Sally BanksSally Banks

Me, in the scheme of things? If life is a book, I’m now into the chapter titled Beading. Previous chapters in this story go from A (artist’s model) to Z (zoologist). In between there’s teacher, writer, editor, broadcaster, community organizer, tree hugger, volunteer, hiker, backpacker and RVer.

As with any book, you don’t leave parts of the story behind when you move into a new section. So all that I was (and in many cases still am) comes right along with me when I bead.

It all began when the man who shares my pillow each night asked me to bead him a hatband. How hard could that be? I mused. Even kids can bead. Well that hatband was much harder than I thought. And a lot more fun. By the time it was finished I was a gonner – the Bead Bug had bitten.

I’ve fallen hook, line and bauble for beads. For their colours, shapes and sizes. For the feel of glass and stone and metal, of wood and fibre. For the excitement of watching a piece come together as I add beads, one by one, to the unfolding design.

Beads have a long history. They are one of the earliest forms of human decoration and have played a role in almost every culture. Some of the oldest beads date back to the Neanderthals, about 38,000 BC. Even many of the stitches in use today trace their origins back hundreds of years or more. I’ve drawn on the work of beadweavers from North and South America, Africa, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Most of my jewelry is one-of-a-kind. My “style,” if I have one, is eclectic, ranging from earthy to elegant, casual to classy. I spend much of my time outdoors – in the woods, on the desert, ambling along a beach. The shapes, colours and designs found there strike a creative chord in me and often find their way into my work.

I have no formal training as a beader. No art school courses. No diploma in design. No degrees or certificates or awards. One day I simply picked up some beads and began. Which is pretty much how I live my life. I just seem to find myself at a point where it’s more fun to jump into the deep end of the pool than paddle around the edge.

I offer classes and private lessons for both beginning and intermediate beaders. I also do custom work. If you’d like to learn more, please visit my website: beaudangles.wordpress.com

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