Drawer 48: Jade

“Momentum” 

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 48/Drawer 48: November 29, 2017: “Momentum”

To me, Jade is Hong Kong. Worn by many citizens, seen in shop windows, handled at the Jade Market:  it is the heart and soul of Hong Kong.  I became very attracted to it.

When I discovered the Jade Market, I walked there from our Kowloon apartment, frequently slipping into the Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium, a large department store on Nathan Road, to find curios and objets for my growing Asian collectibles.

Approaching the Jade Market were countless small jewelry shops full of Cantonese-speaking shoppers, men in the street hawking big chunks of jade from their small pick-up trucks, and a few Westerners like me with anticipation glistening in our eyes. The Market is really a tent, permanently erected, and certainly the size of a football field.  I walked around until something I saw drew me in.  The vendor rushed around with a low stool, a tray and a smile.  I could sit for an hour, choosing the beads I deemed suitable for a necklace.

Don and I lived in Hong Kong for 18 months in 1993-4 and the memory of the Jade Market is still fresh. Unfortunately, what material I have left from that era isn’t enough to make a necklace.

So here is this week’s necklace: Suzhou jade, also called new jade, in a dark to light variation with two carved beads on each side  separating the two shades.  There were no leftover beads, so wear your silver earrings.  A nicely carved turtle, 2” x 2.25”, is the centerpiece.  Sterling silver clasp.

The tortoise is an enigmatic creature for the Chinese, “concealing the secrets of heaven and earth”: they see its shell as the vaulted  heaven and its underside as the flat disc of earth.  It also symbolizes steadfastness.

The necklace measures 18.5” long plus 2.25” for the tortoise.

 

While still in Hong Kong, I started using my Jade Market finds. I found a helpful book to explain the meanings of carvings such as the tortoise above: A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols by Wolfram Eberhard, first published in 1983.

OPEN STUDIOS SEASON IS HERE!

July was crowded with brisk sales; August 20-21 is next with lots of new work; October 15-16 is a bonus last opportunity for artist-made gifts!

Open Studios in Hull is like Christmas in the summer!  This year there are 39 artists creating their visual treats to present to you in August and October!  Get your info on www.hullartists.com or pick up a free map-flyer at a local business.

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Now for my Beadleful updates:

My July Open Studios was filled with old and new friends and art appreciators!  I waved goodbye to 29 pieces, mostly necklaces, but earrings and bracelets also.  I love watching my work go to a new home and it motivates me to design more fabulous pieces to take their places!

Why such success?  In addition to my beads’ fabulousness; I also cut my prices to below wholesale, making it easier to splurge on jewelry in a still-soft economy.  I am also working on re-focusing my creativity to four styles, down from my previous eclectic six + styles.  As I approach a big birthday, I’ve indulged in goal-setting and refreshing my work.

More on what’s upcoming in the next blog.

Right now I’m working on new pieces:  glass is my current bead love!  Here are a few images:

Priscilla glass orange-white pendant 5161

Priscilla tan glass small beads 5179

Priscilla Lampwork Glass green-brown pendant 5188

Here’s more on Open Studios (OS):

There are additional reasons for large crowds in July.  Hull Artists, now celebrating our 21st annual Open Studios, has grown up!  We have engaged in a branding program under the leadership of our own Graphic Artist, Paul Goes.  Notice the clean design of our map-flyer, followed up in the posters on the doors of local businesses; yard signs; large signs alerting visitors on 228 and Geo Washington Blvd that it is Open Studios Weekend; our wind sock in distinctive aqua and white; even signs and balloons on street corners where artists are showing!

Additional improvements are establishing a data base to alert our visitors about upcoming events (best to state right now it is for our private use only).  We jettisoned our old website and introduced a better one…same name…www.hullartists.com.

Lory Newmyer and Connie Crosby organized us experienced hands to share our seasoned knowledge of OS with new artists, at two workshops, resulting in upgrades to our customer service.

Of course we wouldn’t be fully of age until we engaged social media!  Two tireless members set us up on Facebook (Bart Blumberg) and Instagram @hullartistsopenstudios (Connie Crosby).

And none of these efforts would have happened without our Fearless Leader, OS Chair Karin Nauth-Shelley.  Karin is a Patron Member of Hull Artists and a technical Marketing Whiz in her professional life…as well as a volunteer like the rest of us.  Thanks, Karin!

I’ll be looking for you August 20 or 21!

