I googled the healing power of beads and this story came up that was in the May 2017 publication of Interweave. I love how she talks about the meditative process and how it helped her through her loss.
The Healing Power of Beads and Bead Embroidery: Tammy Lawson’s Inspiring Story
Tammy Lawson’s Guardian Angel and Guiding Light
In the April/May 2017 issue of Beadwork, Tammy Lawson shared her beading inspiration with us. Tammy was equally influenced by her beloved mother and by bead-embroidery artist Sherry Serafini. Here’s Tammy’s story.
“When I was six years old, my parents ran a seafood restaurant where my older sisters worked as waitresses. Every night after work they would count their tip money, and I would be sad that I didn’t make any money to count. So, my mother taught me how to make necklaces using metallic thread, beads, and a simple chain stitch. My father, Carl “Pee Wee” Wilson, made a display for my necklaces in the restaurant, and I sold them to customers for $1 each. That way, at the end of each night, I would have money to count, too.
Once I was old enough to waitress, making and selling my necklaces became a thing of the past. But when my mother passed away in 1999, I started searching for something to fill the void. Beads became the answer, and the meditative process was what helped me through my loss.
Discovering Bead Embroidery
My sisters encouraged me to go to the a bead show in Charleston, South Carolina, where I took a workshop on bead embroidery. They also supported me on a trip to Pennsylvania to take a class with Sherry Serafini.
Thirty-eight years after I sold my necklaces in my parents’ restaurant, Sherry Serafini, the queen of bead embroidery, came to my hometown of Madison, North Carolina. She taught workshops in the same building that used to be my parents’ restaurant so many years ago!
Guardian Angel and Guiding Light
I think my mother, Beatrice Taylor Wilson, is my guardian angel. Ever since her passing, she has opened doors for me and guided me on a path to pursue a life without her.
After my first class with her, Sherry Serafini has come back numerous times to teach workshops for my friends and me in the same building. She has become a close friend and a guiding light on my journey with bead embroidery.
Tammy with Sherry Serafini
Since I began beading again, I have won blue ribbons in local competitions for my beaded designs. My husband, Billy, recently built me a fully furnished jewelry studio where I hope to teach classes one day. I now have a designated space to continue on my journey with beads.”
All photos courtesy of Tammy Lawson.