Beginning the journey into the world of art at the age of 3, I’ve worked with such mediums as pencil, pen, charcoal, pastels and paints. Born for the Odawa Nation and originating from an ancestral home renowned world-wide for its beautiful beadwork and artistry, mid-way through life and working under my Odawa name of Waawaaskonenhens (Little Flower), I chose to put down my pencils and brushes to pick up a beading needle.
Beading is my life's passion and picking up that needle is like opening the door into my own little world. Working in the strongest stitch possible and creating pieces such as the "Water is Life" necklace--pieces that fuel the imagination--bonds together intense pride in art and heritage. Drawing on both, I have used beads as the medium with which to combine the two into uniqueness of design.
By modifying the strongest of all stitches, the traditional Square Stitch, to double its strength, using only 100% silk thread and natural beeswax, the result is a piece of work that will last for many generations. The greatest pleasure comes from hiding "spirits" within a design as in the case of "The Messengers" necklace where there are three (3) spirits, each one hidden within the other.
My hope is that the wearer of one of my pieces can sense not only the love and blessings sewn in with every stitch, every bead--but also the incredible inspiration of Creator without whom my work would not exist.
It is true that my first love and specialty is beading. That said, being a firm believer in "love is a many splendored thing" grants me the freedom to diversify. The freedom to lay down the beading needle and pick up a file for smoothing and sizing bone and horn, or a glovers needle for sewing hide. The freedom to bring ancestral work into the future by way of contemporary designs such as "The Warrior II" breastplate or work with hide such as "The BOND" bag while maintaining the quality of the traditional.
With the exception of the synthetic sinew used for stringing or sewing, the traditionalist in me insists on using all natural materials while the creative individualist side of me feels the need to expand on the traditional … the need to step outside the box … the need to be "different". I hope I have succeeded!
It is my prayer that the resulting works signify honor and respect to the ancestors in every piece.
Sharon 'Waawaaskonenhens' Trudeau