Why Bead Mosaics?
Through art our deepest selves and our relationship to the world is revealed. I use art to explore my life, my memories and everything around me. It is how I make sense of current events, of changing times and of experiences from my earliest moments onwards. It is how I share who I am, what I see and how I see.
I am a naturally reserved person who finds it difficult to relate to people. I often feel that we are all like this, with walls and barriers that stop us from truly getting to know each other. Art for me became a way to overcome my limitations enabling me to connect and share. It took many years for me to settle on beads as my preferred artistic medium of expression.
It wasn’t until Covid-19 and a mosaic class that my vision of what could be art extended from the traditional paint, ink, photography, pencil, pastels to encompass other materials. This was a transformational realization. I love beads. I have loved them since young adulthood when I started creating beaded jewelry.
Beads are an amazing material. They come in a variety of shapes and finishes, ranging from metallic to dull, shiny to smooth, square to round and anything in between. Anything can be a bead, even rocks and crystals. This flexibility allows for artwork that lives and breathes, moves and changes. In effect bead art reveals different facets of itself and is changed by its interaction with the environment, just as we too reveal and are changed by our interactions with the world around us. Beads became the perfect representation of myself and how I wanted to experience life.
My primary source of beads is from Miyuki in Japan as they are known for creating a quality product. If alternate beads are used I do my best to ensure that they are of stone, glass or another long lasting material. Occasionally some pieces will also extend beyond the simple bead and I will use glass rhinestones, crystals, glass mosaic pieces, stones or anything else that will serve the artistic purpose.
My process of creation is simple, slow and zen-like. I place beads, primarily individually and sometimes in strings, into an adhesive called Apoxie Sculpt. Apoxie Sculpt is a waterproof, permanent, two part, epoxy-type modeling clay. Once a section is complete, the artwork surface is sealed with polyurethane to ensure a permanent bond is created. The Apoxie Sculpt dries quickly and allows me minimal time for corrections. Thus each new artwork becomes an experiment, an exploration of myself, of materials and techniques and what together we are able to learn, achieve and share.