Why not indeed? Evolution is not just about the Earth or the development of it's plant and animal life. Everything evolves, changes and adapts. The first beads were natural materials -- stones, shells, seeds -- with naturally formed holes. Eventually humans learned to make the holes, learned to make the materials, and now we have beads made from just about anything you can imagine in an amazing array of shapes and sizes.
What's my point? My point is that there is a natural tendency to merge art and science, and someone who does this brilliantly is Lindsay Olson, Artist-in-Residence at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, America's flagship particle physics laboratory.
Lindsay's work includes many mixed-media pieces, beads among them. (Yes, she was in the shop to get beads for an upcoming piece about dark matter. I, for one, am really looking forward to the finished design.)
Looking at her work, I was struck by similarities in language. The piece at right, Particle Soup, brought to mind the book Bead Soup, and the design technique of mixing together a variety of beads to create seemingly random, yet carefully orchestrated jewelry.
Then there's Nuts and Bolts, at right, part of a series visualizing the Standard Model of Particle Physics. As we all know, a bead is anything with a hole in it, and hardware is well established in the jewelry world. Click on the images below for more examples of nuts and bolts jewelry on Pinterest.
Click on any of these images to go to the Fermilab site that displays Lindsay's art. From there you'll likely want to click on the links showing her other work, including pieces created while working with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago. Two of these (with a detail) are shown at bottom.