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Wendy Ellsworth in Kenya. Image courtesy of the artist.

"I like the meditative aspects of playing with beads, with bits of color and light. For me, beadwork is spiritually based; it allows me to access my creative center."
Wendy Ellsworth to Kathlyn Moss, Circles of Light, Button & Bead, 1996

Reverend Wendy Ellsworth calls herself a color artist, drawn to the different shades of light and shade captured in the beads she uses to create free form pieces. She began working with embroidered bead designs on leather before experimenting with beaded vessel forms, which are sometimes free floating and sometimes anchored in blown glass. Her series, Sea Forms, received considerable attention as the genre of glasswork gained recognition in the 1990s. The series exemplifies both the skill and whimsical quality that goes into Ellsworth's pieces.

Ellsworth has long been involved in the glasswork community, teaching and exhibiting at such staples as the Arrowmont School for Crafts, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee; the International Bead and Button Show in Houston, Texas; and the American Craft Museum in New York, New York. Additionally, she has written pieces for craft magazines on particular methods and projects. Ellsworth was awarded a fellowship grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in 2003 and continues to create vibrantly colorful and meticulously crafted pieces.

Wendy Ellsworth in Kenya. Image courtesy of the artist.

Education & Community

Education and Training
Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, 1970

Influences and Teachers
Joyce Scott

Connection to Bucks County
Wendy Ellsworth has lived in Bucks County since 1981 with her husband, renowned woodworker, David Ellsworth.

Artistic Community and Colleagues

David Ellsworth


Designer Showcase, Third International Bead Conference, Washington, D.C., 1995
Gleaming Treasures
, International Bead and Button Show, Houston, Texas, 1995, 1996
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1996
Seventh Annual Basketry Invitational
, Sybaris Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan, 1996
Faculty Exhibition
, Arrowmont School of Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 1996, 2000, 2006
Ellsworth and Ellsworth
, Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1997
Ninth Annual Basketry Invitational
, Sybaris Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan, 1998
Contemporary Baskets '98
, Del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1998
The Beaded Universe: Strands of Culture
, American Craft Museum, New York, New York, 1999
National Crafts 1999
, Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1999
Eloquent Beads: Past & Present,
DuBois Gallery, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 2000
Mayfair 2001
, National Juried Fine Crafts Exhibition, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 2001
Fiberart International 2001
, Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Fiber Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2001
Art of the State of Pennsylvania
, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2002
Oceans Alive: Artist Sea Forms
, Lynn Bignell Gallery, Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, Connecticut, 2002
Threads on the Edge: The Daphne Ferago Fiber Art Collection
, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, 2003
Small Expressions 2003
, Handweavers Guild of America, Houston, Texas, 2003, 2005
Baubles, Bangles and Beads
, Galeria el Jardin, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2004
Contemporary Baskets Invitational,
Allied Arts Association Art Center, Richland, Washington, 2004
Fine Crafts: Four Virtues
, Denver International Airport, Denver, Colorado, 2004
50-50: The Craft Continuum,
Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, Connecticut, 2004
Craft USA '05
, Silvermore Gallery, New Canaan, Connecticut, 2005
Small Expressions 2005
, Handweavers Guild of America, Inc., Mableton, Georgia, 2005


Museum Collections
Museum of Art and Design, New York, New York
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Gallery Representation
del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Button Blankets, Bead & Button, February 1998
The Challenges of 3-D Beadwork
, Surface Design Journal, Spring 2003
Cooperative Beading: The Dupoto Women's Group
, Bead & Button, August 2004
Shaping Kenya's Clay,
Bead & Button, April 2005
Beaded Vessel
, Bead & Button, 2006


Godfrey Daniels Folk Music Club, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Bucks County Guild of Craftsmen, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Awards & Appointments

Featured Artist, Bethlehem Fine Arts Exhibition, 1995
First Prize, Gleaming Treasures '96, International Bead & Button Show, 1996
Third Prize, Flower Challenge 2001, Bead Need, 2001
Second Prize, Bracelet Challenge, Southeastern Pennsylvania Bead Society, 2002
Fellowship Grant, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, 2003
People's Choice Award, Small Expressions 2003, Handweaver's Guild of America, 2003
First Prize, Bead Challenge, Southeastern Pennsylvania Bead Society, 2006

Teaching and Professional Appointments
Artist in Schools, Quakertown, Pennsylvania, 1990, 1994-2000
Arrowmont Craft School, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006
Cedar Lakes Craft Center, Ripley, West Virginia, 1999, 2000, 2001
Common Ground on the Hill, Western Maryland College, Westminster, Maryland, 2002, 2003, 2004
By the Bead Blue Sea Bead Retreat, Cambria, California, 2004
DuPoto Women's Group, Isinya, Kenya, 2004, 2005, 2006
Out on a Whim Bead Retreat, Las Vegas, NV, 2006

Exhibition Curator
Button Blankets: Ceremonial Robes of the Pacific NW Coast, International Bead & Button Conference, Austin, Texas, 1997
Catching the Light: An Exhibition of Contemporary American Seed Beadwork
, Lynn Bignell Gallery, Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, Connecticut, 2002

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