Drawer 36: LIME: Venetian glass

“Dreaming the Dreams”

My Chinese Apothecary Chest:   in 1994, it arrived via container to California from Hong Kong, where I discovered beading during my husband’s ex-pat assignment.   Serves as the repository for my beads.  Handcrafted.  It has 52 Drawers, mostly sorted by color.

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

Week 36/Drawer 36: September 6, 2017: “Dreaming the Dreams”

I’ve expressed my love for Venetian glass many times and the romance continues with this week’s choice. This shade of lime is especially dreamy.  Actually, I do believe the gold foil centers of most of the beads causes the lime to impart a special glow on your neck.  I have worn this twice and the compliments were many!

It is my opinion that Venetian glass is made by true artisans on the Island of Murano, a vaparetto ride from Venice ( details of my visit there in Blog dated June 29, 2013).  Those artisans are the designers and the flame workers:  they both have their hearts involved in achieving outstanding results.  You don’t find any of the Venetian beads I’ve showcased this year in a bead shop (apologies to my local purveyor, Beaucoup Beads in Scituate…I still love to shop with you!), rather you have to go to shows where vendors lay out their best stuff, and make you drool!

Regarding this necklace, the 11 squares trimmed with yellow measure 7/16th of an inch…small, but large enough to be noticed.  There are smaller squares, only 1/4” across, that I used as spacers.  Be sure to notice two round lime beads with gold foil centers that comprise the focal point.  In fact, all these beads except the distinctive square ones have gold foil centers.

This 18.5” necklace comes with matching earrings.  Gold metal clasp.  The set is $109.

Drawer 24: Black (with other colors). Revised to show color😘

“Grand Illusion”

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

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

Week 24/Drawer 24: June 14, 2017: “Grand Illusion”

Two weeks ago, I stated there were four black drawers. Now there are three!

I re-organized the contents into three drawers after tossing the ugly, donating the unwanted, and re-assigning others. I put iridescent beads, mostly shells, into Drawer 25 which you will see next week in a necklace of a very different style!

Let’s focus on this week’s design: Venetian glass.  It’s been a staple of mine for many years and I am down to a small supply left in Drawers 1 and 2.  I paired the Venetian with another love:  American Art glass by David Christensen.  See Week 17 for details on American Art Glass.

It is a mildly asymmetrical necklace but balanced so it will sit prettily on the neck. I needed some very shiny and medium sized beads for the top half and found those qualities in some plastic beads I bought at a yard sale back in the day when you could find real treasures in yard sales.

The clasp has a starring role with a fabulous oval piece of art glass and a sterling silver toggle I fashioned. Two perfect pieces of art glass found their way to the earrings.  All in all, a very satisfying creation.  20” long.  $99 for the set.

 

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 

 

 

Drawer 2: Winter White is so Ethereal!

"Light Fantastic"

“Light Fantastic”

My Apothecary Chest: We brought it back from Hong Kong in 1994 after an ex-pat assignment there; it is also where I discovered beading.

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

Week 2/Drawer 2: January 11, 2017: “Light Fantastic”

I am writing this in the middle of a raging blizzard with 8—10” forecast, so can you blame me for thinking white?

This delightful necklace is a white-out! But it will go with everything, unlike snow.  There are five white striped and one opaque white Venetian glass beads, each of a differing stripe and distinct size.  See Blog dated June 29, 2013 for my ode to Venetian beads, also called Murano beads since they are made on the small island just a vaporetto ride away from Venice.

Besides Venetian glass, there are many American Art Glass beads made in Rhode Island. Again, all clear and/or white.

Finally, there are white “sugar” beads. I coined this name myself, so let me explain:  they are opaque white beads coated with what looks like glittery sugar, but it is powdered glass.  There are more white sugar dots on clear glass beads at the end of the necklace and in the earrings.

Since I like the back of my necklaces to look as good as the front, note the asymmetrical glass clasp with a sterling silver toggle.

This 19” necklace is $99. It is fragile, but the glass is not as thin as the Drawer 1 necklace is.  Matching earrings are included to keep the white vision.

See you next week!

Week 1:  Gold glass from Venice

"Romance Retold"

“Romance Retold”

2017 Necklace a Week CHALLENGE:  from 52 drawers of beads, create a unique handmade necklace using only the beads from one drawer at a time.

These large (1″ around) mottled gold Venetian glass beads will make any complexion glow!  They are hand-blown thin clear glass with splatters of gold.

The centerpiece is a Nautilus-inspired shell in cranberry color with gold flecks which turn iridescent in the light.  It is an artist-made lamp work glass bead.  Other spacer beads are glass with gold foil inside.  Secured by a gold metal clasp.

These Venetian beads are lovely to look at and wear, but please, handle with care since they are fragile.  Don’t drop the necklace and don’t wear dangle earrings that are long enough to hit them as they swing from your ear.  Truth in advertising now satisfied, don’t lust for this necklace unless you like attention because compliments will be endless!  I guarantee it or refund offered!

