When I was reviewing past Beadwork projects, I kept returning to Heather Hall's "Sacred Healing Bag." This little peyote stitched bag has a huge personal story behind its creation. I asked Heather to share a little about her design background and this project in particular:
MM: What beading materials and stitches are your favorites and why?
HH: At the time I made the bag, peyote was my favorite stitch. Since then, I have mostly been interested in small, intricate brick stitch patterns. I love to create very advanced brick stitch beaded charms. I prefer Delicas for those. I also really like bead embroidery and prefer small beads, all types of seeds, and anything interesting that can be used as a cab. Mostly I have created beaded figures/dolls when using bead embroidery, but have made other items as well.
MM: I sensed from the introduction to “Sacred Healing Talisman Bag” that working on this project was very healing. Can you talk a little about the meditative or therapeutic qualities of beads or beading?
HH: The healing part of this bag came from creating something symbolic of my family's love for me that I could keep with me in the hospital afterwards. I chose symbols for the beading and for the items included inside the bag to remind me of this. The "goddess" symbol was to remind me of my power as a woman, and that nothing (even a hysterectomy) could take that away from me. The symbols on the other side are traditional Native American healing symbols used in peyote work.
MM: Your bio mentions that you work with many mediums. What other creative activities do you enjoy? Do you have any formal art training?
HH: I studied the visual arts with an emphasis in sculpture in college. I didn't discover beading until years later, but found it very fulfilling. I am working currently to combine beading more with my sculptural work.
Thank you, Heather, for sharing your story with us. I know I'm not the only one who was moved by your story and the design it inspired. I wish you many good beading days ahead!