Bonnie Van Hall

GlassWear Art Couture

All GlassWear original works designed and hand beaded by textile artist Bonnie Van Hall.

About the artist

Bonnie Van Hall was born in 1962 in Grand Haven, Michigan. In 1987, she learned basic beading techniques and began to make jewelry. After several years of travel, Bonnie settled in Prescott, Arizona, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Transpersonal Psychology. In addition to her studies in the realm of mind and spirit, she has spent many years researching a variety of other topics, such as quantum physics, sacred geometry, fractal mathematics, mythology and cosmology.

In 1997, after ten years of working with various off-loom jewelry-making techniques, Bonnie began to pursue a long-held interest in creating larger pieces. Intrigued with the possibilities inherent in beading larger surface areas, she designed and executed several tapestries on a large hand-made beading loom. While these tapestries allowed for more versatility in pattern design because of their larger size, she found that they lacked a flexibility in form, as they were limited to the size and shape of the loom itself. In utilizing aspects of both types of work (both on- and off-loom), she has conceived a line of clothing that incorporates a “fabric”, similar to a glass chain mail, made entirely of beads and thread. This, she finds, allows her the versatility necessary to incorporate larger and more intricate patterns, while rendering a finished piece that is no longer restricted to the rectangular shape imposed by the loom.

Artist Statement

"I am fascinated by the concept of fashion and clothing as physical expressions of a spiritual reality. The glass beads I use in my wearable beaded designs are meant to convey the idea of light, as spirit, frozen in physical form. I find the medium of glass and gemstone beads to be a poetic and beautiful way of visually expressing these spiritual essences.

My artistic philosophy is derived largely from the anthroposophical view that art's purpose should be to bring an experience of the spiritual into our material world. Beauty is the primary vehicle through which the spirit shines into and resonates with our senses. Therefore, beauty is a key element in my work and largely determines its direction. I feel that even the so-called "traditional women's needlearts" (such as handknitting) can be elevated to fine arts when this philosophy of beauty is applied to them."

Artistic Goals

In recent works, Bonnie has been expanding upon the theme of the spiritual dimension of form through the incorporation of new bead-layering techniques, the inclusion of knitted pieces with beadwork, and the further dimensional opportunities afforded by the use of bead embroidery.