Wear it with your own gold earrings.  Title:  Romance Retold.  Length is 18.5″.  $99.00.

 

MURANO ISLAND RISING IN MY STUDIO

"Social Success"

Titled, “Social Success”, this creation joins Murano glass beads with six 1960’s vintage Lucite beads. The clasp is dyed and carved from sustainable water buffalo horn with a toggle I made from sterling silver wire. The necklace is 20″ and is accompanied by Murano glass asymmetrical earrings of one square silver foil glass bead and one twisted bead tied together with black seed beads. The larger bead, a tad over 1″, hangs 2″ from the ear piercing. The square bead earring is 1.75″ long.
The set is priced at $148 including shipping costs.

I took a baby step this summer and designed a very small Murano pendant (see previous posting) from my new acquisitions. Now taking another step with this lively necklace in lime and clear/silver foil-lined glass beads from Murano. This winter: some real adult steps working with the big boisterous boys; stay tuned!

I usually start designing in my imagination as I am buying beads and this purchase was no different, except for one big thing: they were going to be two separate necklaces. But the beads bonded in my suitcase during the rest of my Italian journey and emerged as one necklace with black seed beads to make the lime and clear colors pop.

The necklace was a bit short so I searched for appropriate companions to join the Murano glass and found just six of these 1960’s vintage Lucite (fancy for plastic). Serendipity! Ditto for the clasp: dyed horn carved from sustainable water buffalo horns and a toggle I made from sterling silver wire. The necklace is 20″ and is accompanied by asymmetrical earrings in silver foil glass beads, also from Murano. Asymmetrical, in this case, means I had one square bead and one twisted bead tied together with black seed beads. The larger bead is a tad over 1″ and the earring hangs 2″ from the ear-piercing. The square bead earring is 1.75″ in length.

The set is priced at $148 and includes mailing and shipping costs. I have titled this creation “Social Success”.

 

Oh, Oh, OK!

The necklace is named “DIALOGUE” and is 21.5” long.  The widest bead is 1.25” and the toggle is 2.75” long.  I recommend chunky silver earrings with this necklace. It is very chunky, but not very heavy due to the lightness of wood beads.  It is $139 which includes shipping and insurance.

The necklace is named “DIALOGUE” and is 21.5” long. The widest bead is 1.25” and the toggle is 2.75” long. I recommend chunky silver earrings with this necklace. It is very chunky, but not very heavy due to the lightness of wood beads. It is $139 which includes shipping and insurance.

For years, I have been designing a style of necklace I call “One of a Kind” or, in my shorthand, OOK.  They originated from chunky orphan beads, leftover onesie or twosie charmers, tossed into a box.  One day a necklace designed itself in that box and my first OOK emerged.  They feature as many different beads as possible:  it’s a fun challenge not to repeat beads, even though I do allow myself to for superior design.

I’ve probably made 30 of them since I declared myself a bead jewelry artist in 1995.  But it took gallerist, Gail Sewell reminding me how much she likes them, to get me habitually thinking about OOKs.  Now she gets first dibs for her Chambers Gallery in Cambria, CA!

This necklace’s genesis was five large wood beads (from the top:  an ebony and resin assemblage; a bird’s eye in soft wood; coco as in coconut; a finely carved snake which in Chinese mythology signifies cleverness; then another coco).  A notable bead is the obelisk-shaped carved soapstone with images of a stylized fish.  Balancing the wood are some opaque rock crystal beads with subtle brown markings.

This OOK demanded a striking clasp with a solid silver ethnic circle. The wood toggle, formerly known as a button, I found with my knitter friends, Tess and Dottie, on a fun driving trip to Webs, the biggest yarn shop ever.

 

REGARDING MY MURANO BEADS, stay tuned.  I’ve designed only one necklace, a fairly “safe” medallion, pictured below, because the big unique beauties I selected in Italy are currently intimidating me.  They have to be fabulous, and they will be, but they need to take their time.

Murano millefiori disc bezeled in sterling silver, with Baltic amber chips and sterling silver clasp; 18.5” to 19” adjustable length.  Priced at $99 including shipping and insurance.

Murano millefiori disc bezeled in sterling silver, with Baltic amber chips and sterling silver clasp; 18.5” to 19” adjustable length. Priced at $99 including shipping and insurance.

Venice in June!

Venice, June 2013

Venice, June 2013

 

While vacationing in Italy, I resolved to take the vaparetto to the storied island of Murano, established a millennium ago exclusively for “flame workers”, as the glass bead-makers were called, due to the fear they would burn down Venice.  Fires never happened but glorious beads were created!  I found exquisite large, minutely detailed beads never before seen in the States plus more exotic, larger versions of some I’ve seen here before.  Designs were swirling in my head on the vaparetto back to Venice…look for them at Open Studios, July 6-7 weekend!