Broken jewelry, lost buttons, and discarded junk—objects most people consider trash—inspire Jan Huling. She uses millions of tiny beads to embellish ordinary objects, like the toy animals shown here, with colorful patterns. She calls these sculptures three-dimensional collages. 

“It’s a very slow process,” Huling says. For each sculpture, the artist strings together hundreds of glass seed beads. Then she glues the beads to a found object. She carefully removes the thread as she progresses. Developing the beaded patterns is like “working out a puzzle,” she explains. “It’s very satisfying to see them grow in size and beauty.”

Because she works with found objects, Huling is always on the lookout at garage sales, in thrift shops, and on eBay. She hopes her work will “transform the mundane and allow [her viewers] to imagine the magic within the familiar.”