Laura Shea

Denver, Colorado

I create complex polyhedral and polygonal structures with beads and thread. My work explores the vast array of possible ways to connect component shapes at contiguous polygonal faces to construct chains and polyhedral sculptures. I label the beading operation of my work "Angle-stitching" which encompasses the geometric patterns and variety of angles in regular tilings (right-angle stitch, triangle stitch, hexagonal stitch), tessellations, open framework polyhedra and other forms. The open networks of tilings and frame polyhedra provide a magical space for light to play with glass. The architectural characteristics of polyhedra enable heavier beads to be stitched together with much lighter thread in a give and take of tension and pressure.The malleability of thread allows the inter-connected bead polygons and polyhedra to move fluidly and bend in improbable ways creating both abstract and natural seeming forms.

Bead Reverie
30" X 30"
Digital Image

Digital image of computer manipulation of two transformations of beaded truncated icosahedra exploring the patterns of medieval rose windows. Beadwork and concept--Laura Shea, photographer and computer manipulation--Dick Kaplan. I studied medieval history and art in college and have visited many of the great European cathedrals. I have always loved the inspiration gained in gazing at these beautiful mandalas. Dick (who is Jewish and not familiar with cathedrals) studied photos and books that I provided. He created the wonderful image here from a series of his photographs of my beads made over several years as a color study. The truncated icosahedra have two sizes of beads in a 30/60 pattern which reverses large to small, crystal and seed beads.

Planet Bead
5 inches diameter
Swarovski crystal beads, monofilament

Great rhombicosdodecahedron sprouting cube columns with ten great rhombicuboctahedra. An abstract sculpture of Earth with ocean, planets and trees.

Triple Eureka Bead
5 inches overall
Angle-stitching, Swarovski 3 mm crystal beads, monofilament

Truncated icosahedron sprouting 12 stacks each of three connected dodecahedra. Multi-colored.