Sheila Fernekes

"I find the ancient art of bead weaving to be spiritual and invigorating. One by one, each bead is interconnected, spanning time and space. The beads sing, and I listen to their harmonies. Rhythms pulse. The pulse becomes a heartbeat and the beads spring to life. Together, we push boundaries, explore new horizons, and dance."

Sheila Fernekes compares designing her art jewelry to composing music. Inspired by dynamic rhythms and harmonic progressions, she integrates her signature multi-layered bead weaving with polymer clay, wire, semiprecious stones, and non-traditional materials to create elegant compositions that are easy to wear and effortlessly bold.

Sheila Fernekes creates her contemporary jewelry using ancient Native American and African bead weaving techniques, weaving and layering each bead one at a time to achieve the interplay of color, pattern, and texture that has become her trademark. Her current work explores the parallels, contrasts, and variations that she can achieve by manipulating woven beads and other materials.

Fernekes earned her fine arts and art education degrees from Rutgers University. She also pursued graphic design at School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design, after which she worked as a graphic designer for two decades. During travels to New Mexico, she discovered bead weaving and knew she had found her calling. She then taught herself traditional techniques, modifying them to create her contemporary jewelry.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Excellence in Jewelry Award, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT,, 2017, 2016, 2015
Special Artist Recognition, Berkshire Craft Fair, Great Barrington, MA, 2017
Benchmark of Excellence for Unique Voice, PA Guild of Craftsman Craft Show, Wilmington, DE, 2014
70 Works Exhibition, PA Guild of Craftsman, Lancaster, PA, 2014
Master Status, PA Guild of Craftsman, Lancaster, PA, 2014-pesent