Beading connects Wendy Ellsworth to women in Africa

How can art change the lives of African women cast from their homes?

Rev. Wendy Ellsworth the author of Beading the Creative Spirit: Finding Your Sacred Center Through the Art of Beadwork talked with Live Your Peace about how her work with glass beads lead her to a spiritual and very physical experience living among a group of special women in during her six visits to Kenya, Africa after Wendy received a fellowship from the PA Council on the Arts. If you are moved by the delicate balance of human suffering and such love, gratitude, peace and joyful singing you are welcome on an unforgetable journey with Wendy Ellsworth.

Ruth Anne Wood interviews
Wendy Ellsworth


Color surrounds me and excites me on all levels and I find infinite inspiration from observing Nature in all her seasonal wardrobes. I am captivated by the rhythm of stringing beads and the patience it requires to sit and bead for hours and hours. It slows down the frenetic pace of my hurried life and helps me find perspective.

I consider myself a color artist, with beads representing tiny photons of colored light which can be woven together to form infinite patterns of beauty and delight. My approach to color is intuitive, a felt-sense of what different color combinations feel like together in the moment of creating with them. It is during this process that a dialogue is established between myself and the object I am making.

My current body of work is done free-form; thus I am creating my own road-maps as I bead along, not necessarily knowing the destination, but enjoying the journey one bead at a time. This is a reflection of my need for spontaneity and improvisation. Experiment, Explore and Enjoy is my motto!

In 2003, I traveled to Kenya on a fellowship from the PA Council on the Arts, to study the beadwork ofBeading the Creative Spirit: Finding Your Sacred Center Through the Art of Beadwork the Maasai and Samburu peoples. Since then, as of October, 2006, I have returned 3 more times to work with the women I have come to admire and love, helping them elevate their status through beading and education. Through Beads For Education (, I have taught the Dupoto Women’s Beading Group in Isinya and the Inkirimaat Women’s Beading Group in Amboseli region. In the far north, I work with the Umoja Oaso Woman’s Cultural Village, located near Archer’s Post, founded by Rebecca Lolosoli. In October, 2006.

Check out Wendy’s resources

For Wendy’s birthday give what you can to the Umoja Uaso Womens Fund Inc


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