In February 2000, as new retirees, my husband and I were enticed by old friends to rent their space at an RV Resort in Tucson, Arizona. I noticed that the papers were full of articles about gem and mineral shows, which sounded like a lovely day’s entertainment! We visited the Best Bead Show, a hangout for lampworkers and vendors offering every kind, shape and size of bead. I walked out of there without buying a thing because I didn’t know where to start. The next day I signed up for a raft of classes for the rest of the month: bead stringing, pearl knotting, loomwork, peyote stitch, and more. I’ve never looked back, and I could never have predicted that my “retirement” would be filled with such delight.
I’m inspired by shapes and patterns—and of course, colour. One of my undergrad majors was math, and I’ve always been intrigued by patterns and geometric shapes in man-made products such as textiles, art glass, architecture, and more, as well as patterns and shapes that occur in nature. I like to analyze “why” I like one pattern or shape and dislike another; why something pleases me — I think it’s part of the process of trying to figure out who I am as an artist. I recall, as a teenager, thinking that Mondrian was such a cool artist. I like to solve problems, so I set challenges for myself. What shapes can I create to balance and reflect the shape and design of a complex lampwork bead? How can I build texture and depth in new ways and still keep it aesthetically pleasing? This explains why I’m underwhelmed by “free form” beading.
Read more in our Fall 2012 issue.