Beth Silvercloud-Severance, known professionally as Silvercloud is not only designer
and maker of mostly stone jewelry, but a weaver, an all around artist, therapist, teacher
mother and grandmother. She grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. Her Native American
ancestry traces back to both the Chicksaw and Cherokee Nations and her heritage is
sometimes unconsciously reflected in her work. She lives in Georgia now, near a river
where members of those two tribes traveled through rival Creek territory.
In 1973 she lost her leg in a terrible car accident and tried 8 times to have a prosthesis
built that would work for her, but without success. However, this disability did not
deter her. Though she had a loom with ten treadles to do her weaving, she realized
this method would no longer work for her. Determined to continue her work,
she developed an arched loom with which she wove on equi-distant radial warp.
Silvercloud’s innovation to weaving is considered by The Textile Museum in Wash.
D.C. to be unique in history. The loom, while propped against a wall allows her to
weave from a sitting position on the floor, like weavers in the Navajo tradition.
During the late 70’s, as she was beginning to exhibit her work, she also earned a
graduate degree in Behavioral Sciences and became licensed as a psychologist and
therapist. In the 80’s, she served as an artist-in-residence all over Massachusetts.
During her residencies, Silvercloud worked with school-aged children, art teachers and
volunteer parents, teaching them the art of weaving. It has been said that her unique
combination of life experiences and talent have heightened her insight, enabling her to
reach right into the lives of others with her art.
Silvercloud is an artist with top–level recognition in several medium. She has had a
dozen one-person museum shows of her fiberwork and it is also represented in some
private and corporate collections. She was a finalist in a national competition for a
$10,000 fiberart installation and was awarded a scholarship from The Handweaver’s
Guild of America as their national first place winner. She won a national jewelry
design competition sponsored by Kay Jewelry in 1988. Her design was determined to
be their best selling Valentine necklace to date.
As a weaver, in her non-objective work with wearable art, Silvercloud tends to use
the tranquil blues of the sea and the pale yellow of reflected sunlight. When she
began to exhibit her work, it was on display each month, non-stop in one gallery or
museum after another, for over a year. She has had several favorable reviews of her
work, including The Boston Globe, ThePatriot Ledger, Art New England, and The
Providence Journal. She also is listed in “Who’s Who in American Women”.
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