While beading can be exacting and methodical, Thea finds “playing with beads” freeing and artistically satisfying. Each piece of her “wearable bead art” is artist-sewn, one grain-of-sand-size glass bead at a time. Beads of varying color often are paired with crystal, semiprecious stones or found objects to create the optimal palette of hues, textures and finishes to bring a design idea to life. Then, the Zen of bead weaving begins. The beads and other objects are sewn together, using stitches with roots in ancient times and far-away lands. Her inspiration comes from history—both personal and global—from travel, and from flights of fancy and whimsy. Beads may march along in organized lines and geometric forms, or they may wander in a freewheeling, freeform manner. In either case, the end product is a magical melding of color and texture. A tiny “signature” in the form of a single purple bead is hidden in each one-of-a-kind piece….but don’t look for it. Often, it is tucked away inside, hidden, but we know it’s there!
At its core, the work is all about threading a needle and connecting an ancient craft with a contemporary art form. For Thea, it’s also a connection of the heart across the generations.