California-based artist Helen Stickler envisioned her first beaded chandelier more than ten years ago, after friends gave her a 1960s Western German chandelier from a Laguna Beach condo, hung with thousands of 14mm Austrian Swarovski crystal beads. The chandelier was original to the complex, which had been built on the beach in the 1960s by the four main stars of the tv show "Bonanza".
The sea salt air had corroded the delicate wiring, and the chandelier fell apart as it was carried out to the car. Right then, Helen had the idea to remake it using vintage beads. After many years of collecting vintage jewelry from estate sales, Helen finally found the time to make her vision a reality during the early months of the 2020 pandemic quarantine. Each subsequent chandelier (or "chandee") that Helen has made since then, contains at least a few of the
Swarovski beads from that original Laguna Beach fixture.
Chandelier #1, with Swarovski crystal and vintage glass, lucite, resin, moonglow, art glass, and other special beads
Helen’s background as a filmmaker inspires the cinematic play of color, light, silhouette and form in her work. Her interest in interior design was piqued by her renovation of a Mid-Century Alexander House in the hills of East Los Angeles, where she has also rescued nearly two dozen cats (keeping just one).
Among her inspirations are the artist Ruth Asawa, vintage mosaics, Tiffany Studio Glass, Tiffany & Co., and Turner Classic Movies. She is also influenced by the many chandelier makers who have come before her.