Suzanne M.M. Warner, Bead Weaver

Phoenix, OR

Inspired by collections in museums, her mother and Indian friends, Suzanne Warner has made her life’s work about beads.  She creates in her own style, a style she calls bead weaving.  She weaves without a pattern allowing the colors to guide her as the piece comes to life.  Some have geometric patterns, others have shells woven amongst the beads.  All have a story.  Suzanne’s passion for beads and shells developed when she worked in Hawaii and was introduced to the Ni’ihau shell leis.  Learning the history and structure of these leis from a Hawaiian Elder is where her journey into beading began.  She applies the skills she learned weaving shells to the beaded pieces she creates from traditional beads, Japanese delica beads, shells, stones and pearls.  Her technique is time consuming, as much as 40 hours goes into a piece and her skills exacting.

“The old Gaelic word “bede” means to pray… when I am beading that is what it feels like.  Every bead is a prayer that is connected to another prayer that becomes a symphony of prayers that someone gets to wear and be blessed,” says Suzanne of the many hours she spends beading.

Not only is she preserving a piece of the West with her interpretation of a Native American Tradition but she melds it together with skills from the Hawaiian culture for truly unique pieces.  The resulting colorful adornments are delicate, thoughtful and passionate works of art that are meant to be worn and enjoyed.

Handbeaded Neckpiece with Pearls and Stones by Suzanne Warner


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