As someone who has painted, played classical piano, andwritten poetry and short stories
since childhood, Brenda Dawkins, manager of the Ashman Department of Implant Dentistry,
realized early on that artistic creation is her haven and fulfillment. Today, Brendas
artistry focuses on the ancient African art of beading. When Im beading
she says, its like stepping into another world. Im in bliss.
All of Brendas jewelry pieces are one-of-a-kind. In celebration of her heritage,
the earrings, necklaces, and bracelets are highly Afrocentric in design. However, she
also draws inspiration form Bali and Nepal, both cultures which aspire to spiritual transcendence.
Her medium is strictly beads, usually in earth tones, and in
a wide range of materials including amber, batik bone, semi-precious stones, and glass.
All of her pieces use sterling silver and gold-overlaid sterling silver to give an antique
finish. Some of her favorite materials are chevron glass beads and trade beads, which
are highly regarded in Africa.
when she decided to present her work to a larger audience, people would stop Brenda on
the street because they liked a piece of jewelry she was wearing. But regardless of how
much they tried to persuade her to duplicate it for them, she would refuse. She insists
that every piece must be the product of a unique artistic inspiration. The distinctive
pieces she creates can take anywhere from several hours to several months to complete,
depending on their complexity.
Looking at Brendas
art, one feels that each piece resonates with the same sense of deep calm that emanates
from the artist herself, inviting others also to follow their bliss.