Maybe because it rained so much yesterday, I found myself going through some soft colored beads. And while I love my glass beads and work primarily with them, I have a soft spot for gemstones. I especially love those in the pink and violet spectrum— rose quartz, pink sapphires, amethysts and kunzites. So I was really happy to find a strand of pink chalcedony hiding in my drawer. Chalcedony is believed to have many healing powers and the native American Indians revered this stone. I love this color and if the fashion mags are to be believed, pink is the color of autumn/winter 2013. All good reasons to wear pink chalcedony!
To finish it off I decided to match the pink chalcedony with some vintage yellow Venetian beads.
This set is definitely off to the Ann Arbor craft fair tomorrow!!
Hello friends, as promised, here is the bracelet I was working on yesterday. I am especially happy with this one as it incorporates several elements I love– antique beads, semi-precious stones and a newly learned technique!
The red and black beads were a bit of an unusual find for me because I actually found them in a bead shop rather than in an antique shop. I normally never find anything in bead stores, except for findings and such but this time, Zahia, a really cool bead store in Antwerp, had some stock of old Moretti beads. Not a lot but enough for me to be really happy that day!
Ercole Moretti et F.lli is one of the oldest bead making companies in Italy. It was started in Venice, Italy in 1911 by a family of glass makers. They created an enormous amount of beads that eventually made their way to the African continent thanks to the bead trade. Their most famous work is probably the Rosetta bead (otherwise known was the Chevron bead) though this bead was originally invented in 1480. They are one of the few bead companies that still exist today in Venice.
These particular red and black beads that I did buy from Zahia date back from their 1930 stock. It belongs to this family of beads pictured below and they are opaque ground beads. Despite their great age, they hardly look worn and the red and black color scheme looks as good now as it did back in those days. To mix it up a bit, I decided to use these faceted black spinels rather than more glass beads. I love gemstones and this is a good way to incorporate them to my usual work. To top it all off, I used my newly acquired wire-wrapping skill!
Hello friends, today’s post is going to be short and sweet. I wanted to share with you a work in progress. I’m pretty excited about this piece which I hope to finish by today and share with you tomorrow. Its going to feature antique Moretti beads, faceted black spinel and wire-wrapping! Hope you are all having a nice day!
So far I’ve been very lucky in my bead hunting. I’ve found some beads in pristine condition, while others are in great condition. This is a miracle given their age and the often dusty conditions I’ve found them in. Sometimes though I’ll find some beads that are irresistible but upon closer look are not the easiest to work with. One example is this group of trade beads that I found in a small Parisian brocante. They are pink and green with a sort of silvery streak and the bead core is white. Several beads were very badly chipped and a lot of the colors had rubbed off. But I hadn’t seen this combination before and I finally brought them home. Once home I did some research and it turns out that this kind of bead dates back to the 19th century, the early half of the 19th century! I was happy that I took a chance with them. Unfortunately, it was a disaster when I tried to work on them. Several beads lost even more of their colors and a few even broke. I stopped at that point and thought that I’d save them for my collection of loose beads. That was a year and a half a go.
Fast forward to a a few weeks ago– I took a trip and found myself buying a vintage Uzbek coat with a gorgeous color palette of dusty pink and green. Then somehow I got a strand of faceted pink topaz and I started thinking how beautiful these colors were and how well they worked together. I woke up this morning thinking suddenly of those green and pink trade beads from awhile back.
And somehow (perhaps my beading stars were aligned right), those pink topaz beads, little as they are, fit perfectly over the trade beads. The happy result is this bracelet. It certainly took time to put this one together but the result is well worth the wait.
Friends, I’m very excited to start the week because I have a pile of new beads to work with. Just look at my new finds, aren’t they so pretty? I have great mix of vibrant red French pate de verre, gorgeous pink and gold Czech foil beads and some Swarovski rondelles for good measure. I can’t wait to work with them!
And as if that wasn’t enough, I also have some beautiful new gemstones to work with. I love my antique glass beads but I love gemstones too! And its hard to resist these faceted black spinels and pink topaz. They’re smaller than what I’m accustomed to but I’m looking forward to making beautiful pieces with them!!