Linda Horton Dodson
Bead Tapestries and Sculptures
I have always enjoyed working with my hands. My mother’s family came from Sweden, where, at least it seemed to me, all women did some form of needlework. I played with my grandmother’s button box from the time I was walking. When I was about 12 years old I started crocheting and embroidering. I did not know until I was in junior high school, that other families did not have a tradition of needleworking. Everyone in my family created some form of handicraft. Over the years, I progressed through manual and machine knitting, needlepoint, embroidery, including Hardanger and pulled thread, counted cross stitch, sewing, crochet, and four-harness weaving.
In the 1970s I returned to college to study art because I was no longer happy with copying commercial needlework patterns. I studied drawing under Ruth Deshaies at Tallahassee Community College. This experience inspired me to enter the Fine Arts program at Florida State University. I started in fiber arts, but soon transferred to sculpture because it allowed me to explore three-dimensional forms. I was fortunate to study under Charles Hook. I was accepted into the juried Bachelor of Fine Arts program, but left school to pursue a career in graphic design. After 15 years in that field, I needed a change, so I went to law school, became an attorney, and practiced for 8 years. In 2008 I retired from the law and am now able to work full time on art.
About 9 years ago I discovered bead weaving. Since my background was in the needle arts, it was a natural progression for me to want to loom beads and to treat the beads as cloth. It was also natural for me to incorporate my training in graphic design into my pieces. Even though it requires great attention to detail, beading on the loom is very relaxing to me. I feel so blessed that I get to “play” with beads all day. I have finally found the art form in which I can best express my feelings for color and the wonders of this earth.