This wondrous necklace is sort of like a “One-of-a-Kind” (see blog dated Aug 7, 2013, “Oh, Oh, OK” for an explanation), but then again it’s not. It is an OOK if I count only half of the beads as OOK. It is not an OOK since most of the beads are artist made.
Enough of acronyms! Let us explore this amazing necklace full of lampwork glass beads made by some awesome women!
Envision long sticks of colored glass, a source of fire coming from a mini blowtorch on a stand in front of the artist, and a metal mandrel. Sit our artist down facing the fire, mandrel in the dominant hand to shape the glass into a bead, and, with her other hand, manipulating the glass rod as it heats up and goes molten. This is Lampwork Glass.
I collect these beads as I go to bead shows. Not for me, even though I am an incurable collector, but for you, wearers of my necklaces with these precious beads in them.
Identifying the artists whose beads make up this necklace is a special pleasure. Sheila Checkoway’s beads and small fat discs feature first; starting from the silver clasp, after the sterling silver bar, are two of five of her beads followed by a small fat disc, one of six by this Massachusetts native.
Then we see one of two umbrella-shaped discs by Maureen Henriques of Pumpkin Hill Beads (MA) with a polka dot circle by Kennebunkport Bead Art.
Now find a Gail Crosman Moore (MA) bead, chubby and squat with bumps all around and more bumpy stuff happening on top. Gorgeous in its excess!
Next is a modest disc (one of these gals has to do “modest” to ground all these blockbusters!) by “Two Sisters” whose shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea in CA is not to be missed! Another Henriques umbrella shading a Two Sisters disc follow.
Then three Venetian glass beads which are blown (see blog dated Sept 20, 2013, “Murano Island Rising”) in a pale grey green.
The centerpiece lampwork is a fabulous design by Gail Crosman Moore whom I discovered in a show in Oakland, CA, over ten years ago. I was impressed not only with her work but by the fact she lived in Western Massachusetts! Now she has a shop in Cape Cod at 174 Commercial St, Provincetown.
Starting up the other side, notice a faux silver bead (cheap but high style) plus more Sheila and Venetian beads, back up to the silver bar.
The clasp is another piece of work, as they say colloquially. An artful hook, although not artist-made, grasps a glass polka dot circle by Kennebunkport Bead Art.
This was a slowly percolating necklace that took years to come together. The color is odd but soft and surprisingly neutral. Perhaps it is best described as teal grey. Gail’s beads add a teal blue. My luck held out with the seed beads I found in my drawer—an interesting blueish green teal in matte Czech glass, not shiny.
The necklace is for sale. No way could I hoard this! It is for sale in my studio for $220. Add $15 for mailing and insurance and it is yours. It measures 20” long.