Karen Beningfield

Bead Artist; Medical Doctor
Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Team
Cape Town, South Africa
I love bright colours and glass beads of all shapes and sizes.

I started beading in 2004 and am inspired by the many beautiful creations made by beaders from around the world as well as nature, fine art and sculpture.

When I am beading I'm constantly asking myself "what if" questions.... change the bead? change the colour? add something here or there? I love creating wearable geometric art using Japanese cylinder beads and also do illustrations of my designs.

Off-loom needle weaving adding tiny glass beads one at a time is meditative and has been described as "painting in pixels".

Over the past few years I have had the privilege and pleasure of collaborating with the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork team led by Kate McKinnon.
Orange horned cuff
12 x 13 x 13 cm
Glass Japanese cylinder beads
2013
This wearable seed bead cuff is made in peyote stitch - an off-loom weaving technique using a needle and FireLine (a braided gel-spun polyethylene thread) Delica beads are precision cut Japanese seed beads making them the ideal choice for making wearable geometric art. The use of two colours showcase the sharp spikes created by increasing and then decreasing the number of beads at selected points along the long strip of bead weaving.

This was a groundbreaking piece when it was first made, representing one of the first examples of our field being able to insert fin-like horns into a flat fabric of peyote stitch. The work is accomplished in one smooth sweep, not assembled from modular components.
Poppy cycle
13 x 13 x 13 cm
Glass Japanese cylinder beads
2018
This piece is both a geometric puzzle cycle and wearable geometric art. Each of the four components of this cycle was created by first beading a sixteen sided curving loop and then symmetrically capturing two five-sided spaces. Eight flower-inspired pentacones were beaded separately and attached to the edges of the captured spaces. Careful placement of hinges between the components allow the movement of the piece.

This bangle is made in peyote stitch - an off-loom weaving technique using a needle and Miyuki thread (a braided nylon poly-filament thread) Delica beads are precision cut Japanese seed beads making them the ideal choice for making wearable geometric art.