McPaul Bead Scenes

McPaul Bead Scenes

McPaul Bead Scenes
Cinnaminson, NJ

I became interested in seed bead weaving in 2015 as I prepared to retire from a career as a statistician. Initially, I started with bookmarks and simple bracelets. The challenge for me was to create more realistic images using the beads. I gradually expanded the size of my tapestries and improved my ability to create patterns that resulted in realistic images. I have utilized my computing skills to create my own suite of tools to create bead patterns.

I am particularly fond of images that begin as scenes I have personally experienced. Many of my bead tapestries originate from photographs I have taken. The artistic challenge is to transform a high-resolution photograph with almost infinite color variation into a low-resolution bead image using a fixed palette of bead colors and finishes. And once a pattern is developed, then the tapestry must be woven.

A bead tapestry is created one row at a time. Each row of beads is added to the piece on a loom, following the established pattern. I have designed and constructed my own looms, which must grow larger with the size of the tapestry. Finally, I design, mill, assemble, stain, and finish my own frames from hardwood boards and mount the finished tapestry on a matte and into the frame.

I have no formal art education. However, I do have a Ph.D. in Statistics from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Much of statistics is about recognizing patterns, and I think that this skill, practiced over a long career, is at the heart of my interest and delight in beading.