Drawer 12: Carnelian

“legendary Heroes”

Week 12/Drawer 12: March 22, 2017: “Legendary Heroes”

I do love carnelian. It is a semi-precious stone that is found in all shades of brown, almost every one tinged with orange.  Now you know why I love it!

I probably say I love this or that bead in every blog. I suppose that’s why I’m still beading 23 years on!

Carnelian is a member of the Quartz family. It is considered the stone of creativity, individuality and courage.

This necklace started with the centerpiece, named a talhakimt. Over the years, I have purchased every interesting one I have seen and parcel them out into necklaces every few years.  They are always based on the triangle/circle design.  I have only one more truly interesting one left plus about 5 smaller ones that were originally men’s rings.  The design feels very graphic and crisp to me; contemporary rather than ethnic.

Talhakimts such as this one were carved of large banded agate in the nineteenth century in Idar-Oberstein, a famous stone cutting center in Germany, a location that means more to bead nuts than the less-obsessed. They were favored by the Tuareg people, pastoral nomads who controlled several Sahara trading routes, and are descendants of the true Berbers who predated the Romans in their settlements.  This rare talisman adorned Tuareg women’s hair.  I found it interesting to learn the Tuaregs are a matrilineal society.

It is always a design challenge to figure out how to attach the unusual centerpieces, which I love to collect, to my necklace. From the get-go I knew this necklace would be pure carnelian:  therein was the attachment answer.  I found a bag with some very old carnelian (see above photo) which was also small in size.  No two alike…all the better to see the varying colors of carnelian!  Also notice their patina (wear)…visualize them a century ago in a Tuareg’s bag in a camel caravan travelling across the Sahara to a trading bazaar at the next oasis!

It should be no surprise that beads were money in many sociieties, from the Tuaregs to American Indians who invented heishi [pronounced “he she”], which are the small brass spacers used in this necklace. Our forebears, however, used shell as their money.  Today heishi are any small round beads made by hand from natural materials.

The necklace itself is designed with highly polished carnelian nuggets separated by brass heishi.

This necklace is 23” long with a brass clasp. The talhakimt is 3”.  Wear with your gold earrings.  $99.

 

Drawer 7: Off-White

 

drawer7

“Song of the Earth”

My Apothecary Chest: in 1994, it arrived via container in California from Hong Kong, where I discovered beading, after an ex-pat assignment there, to serve as the repository for my beads. Handcrafted.  It has 52 Drawers.

2017 Challenge: Create a Necklace a Week, using only the Beads from one Drawer at a time. Voila!  52 Necklaces!

Week 7/Drawer 7: February 15, 2017: “Song of the Earth” 

My Apothecary Chest has seven drawers across and seven down plus three large drawers as the bottom row. Each time I pull out a drawer, I admire the handcrafted dovetail details and the fascinating maroon black color of the interior.  Sometimes I conjure a vision of the medicinal herbs it used to contain.  Today, I celebrate reaching the end of the first row!

In the third compartment of this drawer, a surprise awaited me. During a fabulous shopping spree at the 2015 Beadesigner International’s annual October show, I purchased three kinds of Druzy, packaged them together, stuck them in drawer 7 which was, and still is, a catchall for vaguely white beads.  Today I present you the results.

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images of three polished substrates (non-druzy side)

 

 

 

Druzy is the glittering effect of tiny crystals on top of a mature colorful mineral, often agate, appearing sparkley and delicate, but in reality, very durable. The agate substrate is polished to show off the mineral layers.

The almond shaped off-white druzy are supported by delightful grey druzy. Druzy is easy to cut and the grey ones demand close inspection since each one exposes just a touch of crystalline sparkle.  In a final step, these beads were electroplated to produce the satin finish.  The silver druzy of the earrings compliments the white and grey druzy.

This necklace will enliven clothing of any solid color from pink to blue to black. In spite of its sparkle, it is quite conservative.  It measures 20”.  The set is $99.

 

Drawer 6: Red

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Vintage Trade Bead necklace showing some White Hearts

I’m challenging myself in 2017 to create one necklace a week using the beads from one drawer of my 52 drawer Apothecary Chest. Welcome to Drawer 6.

Judging by my mail since last week, Valentine’s Day is pretty soon. The MFA issued a lush brochure announcing its revival jewelry exhibit opening February 14; Chico’s wants me to come in and accept a free necklace; HullArtists.com’s own  Gallery Nantasket invites everyone the Sunday afternoon before Valentine’s Day; even my inbox is exploding with jewelry created for the occasion!

I too must rise to this annual red heart fest. Once in the over-flowing red drawer, I couldn’t stop myself—so I made three necklaces!

#1 is a long simple necklace of red Czech glass made distinctive by a Paul Vien (Westport, MA) ruby red dichroic kiln-fired glass pendant coated with the most lustrous shade of gold etched with delightful images of stones (if you are a beach girl) or bubbles (if you are a champagne girl)! It is 28” + a 2” pendant.  $69.00img_1303

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#2 is featured at the top of the blog and is created with trade beads only. The true definition of a trade bead is a glass bead made in Venice and traded around the world, especially in Africa , from the 16th to the 20th centuries.  My definition is they have patina which is evidenced in chips and crevices darkened by the dirt of ancient markets as they are bartered and change hands.

