Beading—The Creative Spirit: Finding Your Sacred Center through the Art of Beadwork

Rich with personal stories, exercises and beading projects, offers multiple ways to explore beading as a spiritual journey of self-discovery. Each project has a meditative experience to encourage a contemplative spirit and creative play.

Rev. Wendy Ellsworth

7 x 9, 240 pp | w/ 40+ b/w photos
40 diagrams
8-page color insert
| 978-1-59473-267-6

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Find Your Creative Self in the Kaleidoscope of Beads & Color

“Beading and my spiritual path are intricately interwoven. It would be difficult for me to separate the two because they are so completely intertwined with one another. As I sit and weave with my beads, I allow the Creative Spirit to flow through me, and though my hands are doing the work, another force is actively participating in the process. This force is a transmission of Spirit that fills me with deep inner peace and joy as I bead. As a result, the practice of my art form has become a creative path to my sacred center.”

—from the Introduction

Believing that beading is a form of meditation through which we can access the Creative Spirit that is always present in us, master bead artist Rev. Wendy Ellsworth offers multiple ways to explore beading as a spiritual journey of self-discovery. Each of the seven chapters is rich with personal stories, exercises, and beading projects, and each project has a meditative experience to encourage a contemplative spirit and creative play. The project results are beautiful, meaningful symbols designed by a master bead artist for both novice and experienced beaders alike.

Original projects include:
Geometric Mandala • Personal Mandala • Personal Prayer Beads • Beaded Prayer Pouch • Goddess Archetype Necklace • Beaded Stick Figure Goddess • Chakra Necklace • Chakra Flower Sculpture • Free-form Gourd Stitch Bracelet • Ruffled Cabochon Brooch • Dutch Spiral Necklace • Spiral Vessel • Song Beads • Herringbone Stitch Cuff with Freshwater Pearls

“Combines the joy for and the appreciation of the spirit as a life force in beading.... Will serve the reader as more than a primer, it’s a roadmap for the curious and a balm for the initiate.”

Joyce J. Scott, visual/performance artist and author, Fearless Beadwork

 “A remarkably insightful and personal account of the intimate relationship between spirituality and creativity. Whether you do beading, pursue other artistic activities, or are interested in devotional practices, you will find this a powerful and engaging work.”

Robert Wuthnow, author, Creative Spirituality: The Way of the Artist

“Unique.... Sound[s] like a lot of fun.”

New Age Retailer

“A spirit trek with beads.... This is no coffee-table book or straight-out instruction manual [but] a great read I’d recommend to anyone—especially beaders—who is hungry for a connection with the Divine.”

Jean Campbell, beadwork artist and author, The Art of Beaded Beads

“A significant work that puts into words the spiritual awareness that comes from the art of beading. It is a guide to understanding where creativity comes from and how to get there.”

Carol Wilcox Wells, artist and author, Creative Bead Weaving

“Includes fascinating information about the use of beads and sacred symbols in both ancient and modern religious belief systems. I highly recommend [it] to anyone who wants to develop an awareness and a deeper understanding of the spiritual/creative connection.”

Nancy Eha, beading instructor and author, Off the Beadin’ Path

 “Exquisite—in its message and in the projects chosen. Artists in every medium can benefit from Beading—The Creative Spirit.”

Loretta Radeschi, basketmaker and author, The Business Guide Series for Artists and Craftspeople

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1

1 Find Your Center
For Equilibrium and Balance 7
Exercise: Creating a Comfortable Space 17
Project 1: Geometric Mandala 19
Meditation: Asking for Personal Symbols 26
Project 2: Personal Mandala 28

2 Knock on Spirit's Door
Using Beads to Pray 35
Exercise: Blessing the Materials 47
Meditation: Accessing Your Right-Brain Creative Spirit 49
Project 3: Personal Prayer Beads 52
Project 4: Beaded Prayer Pouch 55

3 Stir the Pot
In Search of the Authentic Self 63
Exercise: Focusing—The Sacred Triangle 76
Beginning Meditation 78
Project 5: Goddess Archetype Necklace 80
Project 6: Beaded Stick Figure Goddess 86
Ending Meditation 90

4 Spin the Wheels of Life
For Integration and Wholeness 93
Exercise: Visualizing the Vertical Currents of Core Energy 105
Project 7: Chakra Necklace 108
Meditation: Bringing In the Light 113
Project 8: Chakra Flower Sculpture 117

5 Shake Up Your Palette
Playing with Light and Color 123
Exercise: Shake Up Your Palette 138
Project 9: Free-form Gourd Stitch Bracelet 141
Meditation: Color 147
Project 10: Ruffled Cabochon Brooch 149

6 Dance with the Rhythm
Ten Tools of Creative Expression 157
Exercise: Drawing Spirals 174
Project 11: Dutch Spiral Necklace 176
Meditation: Spirals 180
Project 12: Spiral Vessel 182

7 Bead Your Bliss
Sing Your Song 189
Exercise: Discovering Your Song 202
Project 13: Song Beads 204
Meditation: Beauty 208
Project 14: Herringbone Stitch Cuff with
Freshwater Pearls 210
Inspiration for the Future: Creating a Bead Challenge 217

Resources 219
Bibliography 221
Project Index 225