I have a life-long adoration for the glass seed bead; that small, gleaming, imperfect donut that's been collected and beloved since the early Middle Ages, and these days can be found in over 1,200 colors and finishes. Even as my art has evolved these 30+ years from weaving, to beadwork, to mixed media assemblages, seed beads always find their way into my work.
Small wonder that I was drawn to antique beadwork, with its purses, clothing, cushions, and domestic dainties encrusted with some of the tiniest glass beads ever made. I'm fortunate to be one of just a handful of women in the U.S. who restore non-Native, antique beaded purses and clothing. Despite the hours involved working with beads so tiny that it takes 35 beads to fill an inch, I enjoy the opportunity to bring a family's treasured heirloom back to life, and the chance to preserve our collective female textile art history. Some of the 50 or so purses I've restored over the last 15 years can be seen in the Galleries link under "Antique Purse Restorations."
My other favorite beads are Swarovski crystals, because their high lead content creates astounding light refraction: earning them the distinction of being the highest-quality crystal bead in the world. While some of my signature "glass curtains" have taken over a year to complete, they remain my favorite textile to make. In my opinion, refracted light is the most sublime natural phenomenon on the planet, so I'm captivated by the glowing, pixilated, stained-glass effect I can create with 180 seed beads per square inch within a solid, pictorial, beaded fabric. All my glass curtains include Swarovski crystals, so that the sunshine through the curtains throws prisms all over the room. See commissions and other valances in the Glass Curtain Gallery. Other beaded vessels, sculptures, and beadwork can be seen in my Seed Bead Art Gallery.
My home studio near the foothills in downtown Boulder, Colorado, includes a 56" wide, 8-shaft Macomber loom, where weaving custom textiles for interior design are among my favorite items to weave. See some of the these pieces in the Weaving Gallery.
As the founder of Art Parts Creative Reuse Center, I'm also passionate about the stories inherent in found objects, and their unlimited potential for use in art, creative learning, and inventiveness. It's so satisfying to be challenged and inspired by such mundane items as a vintage martini glass, pin cushion, or antique Victorian curtain rod. It's equally satisfying to operate a non-profit facility full of interesting and unusual industry surplus and other art/craft/resourceful materials that my fellow artists can access at low cost to utilize in their own art.
Learn more about our creative reuse center in Boulder, Colorado, at www.ArtPartsBoulder.org.
Thanks for visiting my website. Please contact me for information on commissions, antique beadwork restorations, workshops, or classes. See more on Facebook at Denise Perreault Bead Artist.
Copyright 2017 © Denise Perreault, Textile Artist. All rights reserved.