Art and beauty is all around us and comes in many forms if you keep your eye out for it. I find it in beautifully shaped handles, the lace details of a dress, and the piles of rocks that sit along the shore at the beach. All of these inspire my color selections, shapes and the textures of what I do. I have always loved using my hands to create small beautiful things, step by step, building something beautiful and functional. While finishing my art degree, I was more drawn to weaving and jewelry design rather than the painting and drawing courses. Upon graduation I spent 15 years working with the finest of gemstones and the rarest of metals. Needless to say the price ranges of these beauties were such that they were accessible only to a small portion of society.
Many years later, I am still building something beautiful and functional but now I use textiles, gemstones and a simple needle and thread. There is no waste, torches, dirt and dust and the ability to create and experiment has expanded tenfold. I love that now with a simple needle and thread I can create something beautiful and affordable. I can experiment endlessly with color, texture and shape. Embroidery with beads is an ancient practice and it is so satisfying to think of the many women who have sat for centuries, often by firelight, quietly trying to perfectly stich a bead or finish an edge after long days of managing other tasks. I think of them as I quietly sit in my studio, with a smile on my face listening to beautiful music.
Kathleen Pareti Donahue