Photographs of Peggy Houser creating in her studio, which can be found in McKean County.
Using seed beads, semi-precious stones, and natural materials, Peggy Houser creates tiny works of art in the form of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.
“My work combines a variety of bead stitches, bead embroidery, and free-form beadwork which allows me freedom of expression and the opportunity to explore new stitches and techniques,” she said.
Largely self-taught, the artisan creates her products in her home in Kane, PA – and one can imagine it’s tedious work.
“I use a beading needle with Fireline fishing line and/or beading thread to stitch each bead individually,” Houser explained. “The bead embroidery work is completed on a beading base or on ultra-suede and is then backed with ultra-suede for a truly finished piece.”
Houser’s studio is located in a back room. A work table sits in front of a window overlooking the backyard. The walls are adorned with images produced by Kane artisans, and bookcases are filled with literary resources.
And her acquired collection of items – some perhaps discarded by others but excitedly picked up by Houser – are waiting to be incorporated into her next project.
Although most of her work takes place in that room, the artisan explained that beading is something she can take with her anywhere. (She even takes a small kit with her when she travels on airplanes.)
These images were captured by Karen Heltzel as part of the 2018 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.