On March 25, Cynthia Masterson, a self-taught beadworker from Seattle, Wash., conducted a seminar at the Tulsa Community College (TCC) Center for Creativity. She presented an off-loom three-drop gourd beading technique that Native Americans have practiced for centuries. The technique is used to wrap ceremonial, personal, and household objects with beads.
The TCC Center for Creativity Workshop and Event Center are well equipped with large screen monitors, a projector, and the Internet. It permits showing the artist’s actions on a large scale at the workshop in-person and online. The center can also accommodate a large number of people.
At least 20 Oklahomans came to participate in the Masterson’s workshop including her father, James Phillips, mother, Goldie Phillips, and stepmother, Linda Phillips, whom the artist calls a “bonus mom.” They wanted to support Masterson during her visit to Tulsa. Pamela Alec, another Native American beading artist who works at the Bursar office of the TCC West campus, attended the seminar. Alec said that she has done Native American-style two-drop gourd beading since she was a teenager. Alec was glad to learn the three-drop beading technique from Masterson.
Different museums displayed Masterson’s beadworks in the United States. As a member of the Comanche tribe, she strives to preserve the Native American traditions of decorating with beads also by conducting workshops in-person and online via her website, www.bluedotbeadwork.com.