Beads. It has always been about beads. Beads and colours. As a little girl, when playing on the floor with my small stick-together dolls, I loved pink and orange. Mum used to tell me off: “That does not go together.” I disagreed and kept putting those tropical colours together – and I still do.
Later, in our teens, my friends and I made jewellery out of wire and beads. My father gave me a set of pliers which is still my favourite tool. I took my box of seed beads to the cub group that I was looking after once a week, and let them experiment with beads and thread and colours.
The phase when everyone was wearing many Buddha beads around the wrist came and went. I moved house and country, and was busy doing other things. When the rose quartz Buddha bracelet broke I remembered my old passion. I unearthed the old boxes and made my own jewellery again.
Another house, another country. The Cook Islands, Rarotonga. I still had my bead boxes but didn’t put them to much use. Andrea said, “Come over to Atiu and help me”. I had no idea what she wanted of me; paint the walls, scrub the floors? I was overwhelmed when she asked me to help her to make jewellery for the Atiu Fibre Arts Studio shop. For selling. So I told her about me and the beads, and made my first book mark. That was the beginning of our friendship and creative exchange, which led to tropical jewellery and art out there.
And then we came to New Zealand in 1997, and finally seen the true lights of Dunedin in 2013, and loving it madly. Beads have kept my sanity intact since 2010.
Go here to see more of Viviane’s beadwork and jewellery.