The little, repetitive, meditative, tactile activities required of the beader ground me, stitch me to my day, my life, my earth and my thinking, as if each moment of this doing, this playing, were itself a bead, and I the wire stringing my way among them with my stories, my chatterings, my unquiet mind. Seeing, touching, arranging tiny instances of beauty, designing the sequences along which they dance and dangle, twisting ribbons of light around an ankle, a throat, a wrist--these things delight me. What more can I say?
That beading is ancient and timeless, its history tied as it is to currencies and trade, to human communication and migration across oceans and continents; that beads are tied to prayer, too, to communion between gods and men and women scattered across denominations, ideologies and cosmologies; that they can signify positions of power and position, of marriage or marriageability;that they might simply indicate a mood, preserve a memory, retell a story--all these things enchant me. What more can I say?
Making and stringing beads--of stone and pearl and clay and plastic, glass, metal, paper and fiber--fills up the nooks and crannies of my soul. What more can I say?
I started playing dress-up with pony beads, hemp and lanyard lacing around the time I discovered a pair of opposable thumbs that always seemed to be within arm's reach of an idea. I've kept exchanging one material for another over the years, but the impulse to get a few beads together on the same string or wire and get them talking to one another just doesn't wane. My formal education got me a Masters in Education, but as a jeweler, I have studied at some of the finest kitchen tables on the East Coast, exploring design philosophies and techniques in everything from metals to fine hemp and polymer clay, wire, glass, ceramics and semi-precious stones. I've expanded a few of my skill sets in resins and polymers and in bead stitching in New Mexico, learned pearl knotting in Uxbridge, Mass. and, most recently, have begun to explore hand-making ceramic elements here in North Adams. I continue to educate myself at YouTube University of Fine Craft Videos and other fine on and offline libraries and institutions of higher education. It is, after all, the 21st Century, and we are all of us Renaissance women and men.
My jewelry is available online and at River Hill Pottery in North Adams, Mass.
My work has also appeared at the Eclipse Mill Gallery and at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
I am a member of The American Craft Council and a Certified Creativity Coach. I currently serve on the Eclipse Mill Gallery Committee and the North Adams Open Studios Committee.
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