I have lived in Wisconsin in various cities most of my life. I love so many things about this state – the four distinct seasons, the casual, friendly atmosphere wherever I go, and the art! I think many people feel that way about their home state, and that’s nice.
When my interest in art beads began, I was fascinated with how many great bead artists are in Wisconsin! Right here, under my nose, but it took the internet to introduce me to most of them. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of my favorites.
Erin Prais-Hintz is an amazing artist. She writes moving blog posts, makes wonderful beads, gorgeous jewelry and inspiring drawings. I am a member of her Simple Truths Sampler Club and receive an art bead/beads from her each month. Here are some of Erin’s beads I am hoarding.
Mary Cullinan is the artist behind Jubilee, and I am in love with her colorful raku beads. Here is a sample of her beads and a necklace I made with one of her house beads.
Cathy Lybarger of Aardvark Art Glass has amazing sculptural beads. My knowledge of her work actually pre-dated my education about art beads. She had a shop near the now closed Jade Mountain Beads. My boss from a previous job and I spent many lunch hours in those shops. Below is a necklace I made with one of her mask beads many, many years ago, and a cactus bead I bought recently at a bead show here in Madison.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few favorites that came to mind. Let me know if you have a favorite Wisconsin bead artist – listed here or not – or if you have a favorite artist from your own area.