Needlecrafts first caught my attention when I was a child growing up in
small town in Holland. Encouraged by my mom, grandma and the local
needlecraft store owner, I picked up crochet, knitting, tatting,
macramé, bobbin lace, needle lace and embroidery with ease.
In high school, I
discovered the theater and loved every aspect of it. I strengthened my
existing skills and learned new ones: acting, directing, puppetry,
costume design, stage design, backdrop painting, singing and writing.
In 1995 I moved from
Holland to San Francisco, and I opened a small arts and crafts workshop
and gallery on Nob Hill. Inspired by a chance encounter with 19th
century Russian beadwork, I discovered the beauty and challenges of
designing with beads.
I use different
sizes of beads as a building material – like little bricks – and a
variety of traditional stitches as a flexible, tensile sort of mortar.
Placing beads one by one, row by row on top of each other, I combine my
needlework, theater and jewelry skills to create sculpted bugs,
butterflies, birds, and sea creatures in their environments. The result
is a unique kind of wearable art that offers the intricacy of embroidery
and lace, the depth of a theater set and the durability and brilliance
I have been doing
beadwork full time for the last eighteen years, and all of my pieces are