Bee Here Now

Bee Here Now- mixed media mosaic ©2011Jane E Ward

I have a thing with bees, they are a metaphor for me for stick-to-itness, the tenacious little buggers come to my studio every Spring and attempt to make a hive in the dormer. I might be taking a chance calling this mixed media mosaic piece “Bee Here Now” as I would prefer they make their hive someplace else, like down the bottom of the garden, but I wanted to make a piece that is a daily reminder to stay in the present moment and make each minute count as you never know when it may be your last.

The central bee image is from a set of porcelain coasters that made their way into a garage sale. I guess they didn’t realize that they were selling off such a rare and ancient treasure, it’s an image of a bronze age, Minoan bee pendant found at the Heraklion Museum in Crete.

Bee Here Now-detail

I used Millefiori (thousand flowers), a glass work technique that was lost and then revived in the nineteenth century in Venice, Italy. Originally it was made as far back as the Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Phoenicians. Millefiori was treasured and traded a lot and has been found far away from it’s origins, as in the sixth and seventh centurySutton Hoo Anglo Saxon hoard in England and in eighth century archeological sites in Ireland.  You never know, (meaning: I Googled it and couldn’t find anything, so I’m just guessing) it probably found its way to ancient Crete as they were traders and seafarers themselves.

Bee Here Now detail

I also used glass tiles, metallic glass bugle beads and brass bead chain. The words were stamped and made from Apoxie Sculpt, a non toxic sculpting medium that I just discovered and am now in love with. It is all mosaiced onto a ceramic shrine piece. (I finally used another gift from my friend, artist Ann Webb.)

I got the title for this piece from a book called “Be Here Now” (published in 1971) by Dr. Richard Alpert, known as Baba Ram Dass or now, just plain old Ram Dass. It became one of the Hippie must reads and was known as a “counterculture bible”. It’s part autobiographical as well as an attempt to teach Hindu spirituality, yogic philosophy and meditative practices to non Hindus, most of who, at the time, were totally unfamiliar with these concepts and some of who were totally stoned out of their gourds.

Ram Dass also said: “When we see the Beloved in each person, it’s like walking through a garden, watching flowers bloom all around us.”


  1. Lovely piece, Janee. BE Here Now by Ram Dass has been a keystone for me for many years. And what a find you got at the garage sale…beautiful.

  2. Thanks, Kay! Yes, me too,a friend gave me that book to read (way back when) and it totally changed the way I thought, though I must admit I didn’t know it at the time. I must go garage sailing again soon, maybe there will be more around now it’s cooled down a bit here. I went Goodwill hunting the other day and found some old ceramic doll heads that have great potential.

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