Finding Your Center Through Beading

Bead artist and author of Beading – The Creative Spirit: Finding Your Sacred Center through the Art of Beadwork Wendy Ellsworth will give a talk about her work with tribal women in Kenya March 16, 7 p.m., in the cafe of the Hunterdon County Senior Center, 4 Gauntt Place, Building 1, Flemington, courtesy of the Delaware Valley Bead Society. Ms. Ellsworth will talk about her book and show a documentary, Umoja, The Village Where Men are Forbidden, about a women’s refuge in Kenya.

Writes the artist: “Color surrounds me and excites me on all levels and I find infinite inspiration from observing Nature in all her seasonal wardrobes. I am captivated by the rhythm of stringing beads and the patience it requires to sit and bead for hours and hours. It slows down the frenetic pace of my hurried life and helps me find perspective.

I consider myself a color artist, with beads representing tiny photons of colored light which can be woven together to form infinite patterns of beauty and delight. My approach to color is intuitive, a felt-sense of what different color combinations feel like together in the moment of creating with them. It is during this process that a dialogue is established between myself and the object I am making.

My current body of work is done free-form; thus I am creating my own road-maps as I bead along, not necessarily knowing the destination, but enjoying the journey one bead at a time. This is a reflection of my need for spontaneity and improvisation. Experiment, Explore and Enjoy is my motto!

In 2003, I traveled to Kenya on a fellowship from the PA Council on the Arts, to study the beadwork of the Maasai and Samburu peoples. Since then, as of October, 2006, I have returned three more times to work with the women I have come to admire and love, helping them elevate their status through beading and education. Through Beads For Education (www.beadsforeducation.org), I have taught the Dupoto Women’s Beading Group in Isinya and the Inkirimaat Women’s Beading Group in Amboseli region. In the far north, I work with the Umoja Oaso Woman’s Cultural Village, located near Archer’s Post, founded by Rebecca Lolosoli. In October, 2006, I led a two week tour, taking Americans to visit the places I have been teaching, to meet the women and helping set up importing and exporting with them.

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