Laura Heavner, Peyote Beaded Jewelry
From an early age, I have enjoyed turning ordinary objects into expressions of the creativity I began to explore as a child. For example, I remember making a sleigh piled with Santa and toys from construction paper and an empty Scotch tape dispenser.
As I grew up, I tried more challenging projects. My mother taught me to sew at an early age and I made not only clothes, but toys and banners, and then learned to embellish them with embroidery, smocking, beading, and hardanger. Drawn to projects involving a needle and thread, I learned to knit and crochet, repair rare books and make journals.
I took a departure in college when I earned a BFA in ceramic art. Interestingly, I discovered that one’s life choices are determined not only by likes and dislikes, but by psychological make up. I have OCD and hated the messy studio and the clay under my fingernails and in my hair. I needed an art form that called for organization, cleanliness, and a tidy work space.
Another lifelong interest began on a Girl Scout field trip to Mr. Bottoms’ Rock Shop in Atlanta, my hometown. I started a rock collection and have since been fascinated by semi precious stones, the colors and patterns of jaspers and agates and the formations of these materials through volcanic activity or fractures that are healed by the intrusion of another mineral. I am especially interested in rare stones whose mines are almost depleted, nearly impossible to reach, or have been covered by federal facilities.
Several years ago I discovered the ancient art form of peyote beading, found in Egyptian tombs and Native American handwork. It was the perfect combination of sewing and stones that led me to self teach, enroll in classes, and learn from examples in artistic magazines and books. Because of endless design choices and the vast array of beautiful stones, each piece is always a new adventure.