Mar 19, 2008

Cloisonné-enamelled Beads

These are the most colorful of the metal beads. They originate from China and are multi-colored.

Here are two of my creations using Cloisonné-enamelled beads and mixing them with Swarovski Crystal, vintage Murano glass and chain. All of these elements were purchased in two of my favorite stores in Manhattan…Beads World on Broadway and Bruce Frank Beads on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

The first, is a star shaped pendant slide. The chain is adorned with six…five mm round Swarovski crystals. Added to that are smaller Swarovski crystals, bicone, in an asymmetrical pattern. The necklace measures 16” and closes with a lobster clasp.

The second, is a longer pendant chain. It not only is adorned with cloisonné beads but boasts of a multitude of glass beads from Czechoslovakia. The pendant is a vintage foil Murano glass bead, found at Bruce Frank Beads.
This necklace measures 28” including the pendant.

Next week, I will be showing wonderful mixtures of beads, so please keep looking.

Mar 12, 2008

A little bit about beads and their history

Since the beginning of human culture, beads have been part of the fabric of society. They have been discovered across the globe at archeological digs going back to prehistoric times.

Beads have not only been used throughout time to provide decoration, but to indicate wealth and status. They have been used to trade, and they have been used and are still being used for religious and ceremonial purposes.

To the Yoruba people of Nigeria, they are regarded as "ambassadors of heaven," their glow uniting heaven and earth. The Yoruba believe in their transformative powers and they are utilized by rulers, priests and diviners who manipulate power and divine forces. The word 'bead' comes from the Old English 'gebed' meaning 'prayer'.

Initially beads were made from shells, seeds and nuts. Over the years as man became more sophisticated and discovered more complex materials, beads have reflected mankind's cultural evolution. Today beads are made from numerous materials, and 90% of the bead industry beads are mass produced.

Most beads are made from glass, semi-precious stones, pearls, crystals, wood, bone, clay, ceramic, porcelain, lac, cloisonné, seeds, and shells and various metals. They are intricate in design and shape and include an enormous variation of colors.

Today, the bead industry itself has become huge. In the last eight years in New York City alone hobby bead stores have multiplied...where there were just a few, there are now dozens. Many people have discovered the joy of beads and beading: the lovers of beads, the crafters, the jewelry designers, the jewelry makers, the hobbyists and the bead artists are enjoying every minute of the process--from shopping for beads to creating magnificent pieces and one-of-a-kind jewelry.

Mar 7, 2008

Upcoming workshops held by The Bead Society of Greater New York

There is an ongoing series of Spring workshops that are being held by the Bead Society of Greater New York which are being taught by several of the most creative and accomplished bead artists and jewelers in the City. These workshops are held at the Fashion Institute of Technology, at West 27th Street and Seventh Avenue, and include such topics as "Photograph Your Beadwork, taught by Roberto Terrana, "Ootheca Cuff", taught by Rachel Nelson-Smith, and Russian Rose Necklace, taught by Ludmilla Raitzen, just to name three of the seven workshops. Advance your craft, network with other beaders, while enhancing your creativity!

"The BeadforLife Store eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads. . ."