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Hull artist aims to create jewelry each week of the year

Priscilla Beadle

By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor

Many people have New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight or getting their house organized. But for 2017, Priscilla Beadle of Hull decided to set a goal for the New Year that would correspond with a milestone birthday, her 75th.  She is set on creating a new handmade necklace each week of 2017.

Beadle has been running her own business making jewelry for the past 20-plus years, so she has the materials and experience to do so. But her pieces are not just simple necklaces. Rather they are intricate, one-of-a-kind pieces that incorporate beads, stones and other natural elements that have been gathered from her time living in Hong Kong as well as other sources.

Beadle grew up in Belmont and summered in Hull before attending Emmanuel College where she majored in English. She then worked at Honeywell before moving to California in 1976. When she was 50 she retired after meeting and then marrying her husband, Don. The two then moved to Hong Kong when he was transferred there for his job.

She was entranced by the beautiful beads that she found readily available at local outdoor markets.

“I was just so attracted to the colors and textures,” she recalled. “I would buy necklaces and take them apart and recreate them so they suited me.

“Southeast Asia became my handicraft fantasy world as I hunted for beads in the bazaars of Tibet and Nepal, in dusty shops in Beijing, on remote Indonesian islands reached by catamaran, in beautiful Bali, and in verdant Indochina—Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam,” she elaborated on her website.

When living in Hong Kong, she joined the local arts guild and then when the couple returned to California, she took classes in Palo Alto.

“It was then that I realized I had some talent at this,” she recalled.

“I always joke my husband gave me my last name and my new business interest!” she laughed.

In 2013 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for a number of years, her husband passed away. After his death, Beadle moved back to Massachusetts where she bought a house in Hull. Five days a week she goes into her light-filled basement studio and works for several hours. Keeping her company now in the artfully appointed home is her yellow Labrador, Maxie.

On her website, she shares the philosophy of her work:

“I love the hunt for beads: odd, large, ethnic, contrarian beads; antique or contemporary glass beads; rare and unusual colors; textures that lead to touching. Successful hunting inspires bold eclectic designs that result in my unique necklaces and bracelets.”

It was actually a friend who inspired her to do the 52-week challenge, Beadle said, after seeing the apothecary chest that she had bought in Hong Kong and now uses as a storage for her materials. The chest has 52 drawers – each one has materials organized by particular colors.

“Each drawer represents a week and my challenge to myself is to only use materials from that drawer,” she said.

“Although I love doing this and I am obsessed with design ideas, this is not a hobby, it’s a business,” she stressed. “I get such energy from doing it.”

Her work is sold through her website www.priscillabeadle.com or by appointment.

With her hair that is highlighted with streaks of green and orange, she is not your typical 74- year-old. Her attitude is as light spirited as those bright hues.

“Life is meant to have fun. Be bold, laugh and smile!” is her advice for others who may find themselves, like her, at a new stage of their lives.

Beadle will also be participating in the Hull Artists 22nd annual Open Studios which will be held this year Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9; Saturday, Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug. 20; and Saturday, Nov. 4, and Sunday, Nov. 5. For more information visit hullartists.com.

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