David K. Chatt

I met wonderful people and many talented artists while at the Penland School of Crafts this past June. Artist in Residence, David Chatt, was one of the most intriguing.

I was touring the Penland Resident Artist studios when some of my students came to tell me about this incredible glass artist. They were so enthusiastic about his work and wanted me to meet him.

Oh-em-gee! That was my first thought/feeling.

I was blown away upon entering David Chatt's studio because I had never seen anything this quite extraordinary.

David is an artist who covers the entire surface of objects with tiny glass beads which he sews on individually, one at a time. Brilliantly insane!

David talks about the early work: When I started with the beads, I, like many had a somewhat limited concept of what one can do with beads.  I started out by making jewelry, pursuing a degree in fashion design and working with local clothing designers. It wasn’t long though before I felt limited by the whole fashion thing and by the time I had finished my degree, I had already moved on in my head.  The first non-wearable pieces that I did were beaded vessels.

The most impactful body of work were the pieces featuring utilitarian objects transformed into works of art through the beading process.

David's latest body of work - cast glass vessels.

David has been stitching glass beads for more than two decades. His work has been featured in numerous publications and can be found in the permanent collections at the prestigious Corning Museum of Glass and the Museum of Arts and Design in NY - to name a few.

David shares insight about his artwork through his artist statement. This is a portion:

"As incongruous as it may seem, beads and thread are the tools that feel right in my hands.  The painstaking process of sewing thousands of tiny glass beads one to the next is one that cannot be hurried. There is something at the core of me that finds this laborious bringing together compelling beyond reason. These tiny glass beads provide a magnet for the eye and hand.  The thread that connects them offers a visual cue as to the time that has been invested in each piece.  The combination of these elements with a particular issue, idea or object allows my voice to be heard."