Priscilla Beadle                                                                                                                 Bead Jewelry Artist

 

Welcome to my Open Studio

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Teal windsocks on cross streets in Hull will mark the locations for fascinating studios where real artists work!

Please visit me in my studio in Hull Village on July 9 or 10, Saturday or Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

23 Andrew Ave (3rd Left after Library on Main St), Hull.

781-925-0484

Be prepared to find newly designed Beadleful necklaces, lots of my trademark chunky bead jewelry, some bracelets and earrings!

Also, Marilyn MacDonnell returns with fabulous totes, key chains, purses and a new line of beach towels!

OPEN STUDIOS has been proudly presented by www.hullartists.com for 21 years. Visit our website for a map and info about the 39 participating artists

 

Happy New Year

Today, January 4, 2016, is the first day back to work in the New Year.   Dear readers, may you be happy, healthy and productive in 2016!

 AN ANNIVERSARY

Writing this on Dec 10, 2015 marks the fifth anniversary of my return to Boston, or more specifically, Hull, a small town on the South Shore.  It’s trite but true:  time flies!

 CALIFORNIA NOSTALGIA

 Thanksgiving, 2015:  When I booked my trip back to California in February, I thought it would celebrate my post-knee replacement return to travel.  It was much more:  it was a return to warm embraces by old friends in San Jose and San Luis Obispo.

 I was seeking the past and I found the present—it was marvelous!

 In San Jose, I stayed in the Paris room at Bob and Sandra’s + the perfect dog Rubee, a Golden Retriever.  We enjoyed great girlfriend time, lots of R&R, good shopping, fabulous wine-ing and dining.

 Next I drove three hours south to San Luis Obispo where Don and I moved in 2000.  The weather was great for the whole trip; especially 72 degrees upon my arrival seemed very welcoming!  I met girlfriends for coffee and catching up.  I was invited to dinner at Patti and Robbie’s, who just sold their olive oil and balsamic vinegar company (www.robbinsfamilyfarm.com  It’s delicious!  Order some; they send it to me; you can enjoy it too.  Burt and Diane, my husband’s and my first friends at Edna Ranch where we lived among the vineyards, drove me there.

 Then on Dec 3rd I traveled through time with Sharon and Rich who invited the other four couples of the Wine Club, founded in 2000, for a reunion.  Sandy bought a bottle of Chardonnay from that year…we all tasted it and reminisced.  Yes, we made Chard and Pinot Noir in our garages in 60 gallon French oak barrels.  Each barrel makes 270 bottles.  We were pretty good at it!  My friends still make wine.

It had to end; all vacations do.  I went out with a bang—driving to Santa Barbara with my bead sister, Elaine; shopping at the Gem Faire (3 times as large as what’s available in all of New England); lunching at Tre Lune; shopping on Coast Village Road; and a drop off at the airport for my trip to SFO where a red eye was waiting to whisk me to Logan

It was a great trip.  Very rejuvenating.  Emotionally satisfying; confirming that old friends are still friends

20 Years as a Bead Jewelry Artist

After 20 years, I am retiring my old logo of necklaces in the form of a “B”.  This is a good moment to thank Don Beadle for my fabulous last name!  Stay tuned for the new logo…hint…it’s orange.

After 20 years, I am retiring my old logo of necklaces in the form of a “B”. This is a good moment to thank Don Beadle for my fabulous last name! Stay tuned for the new logo…hint…it’s orange.

 

“Would you like to move to Hong Kong?”  Don’t the most fun things begin with a question?

 

My husband was offered a job assignment in Hong Kong in 1993, so I resigned from my Human Resources job and went along for the adventure.

Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise, and I soon discovered I was attracted to beads.  When I filled up my drawers and started putting boxes of them under the bed, my husband asked me why I had so many beads.

My future became destined when I blurted out, “I’m going to make necklaces!”  So I set out to do so.  I thought my designs looked pretty fine, and, wisely, took a class to learn the fundamentals.

As a final judgment to my opinion on the attractiveness of my necklaces, I submitted them to the 1994 annual exhibit of the Royal Crafts Guild of Hong Kong, and was accepted.

 

In 1995, I decided I was retired from my corporate life. Bead jewelry became my business.  I wanted the risk of succeeding or failing.  It could never just be a hobby for me.  I took that brave step at the Silicon Valley Open Studios and loved every minute of it.

