Short Documentary made for Olympia, Washigton bead artist, Teresa Sullivan. Filming and Editing by Ian Lucero.  Music by Jherek Bischoff.  2009


I work in beads; why don't I make flowers?  Why am I always making grimacing monster heads, eyeballs, lunging women?

I love the surreal and the irreverent, and weaving these themes into sculptural pieces gives me a place to express my fascination and admiration for box-busters and envelope-pushers.  These tapestries, jewelry and sculpture share stories of connection, unfolding, and discovery, from ordinary people to superheroes to my mentors.  I use ancient weaving techniques transform tiny, delicate glass beads into bold, self supporting artworks.

I may or may not have a specific idea for a particular piece before I string my first bead, but my mode of working allows for discovery throughout the process.  Sometimes the piece tells me what to do next, sometimes I call the shot.  The best pieces have been the ones done with the least preconceptions.

I use wide variety of stitches from around the world, each stitch giving a different texture and sculptural capabilities to the work.  Peyote or gourd stitch allows me to create dense, structrually sound artworks which have intricate details and specific shaping. Hexagons, diamonds and irregular shapes in two and three dimensions are made with netting and other open weaves. Ndbele weave has a distinctive chevron/herringbone pattern, and like the other stitches I use is adapted for both two and three dimensional work.  Right angle weave gives me control over the flexibility of the beaded fabric, from very flexible to stiff.

I use a variety of materials, mainly glass beads, as well as found materials.  Color is a language unto its own, and I will often work around size constraints (e.g., if a color is only available in one certain size) if the color, including the style and texture of a color---fits the piece.

Some of the glass beads I use are over 100 years old.  I am fascinated about the history of beads, their use in colonization and trade, their durability, and the memories people attach to them.  Certain beads have a presence, even mojo.

The main purpose of this type of artwork for me is its narrative possibilities, overt or implicit.  Structural considerations and uses tell as much a story as the representation of the "real" world , and symbolic/structural narrative is literally woven together with representative imagery.

Selected Exhibitions


39th Annual Contemporary Crafts, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ.  Juror:  Bruce Hoffman

The Circuitry of Joyce Scott, Craft in America Center, Los Angeles, CA

World on a String, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
Wearable Expressions: 7th International Juried Exhibition, Associate's Choice Award, Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA

Strung Together, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Eugene, OR

BEAD, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA.  Catalog.

Craft Forms 2013, Juror's Choice Award, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA.  Juror:  Lena Vigna
Brooch Show, Racine Arts Council, Racine, WI

Collaborations, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR
Humorous Beadwork, Funded teaching assistantship for Joyce Scott workshop, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

The Teapot Redefined, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

Solo exhibition: Station Identification, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ
Elements, Walters Cultural Art Center, Hillsboro, OR.  Catalog.
10 x 10, Portland City Hall, Portland, OR
Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR

30th Annual Contemporary Crafts, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ.  Juror’s Choice Award winner.  Catalog.  Juror:  Namita Gupta Wiggers
Transformation, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
Dia de los Muertos, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR
Pacific Northwest Sculptors, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR
Beadwork VI:  The Beaded Book, Beadwork magazine traveling exhibit

Wearable Expressions, Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA
Zenten Invitational Exhibition, Tokyo Art Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, Japan


Solo exhibition.  Beads and Light: Dimensional Beadwork, Beet Gallery, Portland, OR

Craft Forms 2007, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Absolutely Beads, Beads & Beyond, Bellevue, WA
Craft Biennial, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR
Beadwork V: The Beaded Bag, Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY
Beaverton Arts Showcase, Beaverton, OR

Craft Forms 2006, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Bead International 2006, Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, Athens, OH

The National Juried Bead and Fiber Exhibit, Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick, MD
Beadwork IV: The Beaded Figure, Beadwork magazine traveling exhibit

Viva Lucha!, Gallery Bink, Portland, OR

Gods and Monsters, Roq la Rue Gallery, Seattle, WA
Hot Rods and Hot Bods, Gallery Bink, Portland, OR
Kreepy Krafts, Roq la Rue Gallery, Seattle, WA
The Audacious Bead, The Bead Museum, Washington, DC
Bead International 2002, Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH.  Catalog.

Little Things, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR

La Petite IX, Alder Gallery, Coburg, OR
Bead Artistry: A Continuing Evolution, Runyan Gallery, Newport, OR
Beading Beyond Boundaries, Newport Visual Arts Center, Newport, OR
Dual artist exhibit, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR

Haute Aalto, Portland, OR, Fashion show collaboration with Paige Taylor
Bead International 2000, Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH. Catalog.

Lost and Found, Hyde Park Fine Arts, Tampa, FL

Contemporary Beadwork, Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, OR

The Beaded Object, Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC. Catalog.
The Ubiquitous Bead II, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

The Rebellious Bead, Creative Partners Gallery, Bethesda, MD


The Bead Museum, Glendale, AZ. "Girls Are Made of Mutilated Monkey Feet" neckpiece

Grants & Awards


Associate's Choice Award, Wearable Expressions, Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA

Juror's Award, Craft Forms 2013, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA

Oregon Arts Commission, Artist Opportunity Grant
Juror’s Choice Award, 30th Annual Contemporary Crafts, Mesa Arts Center

Portland Bead Society Purchase Grant Award
Teaching assistantship, Penland School of Crafts