Gourd or Peyote? Beadwork with Cynthia Masterson
Cynthia Masterson (Comanche), presents “Gourd or Peyote?” - a demonstration of off-loom bead weaving around objects with Czech seed beads. Watch Cynthia demo her technique and show examples of other styles with same names but different looks. There is no agreement on what to call her style of beadwork but she will share a few of the many lessons beads can teach us.
Registration is required.
Cynthia Masterson (Comanche), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, now lives and beads in Seattle, Washington. She is a self-taught beadworker doing a traditional bead weaving technique which incorporates Czech seed beads sizes 11 to 15.
Cynthia’s early work was gifted to family and friends and included nine walking canes, countless key chains, pens, Gourd Dance shakers, and dance fan handles. She has preserved sacred heirlooms, documented family bead patterns, and revived pawnshop cast-offs that were headed for the trash.
In addition to making jewelry from her studio, Blue Dot Beadwork, Cynthia provides lessons for community organizations and schools working to connect Native youth with their culture. She also presents workshops to demonstrate her craft and introduce a broader community to Native art.
In recent years, Cynthia has combined household objects with beadwork creating assemblages that story tell her experience. These works have appeared in the 2019 and 2020 In the Spirit exhibitions at the Washington State History Museum, and in yəhaw̓, a 2019 show at King Street Station in Seattle.
She is a 2015 First Peoples Fund Artist in Business Leadership Fellow, a current 2019 First Peoples Fund Cultural Capital Fellow, and has received numerous arts grants from the Potlatch Fund and The Evergreen State College Longhouse.