I still love the challenge of offering my work for sale:  it’s an instant thumbs up or down and it gives me feedback.  A thumbs down means that necklace gets taken apart at the end of the year and gets another chance at greatness.

Here we are in 2015.  I have made nearly 2700 necklaces; I never tire of the search for fabulous beads; and I still try to spend at least two hours several days a week in my studio.  I have changed marketplaces three times:  from Silicon Valley to San Luis Obispo to the South Shore of Boston.  I love change!

In 2015, I am working on being “Stupendous in my Seventies” and, when the time comes, “Energetic in my Eighties!”  All for the love of beads!

Treasure

The two strand "Treasure" necklace is strung with heavy turquoise thread and “woven” through three turquoise beads every few inches.  It ends with a coral clasp around a vintage button. It measures 21” and the centerpiece is 3” long.  It is priced at $155 which includes shipping and insurance.

The two strand “Treasure” necklace is strung with heavy turquoise thread and “woven” through three turquoise beads every few inches. It ends with a coral clasp around a vintage button.
It measures 21” and the centerpiece is 3” long. It is priced at $155 which includes shipping and insurance.

 

Back in 1995 when I was learning how to make necklaces, the second class I took was called “Treasure Necklace” and I remembered how much I love to make them when my friend Penny gave me a broken down necklace of turquoise, jasper and pearls.

A treasure necklace is full of special things.  This necklace has Penny’s beads, supplanted by coral twigs, Czech glass reddish barrel beads, coral seed beads, a button clasp from my Mom’s button box…and those are minor compared to the centerpiece gems.

The dangling centerpieces of a ring and a Buddha are amazing!

The ring has a silver setting with decorative sterling silver balls around the base set with a coral bead, commonly traded among Tibetans.  I bought it from a Tibetan woman in an informal market in front of the fabulous Jokhang Temple in Barkhor Square, Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.  While we were bartering, pilgrims behind us circumnavigated the temple which is a holy destination for Tibetans.

The ring is so large, it was obviously her husband’s whom I envisioned as a warrior of great girth.  I bought it in 1993 since when it has been a much touched talisman; but I could never figure how to place it in a necklace…until now. To say it is a treasure underestimates it.

Well, since I am a person  compelled to fill spaces, I stumbled across the “Laughing Buddha” and didn’t he just fit in the ……space?!  It is a contemporary bead, bought locally and made of resin.  However this Buddha has a long history:  in the Song Dynasty, China, in 1000 AD, the Laughing Buddha, symbol of naïve geniality, became the most popular god in Eastern Asia.

The two strand necklace is strung with heavy turquoise thread and “woven” through three of Penny’s turquoise beads every few inches.  It ends with a coral clasp around a vintage button.

It measures 21” and the centerpiece is 3” long.  It is priced at $155 which includes shipping and insurance.

 

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”.

 

How Do I Love Copper?

Let me count the ways. It is warm in texture and in color. It is different: not gold nor silver. You can actually find earrings in the retail world…or in my studio. Yes, copper has moved into the mainstream. I’ve been using it in my jewelry since the late 90’s and I remain firmly committed to this orange-y metal. Now there is a clue why I like it!

This necklace is named Anisoptera, the species name for dragonfly and which, translated from the Greek, means uneven wings. It is made in Mexico from Patty Healy (CA) designs and executed in copper and brass. What I find unique about her use of copper is that she has it heated with a torch resulting in a bright and warm red-orange color. Note also the brass accents soldered on the wings and those perfect brass bug eyes!

I wanted the necklace to stay with the copper color, so I used a coordinating strand of dyed freshwater pearls with a tad of apricot pearls as contrast.

I made the clasp from copper wire: I hammered the circle flat and hardened it in that process; the toggle is bent copper wire. I want my necklaces to look as good from the back as from the front! I made earrings to accompany the necklace. The earrings are 1 ½” long with copper ear wires.

The necklace measures 18 ½” long. The dragonfly is 3 ½” long and a little over 2” wide. “Anisoptera” is light and easy to wear, not to mention fun! The price is $125 and includes shipping.

This necklace is named Anisoptera, the species name for dragonfly and which, translated from the Greek, means uneven wings.  The pendant is made in Mexico from Patty Healy (CA) designs and executed in copper and brass.

This necklace is named Anisoptera, the species name for dragonfly and which, translated from the Greek, means uneven wings. The pendant is made in Mexico from Patty Healy (CA) designs and executed in copper and brass.