Jessica Marie is the beadwork artist behind ‘Dotsuwa Designs’. She specializes in loomwork and peyote beadwork. The mission of Dotsuwa Designs is to provide contemporary-styled, wearable art that is handwoven via traditional methods. In addition to beadwork, she also works with horsehair and natural products such as porcupine quills, coyote teeth, polished ox bone, and snake vertebrae.
‘Dotsuwa’ is the Cherokee word for ‘Redbird’. Jessica’s beadwork connects her to her family’s heritage, but is also a medium for mixing the modern with the traditional to keep a skill-set alive and relevant. Beadwork is often associated with the Southwest, but it is a local art from, albeit a dying one. The golden age of beadwork in the Carolinas ended with the Removal Era of the 1830s and has been in steady decline since. Unfortunately, bead weaving is a rare skill in South Carolina due to the general lack of traditional instruction and it being an incredibly time-intensive craft. Each item is handwoven with care to create a heirloom-quality piece made for everyday wear.