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Recent finds

IMG_6793.JPGHello friends, as promised from the last post, I wanted to share with you my finds from the Bead Bonanza.  There were a ton of beads but I wanted to focus just on the few stands selling old or vintage beads.  The first beads I found were a pair of silver enameled beads dating approximately back to the late 60s.  I loved their swirly pattern and the way they catch the light and how the pattern on each wasn’t identical. I can perfectly imagine turning these beads into earrings.

The next find came unexpectedly from a big bead store selling a huge selection of new beads. I was extremely tempted by all the beautiful Czech glass beads as well as Swarovski but alas, I had to pass on those beauties. Sometimes I have a hard time turning away from all the new glass beads because they are beautiful and perhaps I will incorporate them one day in my work, but for now, I’ve decided to work exclusively with old or vintage beads.  I was about to leave when I caught sight of a small tray filled with what looked like various charms and findings.  It was here that I struck gold because this was the vintage tray selection! I found a beautiful pendant, two pearl beaded beads and this steel cut buckle in this tray. The pendant and beads date back to the 50s and the buckle could be older and was made in France. I can’t wait to get to work on these!

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Just before leaving the booth, I spotted some of the chains they had for sale. One chain in particular caught my eye–a chain made of red evil eye charms.  Now, there’s nothing vintage about this chain and it isn’t even the traditional blue color of the talisman but I think its really pretty.  I bought some to experiment with though I can already tell that whatever I make with this chain will not be for sale.

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And finally we come to my most favorite purchase of the afternoon. One of the stands was selling a lifetime’s worth of beads and jewelry and one of the pieces for sale was this necklace with a fish tail pendant.  The seller didn’t have much much information about the necklace, other than the fact that it comes from Nagaland and we spent a good ten minutes trying to google some information about it.  Something about this necklace fascinates me no end.  I think it might be the unexpected combination of glass beads in such bright colors with a fish tail!  As soon as I got home, I dug out all my books on Southeast Asian jewelry but so far, I haven’t found any anything resembling my necklace. I’m intrigued enough by this necklace that I ordered a few books on the Naga culture from the library. I can’t wait to find out more about it. In the meantime, I have to find an outfit that goes with it!

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On the trail of a book

 

Silver treasures from the land of sheba

One of the nice things about bead research is the way the trail leads to other interesting reads, especially on jewelry.   I’ll be reading something on beads and very often its bibliography yields a whole other list of books to read.  One of the things that struck me when I first started reading up on beads is how often they’ve been used on ethnic jewelry. And ethnic jewelry is a whole other fascinating field! So many great books on this subject.   One highly anticipated book is Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba, Marjorie Ransom’s book on traditional Yemeni jewelry (Isn’t this a lovely title? Photo courtesy of Oxford University Press website). I’ve been waiting anxiously for its release since last year, but it seems its publication date has once again been pushed to April 2014.

So I was delighted when I came across an article she wrote in 2012 on this topic in the Saudi Aramco World website. It even features a wonderful video of a silversmith.  Reading this makes me anticipate her book even more!  Here is the article in full. Enjoy!!