Big ideas are blooming inside the Beaded Venus Gallery. The small stucco house is hot pink, providing a splash of color for drivers along Chuck Dawley Boulevard in Mount Pleasant for a decade now.
Inside the store is cozy. Warm lighting, waxed hardwood floors and surprises around every corner, as cascades of beads glitter and shimmer from every surface. Soothing music chimes in from the corners of the gallery, making the busy street noise outside seem hushed.
Artist Jennifer Lowe runs the shop. She also teaches classes on beading and jewelry design for every level.
With the warmer weather, there are lots of ways to make your garden sing with some bling. “You can bead anything, I’ve even seen cars beaded!”, says Jennifer Lowe. But before you start gluing cubic zirconia across the hood of your Cadillac, you may want to think about creating a sparkle spinner.
Imagine a really long piece of linguini, the length of your arm. Now picture that piece of pasta covered in tiny, crystalline beads, mirrors with a piece of lead crystal dangling from the end. That’s a sparkle spinner. They are meant to hang from the trees, sway in the wind and reflect rainbows.
“Little kids can be entertained with making sparkle spinners as well as adults”, says Lowe. She uses memory wire in her spinners that give it waves and curves, a fun look. Kits containing everything you need to make one sparkle spinner can be purchased from The Beaded Venus.
Another way to add some zip to your row of zucchini is with dream catchers. A sphere is crisscrossed with wire and beads, looking like a metal cobweb. Then all sorts of embellishments can be attached, including feathers and charms. While the dream catchers look complex, they can be made in about an hour. Lowe says one creative look for dream catchers is to hang several from a metal plant stand.
This modern artist finds her inspiration in her every day life, all around her. “Whether I am watching an episode of “E” on TV, or looking at the color of a bird”, Lowe says she tries to view everything with an artistic eye.
The Beaded Venus is named after an incredibly detailed peyote stitched sculpture that Jennifer Lowe created in 1999. The award-winning “Venus On The Half Shell” took a road trip in 2005 to museums across the country as part of Beadwork Magazine’s Beaded Figure Exhibit. Venus is also on display at the store.
The Beaded Venus Gallery is offering new classes starting in June. A summer bead camp for kids will teach them how to make sparkle spinners, dream catchers and more. For information, visit the website, www.beadedvenus.com