The larger red beads are glass made to look like faux amber, the agate center bead has that trade patina, and the small red ones are called white heart beads and have a long history. Red glass beads were historically made with gold.  In 1480, beadmakers added a white layer at the core of the bead (see photo) to reduce the amount of gold needed.  Production of white hearts was finally ended in 1960.  It is 22” long. $69.00.

drawer6-1#3 is a medium-length necklace of red Czech glass with Valentine heart dangles. A faceted red crystal heart hangs near the sterling silver heart clasp which can be worn at the back of the neck—it also looks nice worn by your collarbone.  A red circle holds three dangles:  a vintage Swarovski heart It is a clear heart which reflects the ambient light); a sterling silver heart and bead; and red beads on a cool sterling silver triangle.  23” + 2” long dangles.  $69.00drawer6-2drawer6-3 

 

 

Eclectic Hull Artist, Priscilla Beadle Focuses on Four Categories of Neck Adornment

 

Frog Netsuke

Creating bead jewelry art since 1993, Priscilla Beadle first found inspiration for her bold, eclectic designs in the bazaars of Tibet and Nepal, in dusty shops in Beijing, on remote Indonesian islands reached by catamaran, in beautiful Bali, and in verdant Indochina—Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Today Priscilla has narrowed her focus to four categories of neck adornment including nature, whimsy, Venetian and other glass, and semi-precious stone. Each Beadleful design starts with a centerpiece bead—add whimsy, color excitement, texture, chunky beads, a fabulous clasp—a collectable necklace is born.

With environmental awareness, Priscilla selects sustainable materials from nature. Some of her pendants include petrified wood, beetle wings, paua shell, and mother of pearl (nacre). Beads may be made of amber, Philippine seashells, cork, apricot shells, carved wood, tagua nuts, cultured pearls, and seashells.

Whimsy and a sense of playfulness, joy in her craft, are present in all of Priscilla’s necklaces. In particular, some pendants feature animals such as a koi carved from resin to look like coral; an artisan-created glass cylinder adorned with a green glass gecko; a netsuke featuring tiny frogs. Some neck pieces feature amulets: an Italian red cornicello topped with a bit of rabbit’s fur; a carved bone Buddhist goddess of mercy; a lucky sterling silver star; turquoise, believed to protect the wearer from falling. Neck pieces in this unconventional group include materials such as vintage acrylic beads; dyed large teardrop pearls; handmade intricate beads of cardboard; resin combined with mother of pearl and carved into beads; polymer clay beads. Sometimes these necklaces feature an asymmetrical layout or an ornate clasp.

On several trips to Venice, Italy, Priscilla has collected an assortment of the finest glass beads in the world; those made on the island of Murano, home of the Venetian glass industry since the 1300’s. For centuries, Venetian artisans have been perfecting their decorative techniques, controlling the color and transparency of glass beads. A particular favorite of Priscilla’s are lamp-work beads where each bead is created individually. In this time consuming method, the artist uses a torch to melt together Murano glass rods and tubes and wrap them around a metal rod to fashion the desired shape. Special effects are achieved by layering different colors of glass in addition to gold or silver leaf. The hole left in the cooled bead from the metal rod is perfect for stringing. Priscilla has found a few local artists who have perfected this technique.

Semi-precious stones feature in Priscilla’s work; in particular, bluish green and sky blue turquoise; sacred iridescent moonstone; biblical carnelian, one of the “stones of fire” with their reddish orange hue; jade, “stone of heaven” for its unearthly shades of green; uncommon amazonite with its blue-green color; rutile quartz, also known as “Venus’ Hair” for its golden strands of crystal in a clear quartz; unakite, whorled with pistachio green and salmon pink; yellow to red sunstone with its glittering copper flecks; warm golden amber, fossilized tree resin between 5 to 50 million years old; crystal clear magnesite; and agate, also a biblical “stone of fire” valued since ancient times for the beautiful flowing patterns seen in its many colors.

Priscilla Beadle returned to her hometown, Hull, in 2011, after residing for — years in San Luis Obispo, CA. She brought her business, Beadleful, with her and crafted a comfortable studio for her work on the ground floor of her home. The spark of Beadleful ignited when, after 23 years in the corporate world, Priscilla retired in 1993 to accompany her husband on his job assignment in Hong Kong.  Southeast Asia became her handicraft fantasy world as she hunted for beads:  odd, large, ethnic, contrarian beads; antique or contemporary glass beads; rare and unusual colors; textures that lead to touching.  Whether traveling the world or stalking New England galleries, successful bead hunting inspires the bold eclectic designs that characterize Priscilla’s unique necklaces and bracelets.

For more information or to arrange a studio tour, please contact 781-925-0484.

 

Trunk Show

Trunk Show December 6 & 7 2013

Hail West Coasters!

Hope to see you for my THIRD ANNUAL TRUNK SHOW…

 

Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy Necklace

 

“Goddess of Mercy”

Considered to be the source of unconditional love, Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, is the most honored Bodhisattva in Asia. Guanyin is often depicted in white and usually wears a necklace since she is considered Chinese royalty.  She is always a creative inspiration to me.  In this centerpiece, a beautifully carved bone goddess with a bezel of sterling silver is enthroned on sterling silver and green agate.  This figure is nicely finished on the back which in my mind shows the artisan’s reverence towards Guanyin.

The necklace is made with large rounded beads of white coral which measure about ¾” high by almost 1” wide; it is a true chunky Beadleful work.  There are sterling silver discs interspersed with the coral.  It is finished with small silver hichi and a sterling silver clasp made in Bali.

This one-of-a-kind necklace measures 21” and the centerpiece is three and one half inches long.  The necklace is priced at $159 and includes standard shipping.