The surface of the dragon is composed of embroidered cloth, with appliquéd patches of additional colors, and embellished with beads across the surface and hanging off as fringe. The dragon’s claws are also composed of large coral beads, and the teeth from glass beads.
Atkins began his art career as a painter before switching to clay and metal sculpture, and then began making beaded quilts after an injury to his wrists and thumbs made him unable to work with clay. Much of his education in beading came from his sister and fellow artist, Robin Atkins. His quilts are typically highly textured with ornamental beading, and sometimes include high-relief forms. Other sculptural works by Atkins frequently incorporate human figures and themes in masculinity.
Atkins lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA, and has published one book on quilting and beading.
–Nora H. Weston
Beading Artistry for Quilts by Thom Atkins. C&T Publishing Inc., 2012.