Vessels

In early 1995 I taught myself how to make small beaded vessels. My goal was to create a three dimensional form that did not need an armature, as in my beaded stick figures. I also liked the concept of the vessel form as a container for etheric matter or for more earthly items such as jewelry, rose petals or even daily vitamin supplements. Thus, these little vessels could be viewed as contemporary sculptural basketry or they could have a more utilitarian function within the home.

I started in the bottom of each vessel with three beads, using circular gourd stitch and kept the circular motion going as I brought up the side walls to the desired height. I designed specific patterns in these early vessels, such as kokopeli and various totem animals such as bear, turtle and butterfly. In this regard, the vessels became “spirit” vessels, meant to convey the power that each of the totem animals represented.

I began to experiment with the shapes of these vessels, making the walls contort inward and outward, closing up the tops of some of them to create an interior space that is mysterious and pregnant with potential. Some forms also have a hidden surprise within that can only be discovered when picked up and held.

I experimented with spiral shapes and bead patterns, the spiral being an ancient symbol since Paleolithic times. It stands as a symbol of oneness and traces the rule of the “golden mean” – the special relationship between a part and a whole that acts as a formula for harmony and beauty.

The ruffled edges I put on some of these vessels led directly into my more sculptural series of ‘SeaForms’.