Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Artist Interview

Artist: Sharayah Sheldon
Esty shop: 4UIDZNE

From Darkness to Light: Shine Through Adversity

Sharayah has always been involved in some form of art, that path that has led to her present passion but it followed many twists and turns. Originally she was involved with performance art and received a music scholarship to college. She however changed her focus and received a bachelor's degree in special education where she taught special needs children for 12 years after which she went on to get a master's degree in educational psychology and a doctorate in philosophy where she was later hired at the Milwaukee Public Schools and served as a counselor for 18 years. She thought this was going to be job for life.
Originally Sharayah had done floral designs and had exhibited them in juried show but when she was recovering from a bone graft surgery in

2000 she discovered bead embroidery and made the transition from floral design to beading. Primarily self taught she did manage to study with several renown bead embroidery artists, Sherry Serafini, Marcia DeCoster, and Carol Cypher. She has also managed to take other classes that have helped develop her skills even further.
Year of the Dragon 2012
In 2005, a twist of fate changed her entire direction in life. She says, "The last thing I remember was seeing the car coming at me" which resulted in a moped accident that left her with a severe neurological injury that eventually forced her to resign from what she thought was going to be her job for life . It was an adjustment and was something she didn't want to do, but it found it was a necessity. She says that "every time there was an injury/medical condition, it was time to expand my skills (in beading) and turn adversity into productivity."
Sharayah draws her inspiration from nature, a life event or from simply holding a bead in her hand and visualizing what it could become. She creates one-of-a-kind wearable art/ body adornments. Using turquoise, copper, crystal, pearl and other eclectic findings, in which each beaded necklace, bracelet, barrette and purse begins with a single object as the focal and then she builds her design around it. She says "I visualize the beading space as my canvas, my needle as the paint brush and the beads as my palette." Drawing inspiration from her own life she looks at her life as a tapestry and that "you need the dark colors to bring out the bright. Not only is each piece unique with its own story to tell, but it is also multicolored and faceted" just like our own lives. Each experience brings out a new and interesting facet in our lives each bead brings out a new and interesting feature to the jewelry that she creates.
Treasures of The Mermaid
Sharayah currently lives in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin; otherwise known as the Lake Country Area. She is currently selling her jewelry in a local art gallery and has just started teaching bead embroidery at one of the local bead shops. She says that "since I love to do and think outside of the box, that theme will continue to be my theme in all of my designs."





  1. wonderful interview and a great new start !

  2. great post and beautiful jewelry.

  3. Sharayah, I admire you for taking a situation that was both emotionally and physically painful and turning it into an opportunity to be creative. It takes a strong person to do that.

    Your work is wonderful, and it's so cool that you got to take a class with Sherry! What is she like as a teacher? I've heard she's got great energy.

    -- Sarah

    1. Sherry was a delight to meet in person. She is just so down-to-earth, no false pretenses. There was a special moment in class when after returning from a break she shared a passage from her daily devotional. We are both Christians, and we knew that of each other. What a blessed bonus!!!

      I have found my faith in the Lord a rock during those shaky, unstable and dark moments in my life. Yet, like the tapestry of our members' work in the collage, the dark pieces compliment the bright ones. making it richer. That's how I view my life. Thanks for reading and commenting