The Winner of the Wyoming Jewelry Show!
Bethel Anthony won the “Beyond Sticks and Stones” jewelry show hosted by Works of Wyoming! She had some great jewelry entered, and she does very lovely beaded work in peyote stitch. This is her winning bracelet.
She graciously consented to an interview, so I hope you enjoy getting to know a little more about Bethel.
Had you previously done other art or crafts before you started beading?
Yes, I have always done some kind of craft. I grew up on a ranch and if we wanted something we usually made it. Cardboard boxes became doll houses, wood slats became stilts, etc. I learned to sew before I went to first grade. I have embroidered, done counted cross stitch, dabbled in polymer clay and scrapbooking. I find bead weaving to be the most satisfying of all.
What drew you to try beading?
I ordered a beaded banner kit and did it. You know the kind with the big plastic pony beads. When I did the second one, I thought, “I could do this with smaller beads and make a Christmas tree ornament.” That began my search for smaller beads that would work well. When I found cylinder beads and learned that what I had done on the banner was essentially peyote stitch, I started looking on the internet for peyote stitch designs.
With that my passion blossomed.
What do you like about beading the best?
It satisfies my senses and my needs for order, control and color. Weaving the beads together is extremely calming to me. I love to sit down to a pattern and palette of beads and just get lost in the rhythm of picking up a bead and pulling the thread through.
Peyote stitch bead weaving using cylinder beads produces a feel like nothing else I have experienced. The delicate, yet sturdy fabric made of only beads and threads amazes me every time.
Looking at it makes me think of wonderful mosaic tiled artworks. I consider it painting with beads. There are so many beautiful colors and finishes to explore. Each bead makes a difference. Changing just a few colors creates a whole different mood of the piece. The possibilities are endless.
Where do you see yourself going with your beading in the future? What do you want to do?
I am currently creating and selling finished pieces and bead patterns. I want to continue doing both.
I hope to improve my designs and become more artistic with them. I want to design more functional items like boxes and card sleeves and needle cases. I have done a few of these, but I want to move beading to more than just jewelry. I want to make things that people can enjoy on a daily basis.
I really enjoy helping new beaders to learn beading as enjoyment. I hope to be able to continue doing that. I prefer one to one tutoring. There is no feeling like seeing someone suddenly “getting it”. That gives me great joy.
You can see additional work and her patterns at these places: