Albuquerque, NM, United States
Making beaded art pieces, wearable & superfluous, in the American Southwest since 1994
art history, antiquarian books, English literature, bookbinding, knitting, crocheting, sewing, sculpture, fiber arts
Skills and Techniques
bead crochet, beadweaving, bead embroidery, freeform beadwork, textural beadwork, color blending
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Get to Know
I've been a crafter all my life. I've been blessed with the ability to "grok" directions and teach myself just about anything from a book. I took advanced tailoring classes in high school and worked for a while as a seamstress. I taught myself embroidery and needlepoint, paper arts and book making. I took up wire wrapping, jewelry making and eventually beadwork in 1994. Getting into beaded art was never a conscious choice - it felt more like a logical progression, an evolution.
For materials I concentrate on seed beads. For methods, I prefer working in bead embroidery, free form peyote, and bead crochet. Each piece I craft has a different genesis, but once I start a project with a generalized sketch, my process goes like this: pick out a bunch of materials I think will express the concept I've formed, thin it down to something manageable, then begin assembling the piece, with a lot of discarding, rethinking, replacing and reworking as it develops. I'll keep at it until it's what I want it to be. If I'm having problems, that's when I really dig in my heels and beat my head against a wall until I solve whatever design issues I've run into. I work in short bursts or marathon sessions as time permits, but I usually set a (flexible) deadline for completion.
I'm not so much inspired as compelled to create. It's a way of communicating in a different dimension. Through art we share something deeper than opinion or attitude, the minutiae of the mundane or our surface lives - we share our individual, unique visions that come from a deep, communal wellspring of creation. It connects us. When you throw everything you know, every skill and every ounce of passion you have into the creation of a piece, just knowing you gave it your all can be reward enough. But, when someone really understands your work and appreciates it, there's no way to describe that feeling of vindication, of acceptance, of joy, of connection. I hope I never stop learning, evolving and refining my art, skills and techniques. I think the key to improving one's level of artistry has to do with raising one's level of personal investment in that art. It's the difference between sunflower patterned wallpaper and Van Gogh's Sunflowers. The best piece of advice I've received to date came from a creative writing instructor many years ago: Get out of your own way, don't be afraid to fail, and just let the work take you over.
"And I Ran."
Bead embroidered cuff with Chinese turquoise cabochon, pearls, glass, and found metal figurative charm.
"Along A Path Of Wine Dark Tears."
Bead embroidered cuff with Wild Horse Jasper and pearls. Here's a link to the process on my blog: http://tinyurl.com/7dqucsa
Bead embroidered cuff. I found a strand of rectangular agate beads and the one I chose for the central focus mesmerized me. I had a dream about it, and this is how I manifested that dream.
Bead embroidered cuff bracelet with agate cabochon and pearls. This was the first bead embroidered cuff I ever made. I fell in love with the technique.