TERESA SULLIVAN Bead Tapestry and Bead Sculpture


8"h x 18"w x 12"d

 Advice can be tricky to sort out.  Is it the advice of a well-meaning, but unwell person?  Is your ego getting in the way of useful counsel?  The figures in this piece are equally convinced of their righteousness.  The angel's wings are small and easily hidden, her halo down below.  Maybe she's an angel-in-training, or just a poseur.  The trident in the devil's hand is short, albeit pointy, and her tail trails along at bottom.  Maybe her tail gets into places she can't. 
These figures are hollow-form and created entirely of beads stitched together with professional tailoring thread.  There is no armature, wire or glue.  The piece is shaped using intricate stitching techniques that, without the use of a pattern, involve hundreds of micro-decisions that are made as the piece progresses.  Each figure took about a month of full-time work to complete.  The figures can be attached to the beaded frame to be worn, and can also be detached from the framework as standalone sculptural works.


Battle of the Centaurianess
12" x 5" x 3"

This figure was inspired by the cover of the March 1952 issue of Planet Stories magazine. This sculpture was created entirely with beads and thread. It is hollow and self-supporting.

Exhibited at:
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Tokyo, Japan
"Zenten Invitational, 2008"

Museum of Arts and Design
New York, NY
"The Beaded Figure, 2005"

Wanted on Six Planets
13"h x 7"w x 1"

Sullivan loves pulp science fiction artwork and underground comics that depict bold women who get themselves in and get themselves out of trouble. This one was inspired by the Fall 1954 issue of Planet Stories magazine.  The cover depicts a similarly dressed woman, speeding away on a type of space-Vespa from monsters in similar machines.  All the Planet Stories covers I’ve seen feature strong females.  Many of the other pulps of the time were more likely to picture women being rescued. This Planet Stories woman sparks a connection to the later underground comics of the late 1960s.  She and S. Clay Wilson’s Checkered Demon, of Zap Comix fame, sport the checkered pants sans shirts; these two characters flaunt the restrictive Comics Code of the 1950s. Sullivan says, "I think of this figure as the Checkered Demon’s mom.  Both characters defy conventional morals while defending genuine rightness, and never lets fear get in the way".

7" x 4" x 3"

"Question" is hollow, self-supporting figure made entirely of glass beads and nylon thread.  The long copper-colored glass beads enclosing the figure are "bugle" beads that are about 100 years old. 


9" x 5" x 3"

A companion piece of "Question", Breaktrough is also a hollow, self-supporting figure made entirely of glass beads and nylon thread.

10" x 4" x 4"

Completed in 2003, it's the first complete three dimensional figure Sullivan created. 

Teresa Sullivan beaded sculpture...Teresa Sullivan beaded sculpture

Teresa Sullivan beaded sculpture

 What Goes In
3-1/2"h x 2-1/2w x 3"d

A functional evening bag, and a piece that asks what one puts into their head.   All components are made of glass beads stitched together with nylon thread.  The piece is hollow and self supporting, shaped by unique sculptural weaving techniques.


Carmen Miranda
1-1/2"h x 3/4"w x 1/2"d

A three dimensional piece, it is hollow and self supporting, made entirely of glass beads and nylon thread.  The "fruit" on the headdress is made of vintage glass.

2" x 1" x 1" (average size)

See Teresa create one of these heads here.

Teresa Sullivan beaded sculpture