Sharmini Wirasekara

Artist Statement

Transitioning from the business world to applied arts was a gradual process for me; however, since discovering off-loom beadweaving in 1997 it has been my focus and my passion.

Beadwork has been around since ancient times. In recent years, bead art created with a modern twist on age old techniques has been growing as a visible art form.

With my art, I would like to promote awareness and increase exposure for contemporary beadwork.

In the majority of my work I use a particular type of tiny cylindrical glass bead that interlocks evenly when woven. This results in a fabric-like patterned surface which could be flat or dimensional depending on technique used.

I create sculptural ornamental objects and jewellery. I am drawn to garment shapes and this is reflected in many of my pieces. My designs are very detailed and ornate and I aim to draw the viewer’s attention to the intricacies of each piece.

The interplay of light on the beads is an important part of my design. The desired result is achieved by using a varying selection of beads from opaque to translucent, each of which has different light reflecting qualities.

Beadweaving is extremely time consuming. A square inch of beading contains nearly 300 beads. Countless hours go into the design and creation of a piece.

I am constantly experimenting with new ideas and techniques in order to create unique and unusual pieces which are functional, decorative, or both.

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