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Featured Beadmaker 2

Joyce Whitaker of Cambridge MA

Her pieces are organic, alive.

It began with mud pies
My young hands
Fashioned my future
With Colorado Dirt and Water
Stirred in little tin cans
And left to bake
In Summer suns.
All those Summers
Of mud pies
Added up to
Something, whether they got eaten or not.
They filled me up
With that I'll always be,
A maker
--Joyce Whitaker

Face pendant of brown clay, Sun Works,
ca. 1969

Her beads are formally constructed into complex pieces.


"I don't seek, I find --Picasso"
Porcelain -- 1984

Two below - front and back of large central bead, 1972

"I view my work as Folk Art, and hope, if it is to have any place in time, after I have left, it will simply be recognized as a sincere effort of one craftsperson to work as thoughtfully and carefully as possible"

"Each bead is carefully made by hand. I have no "quickie" molding processes -- and when I lose pieces (usually in the firing process), I lose a chunk of time from my life that saddens me -- momentarily."

She uses every sense she can -- color, texture, words.

Some of her beads rattle. If she could, she would add taste and smell.

Almost every bead is signed and many are dated. Many also carry inscriptions.

Clockwise from upper left: 1970, 1969, 1976, 1984.

"My Business is to Create. -- Blake"

Left: The Shawl Lady (Joyce insists this is not a Bag Lady).

Right: New work, early 1990s after moving to Cambridge.

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