly, Kathy has mentioned that the stock photo listed as her Siberian Tiger in the Trollbeads Universe Museum is actually not the correct picture of her design. The reproduction Siberian Tigers sport amber glass over the tiger print design wrapped around the core and the original was exactly the same. Extending the her tiger series, Kathy also has a number of Tiger Tail beads which feature colored glass and a ribbon of tiger print around the bead and the White Tiger designs. Although, the Tiger Tails and White Tigers are not currently available for sale, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a lime green tiger tail a little while ago and it is incredible! Paired with the Siberian Tiger and it’s a dynamic combination.
I never thought I would become such a fan of animal print designs, when before I wouldn’t have been caught dead wearing anything with tiger, leopard, python, etc. prints on it, but the reemergence of this fashion trend and its update to a classier elegance has made me a fan! I heartily embraced the release of Pandora’s Tame the Wild animal print Muranos last year, but their Bengal Tiger pales in comparison with Kathy’s. The color is such an odd shade in between orange and yellow that I’ve found it virtually impossible to match it to any other beads in the brand. Also, the murky black stripes does not make it readily apparent that this is a tiger print. In contrast, Kathy’s Siberian Tiger brings the feral big cat immediately to mind and there is no question what this bead is representing.
Of course, I could not resist pairing my new Siberian Tiger (along with my Tiger Tail) with the *redbalifrog* Tiger, which is an exceptional depiction of this creature, and a few other animals in the wild. Have you had an opportunity to see Kathy’s designs in person?
Bead index (starting from left): elephant lock, unique green spotty, angles tip (retired), grey wolf (retired), unique amber polka dot, bead of fortune, zebra, unique lime green feather, redbalifrog tiger, black dillo, PerrasBeads siberian tiger, pig zodiac, unique lime green polka dot, PerrasBeads ebony gold leaf, Indian elephant, black bubbles, PerrasBeads lime green tiger tail, nightingale, eye bead, unique amber stripes.