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Bead Weaver Inspired by Native American Designs & Mother Nature

PHOTO BY: Larry Sanders...Bracelet by Sheila Bayle is an organic design in a free-form peyote stitch containing 3,000 semi-precious beads. See more of Sheila's designs below...

Artist: Sheila Bayle

Owner: Red Hawk Designs

Medium: Off-loom Bead Weaving

Words of Encouragement: “Find a way to do what you love – the benefits will far outweigh the frustrations. Keep at it and see what happens.”

Although Sheila grew up in a household that encouraged more hard science studies than anything artistic, as she says, “It came out on its own anyway and the interest I had in beads and yarns never went away.”

In the late 1980s, she finally had the time to pursue her desire to work with beads taking her first classes, reading instructional books, and starting her art journey.

Today, Sheila’s one-of-a-kind creations consist of thousands of beautiful glass or semi-precious gemstone beads perfectly stitched into striking patterns – one bead at a time. As she describes it, off-loom bead weaving is labor intensive and requires many hours of concentrated effort.

Although she uses other stitches, the mainstay of her work is the peyote stitch. This stitch has a rich history dating back to ancient Egypt. During the 1800s here in the U.S., the stitch became known as the peyote or gourd stitch because it was used in the peyote (healing) ceremonies of Native American tribes for decorating gourds and other objects.

Her inspiration comes from a few sources. Growing up next door to a native American family, she was fascinated by the designs on their clothing and their decorative sewing skills – an ongoing interest for her.

Sheila also cites Mother Nature as another great source of inspiration. Whether she’s walking near her Minneapolis home or hiking in Arizona, she returns to her studio with her own interpretation of places like the red rock country and its cliff walls near the Grand Canyon or other stunning areas she’s seen. When looking at her jewelry, the interplay of color palette, organic design, and unique bead choices combine to create a stunning, conversation piece. It’s almost like wearing a beautiful piece of the outdoors.

Sheila takes pride in continuing to hone her skills by trying new combinations of beads, stitches, and pushing herself beyond her comfort zone with color palettes.

And for extra strength and durability, the “thread” she uses for her jewelry is actually very similar to fishing line.

“It’s important to use this type of thread because not only are people hard on their jewelry as they go through their day, but the glass beads often have sharp burrs on the inside that can cut through threads that are less durable,” Sheila explains. “As a bead weaver, I want the materials I use to wear well for the person who ultimately buys it.”

For more information, visit:

PHOTO BY Larry Sanders...This wide cuff button bracelet mixes the Ndebele African stitch with the Peyote stitch and contains a total of 6,000 beads in three sizes and 12 different colors. This type of bracelet design is perfect for an individual that might have a metal allergy.

PHOTO BY Larry Sanders...Necklace is designed to resemble lichen growing on rocks. It contains 21,000 beads that include jasper, turquoise, & hematite with a sterling silver, custom designed closure.


PHOTO BY Larry Sanders...Necklace contains 2,200 beads of amber-like resin, blue jade and Japanese glass beads.

PHOTO BY Larry Sanders...Brass and gold earrings.

PHOTO BY Larry Sanders...Bracelet features a fall color palette.


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