1962 Beaded Cadillac

Beads? A Car? What?

Why, might you ask, would anyone want to bead a Cadillac in the first place? Well, a Cadillac is an American car with a large surface, so there is a lot of room for beads! In 2003, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads had the privilege to display such a piece of ''Art in Motion.''


It all began with a phone call from car embellishment artist David Best asking us to get involved in his beaded car project. A beaded car? ''Sounds like fun!'' we said. So David Best came to visit Fire Mountain Gems and after a whirlwind trip through our warehouse, he left with a truck full of beads. The car and beads were shipped to the Essen Car Show in Germany, where it was beaded in 10 days by hundreds of people, guided by David's artistic spirit.

Best Artist

David is a well-known car embellishment artist who treats art as a healing tool for the masses. He uses his incredible stamina and inspiration to give the gift of artistic experience to people, who in some cases, are just passing by.

Beads for Healing

His special focus is healing the human spirit through working with disabled people and art. Some of the beads placed on this car took an hour per bead to place, with David's arm taped to another person's arm to guide them.
A Reason for Each Bead

The car has many stories to tell, as each bead was placed for a specific reason. It has taken on a life of its own as an evolving art project and, in keeping with the true spirit of beading, all that is needed is some beads, silicon and the ability to let go and experience.

As it travels from show to show, the car, in the words of the artist, ''sheds'' beads. This makes everyone involved in the process an artist, replacing beads along the way.

Stuart Freedman, the owner of Fire Mountain Gems, exclaimed, ''If I drove this car for a few days, I could really loosen up!'' And drive it he did, down the main street of Grants Pass, Oregon, in the annual Memorial Day parade, tossing beaded jewelry to the lucky spectators.

Where is the Beaded Car Now?

The 1962 Beaded Cadillac is still parked in the driveway of David's house in Petaluma, California. Since making the Beaded Cadillac, David has become well-known for his full-size wooden temples built for the Burning Man festival held every year in Black Rock City, Nevada.

David Best placing beads on the car. His incredible stamina has guided hundreds of people in the art of car embellishment.

The pictures below are from the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Many thanks to photographer Linda Harmeyer for allowing us to post these pictures.