What do you think of, when I say sculptural beadwork? I think art!!!
Although most of us consider beading to be a type of wearable art, sculptural beadwork is something entirely different! Now that doesn’t mean that jewelery is not art, it’s just that we’re more conditioned to think of objects as more sculptural.
In my own small way, I’ve been playing around with this idea, for a while now. Mainly with my dolls, but more recently, with stitching, and beading a small beach stone (more about that, in future blog posts). Freeform peyote, and intuitive bead embroidery, are obvious choices for me, but you know that I’ll always be mixing it up with other techniques. I did try Huichol beadwork, but that’s something that I will need to get back to in the future. Somehow, I’m more comfortable with a needle and thread!
This blog post is going to be light on words, but heavy on yummy photos! First up, “Rosie the Uncaged Hen”, by one of my bead mentors, Robin Atkins. Her beads are stitched on by hand, and you can check out some of her earlier work, on her Beadlust blog (isn’t that a great name for a blog?). Note, to view Robin’s beadwork, you’ll need to check out some of her older entries. She now has physical limitations, that hamper her beadwork.
Betsy Youngquist makes magical, imaginative creatures! She uses a mosaic process, over carved forms (she collaborates on the carving), and often adds pieces of porcelain dolls, to craft a mythical, and mysterious reality for her sculptures.
Kathy Wegman has a totally different take on sculpture. She beads everyday objects and turns them into spectacular pieces of art! I’ve been aware of her work for a while, yet would still love to see it up close and personal! But is this art? I certainly believe so!
Another bead artist, is Nancy Josephson. “As a visual artist using sequins beads and found objects, Nancy fills empty space with beauty.” – excerpt from Nancy’s blog. In her own words, “I have spent large portions of my life embellishing my surroundings, from whole rooms to every vehicle I’ve owned (even tricking out my own cremation urn that reads “Does this make my ashes look big” on the back) – transforming the mass mundane into celebration of the individual.”She is an individual indeed!
Is the beading any artier when its stitched down with needle and thread? But what about mosaic and Huichol beading? Really, the artist is what makes sculptural beadwork so special, but the process doesn’t really matter. It’s the art, imagination, and spirit that counts!!