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 of glass.
I have been doing beadwork full time for the last seven years, and all of my pieces are unique.