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Tanya Nelson

Tanya (Woodhull) Nelson, Bead Weaver

I grew up in Poplar, Wisconsin.  My love of art started early in life and was inspired by my Ojibwa culture.  My mother taught me how to bead on a loom at a young age.  She also taught me how to make beaded daisy chains and how to bead on fabric.

I live in Maple, WI with my husband and three children.  I have a Human Services degree and run a youth advocacy program in Superior, WI.  Working with youth is very rewarding work.  I have learned a lot from the strong, resilient young people I have been lucky enough to meet.  Working in crisis intervention and witnessing trauma on a daily basis started taking a toll on me.  It was at that time I decided to start beading again. Beadweaving not only embraces my cultural background but is very spiritual for me.  It calms me down at the end of the day.  I challenged myself to learn new techniques. It had become quite the passion for me.  Having a stress outlet leads to a much healthier and happier me!  I make earrings, bracelets, anklets, and necklaces.  

Beadweaving is using seed beads either on a loom or using one of a number of off-loom stitches. Most off-loom techniques can be accomplished using a single needle and thread, and some have two-needle variations. Different stitches produce pieces with distinct textures, shapes, and patterns. There are many different off-loom bead stitches including brick, peyote, ladder, bead netting, and right-angle weave.  My favorite piece to make is the beaded fringe earrings with a triangle-shaped brick stitch top.  Once I figure out the pattern I want to create, I can recreate the piece using different color patterns.  I can also make the fringe earrings in small, medium, and large lengths.  I make a variety of traditional and nontraditional items.  

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