Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Healing Holly Berries

As I was devising this necklace, all I could think of was whether it would please the wearer. Holly and Ivy colors of the season in which we warm ourselves with our friendship and the strength of colors in the cold snowy months.

But today, on presenting it, I realized something more important: that jewelry is not merely for adornment. It’s original purpose was talismanic: to protect the wearer and bring her strength of spirit. To heal those who look to her. When you assemble the polished bits of earth that make these beads, you imbue them with patience and care that transfers to the wearer.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Amazing Color-Changing Beads

There are some amazing berries outside the wonderful cafĂ© where we go- I’ve never seen berries change colors as they mature the way these did. In a few weeks in late October, they traversed the spectrum from green to purple to red.

Just like those berries, the little flower beads in this necklace are “color change” beads: in daylight- they reflect green, and in incandescent light, they reflect red, changing like the ripening berries. And those round green agate beads are the precise bayberry color of the new berries.

Now, my friend made a sad confession: necklaces give her claustrophobia.

How sad- not to be able to bedeck onself. Jewelry is, above all, a proclamation of one’s unique spirit. Inner beauty worn outwardly. I hope for my friend that she will conquer her fear, change like the berries, and take on the color of her own beauty.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Secret Sequence

Beads teach us things. Patience, for one thing. The pendant in this necklace was once a lovely pin, given to me by The Muse (everyone should have one- but no one has a Muse as fine as mine!) years ago. It stopped being a pin after much fond wear, when it’s pinback fell off. Fortunately, it was not lost; I saved it as a flat object for a long time deciding whether to repair it. I never repaired it, because in time it came to me that it would be happy as a pendant if only I could find the right beads. This all happened years before I was able to bead- I was gathering elements for this piece a long time.

What happened when I finally came to the making of the necklace is it’s own story. Three times I strung the multi-strand necklace, and each time something went awry. It was like a tale from the Brothers Grimm- first the strands tangled so badly I couldn’t find the ends when it came to stringing the clasp. I re-strung it a second time and strands broke at the last moment, after crimping and trimming. On the third attempt, true to legend, I found success.

Is there magic in the third try? Perhaps. Or maybe it is that by the third time you do something, you’ve learned to adjust to the trials you’re about to meet.

For me, this was discovering that there is a sequence in which each step must be done. Beading is a linear process. You cannot reach the middle before you secure the beginning. The order in which beads come together is partly design, and partly fortune. You keep repeating it until you get it right.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tre Corazon

Beads teach us about life: we think we know what we want. [We don't always.] We think we know what's beautiful. [Not till we see it usually.]
We think we're in control. [We're not...we just have to go with the flow and enjoy the ride.]

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Summer's End Wreath

Seasons come and go. Celebrate them.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ivy Spiral

This pendant was picked out a long time ago- almost at the beginning of my bead obsession. But because of its auspicious history, it was going to have to wait a long time till the right beads came along. For one thing- the colors are a bit unusual- a very crisp green and a deep bluish purple- like the colors of ivy with intertwined morning glories. Come to think of it, the climbing tendrils of ivy are certainly the natural inspiration of our love of spirals- a metaphor of delicate strength that grows by inverting and inserting itself into the difficult and rocky places. That’s what this necklace of icy green bracket-shaped table-cuts and intense cobalt coins means: passion and perseverance.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Healing Blue Light

This Dichroic pendant changes color dependent on the angle of incoming light. It’s predominantly a deep meditative cobalt with metallic highlights, just the right color for eliciting one’s inner gift of healing. It celebrates good health news for the loved one who will wear it.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Unnamed Blessing

I took a long time off from beading, awaiting a miracle…and one came to me. Someone loved was lost, and greatly feared for. This is the product of the tears and prayers and hope gathered from the wonderful creatures (including a few humans) around me. I had been dreaming, yearning for her safe return, and the power of those feelings took shape in the cascade of bead droplets. Those six pearlescent drop beads are antique Czech wedding beads my muse found for me on the day after Christmas this year. He also gave me the silver prayer ball whose chime tolls softly with the touch of the surrounding diaphanous crystals and labradorite. Labradorite is perfectly symbolic here: a sallow, shadowy grey shifts to gleams of blue iridescent flash- the pure color of joy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Symbolic Frolic

Made for the recipient of a playful kiss on a bridge on a day of amazing memories. Cupid and angels dance for her!

Serene Spring

Many pieces from many places come together in space and time.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Transubstantiation of Amber

This piece took a while to envision and then materialize. (There were lots of little seed beeads to manage in this one!) On the second or third time it was worn, it had a terrible accident in which it caught on something immovable, which unleashed the energy of a million little E beads and all the dangles, all of them flying away from each other like the Second Big Bang! I gathered up what I could and put the pieces away for a long while. But hope springs eternal, doesn't it? They all came together again in a new life, with a lovely bead toggle, and maybe even better than in their previous incarnation.

Bubbles in the Champagne

Those gold-drizzled Indian rounds rise randomly through the pink gold seed beads, like bubbles fizzing through a glass of champagne! But all the effervescence leads back to the dichroic pendant, whose colors shimmer and change like peacock feathers in sunlight.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Anniversary on the Bridge Necklace

This piece commemorates an important date, celebrated on a bridge, with some of the greatest people I know. The Kazuri beads both look and feel like river rocks sleek with spring water.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sumerian Construction

The ancient Sumerians wore neckwear like this on their way to pick reeds from the bank of Euphrates. Those were the days! Well, maybe they didn't actually have Venetian foil glass tubes back then, but can't you just see the Queen of Sheba wearing this while nibbling grapes and falafel?

Mastering the Beaded Bead!

After almost two years, it finally happened! I mastered - or got close to mastering the Beaded Bead! It's a simple version- peyote tube over a pair of small rounds- but the effect really makes this necklace of Kazuri beads something special. Subtle and still full of dreamy color. It was a fitting forum for some matte onyx beads I'd collected decades ago from a jeweler in New Haven, CT, some old wooden beads, tiny Manik Manik rondelles and a lot of other amazing things. It's a first attempt, but you can be sure there will be more to come.