Upon close inspection, you realize that every bead is stitched individually. There are no shortcuts, no machines; the machine is the skilled hands of Wendy Seaward. A beadwork artist of 25 years, Wendy uses intricate stitches to create unique patterns and surface embellish her pieces. Each mask, which takes roughly two months to complete, is created from a cast armature of a person’s face. “Bent Perception,” the purple mask shown here, is a cast of her daughter. A mask can be expressive or concealing, she says, which plays into her inspiration for each one.
Her original inspiration, though, came from her work in Africa while in the Peace Corps. She gained her appreciation for the craft through collecting beadwork from the Swazi and Zulu cultures. “I thought it was an amazing medium and such a cool type of women’s work that was very much under appreciated.” Wendy participates in six to twelve indoor craft fairs annually and also posts about her upcoming shows and open houses on her Facebook page. For more information, visit wendyseaward.com.