Laura Strickler: Choosing at the Buffet of Spirituality

About 10 years ago, Laura Strickler bought a few beads and a little bit of bead wire, hoping to replicate a key chain she admired at a craft fair. She quickly learned that you only need to know how to do a couple of things — crimping and wire wrapping, to be exact — to make just about anything you want with beads. The very short learning curve, the dazzling assortment of beads out there in the world and the utilitarian nature of the final product kept her going.

Finding an intersection where beading and spirituality meet has been the most gratifying part of Laura’s hobby.

“I think of spirituality as a buffet. When you’re at the buffet, you get to pick and choose. You might like something about one spiritual tradition, and something else about another one. I believe that we all have the creative prerogative to connect with our Higher Power in a way that personally works for us.” ~Laura Strickler

Listen to Laura’s Art as Worship interview on Empower.

She says, “The most exciting thing for me about this art of beading was discovering the spiritual aspect that I could bring to it. The word ‘bead’ comes from the Old English noun ‘bede,’ which means a prayer. Just a bead itself is a prayer. It’s just the perfect tangible anchor for any spiritual practice.”

There is a prayer bead configuration for almost every religion and spiritual tradition. Laura’s signature prayer beads include traditional Catholic rosaries and chaplets, Hindu and Buddhist Malas, Christian prayer beads, and a variety of non-denominational prayer and meditation beads.

Laura goes on to say, “Prayer beads are a wonderful way to pause. To be reminded to stop, take a breath and to get centered.”

Laura lives in Atlanta and indulges her creative passions as an antidote to her “real” job in corporate communications at The Coca-Cola Company. Laura has owned her own business, Design & Copy, Inc., for 16 years, providing writing, editing and marketing communications services to a broad range of clients. You can contact her by email at lstrickler (@)

Since this interview originally aired, Laura left her job at Coca-Cola and started Pink Elephant Merchantile offering a line of elegant, versatile necklaces.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!