Sunday, June 10, 2018


 This amuletic necklace is called "IfICouldNotFly"  - a thought that came to me as I made it - a naming practice similar to the way legend has it that in antiquity, children were named using the utterances other their mothers in childbirth.

It is dark and monochromatic but full of life and the remembrance of life: the fossil sand dollar attests to it. And the deep clay weight, like a fossil pear.

It is memory, softened by the flow of time and the elements: the softly matted river stones.

It is the weight of magic: the scarab, sign of eternal life emerging from death. And the BashaBead, which is magic crystallized in glass. And the swirling spiral eye charm, which chases evil from among us.

And the tourmaline shard - that sends darkness upon Darkness, dispelling demons.

Finally the Scorched Earth leaf.  Charred but perfectly intact.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

About Making Connections

Really. I don't like the noise and the fact that once they get started, you never know what they can do. My Muse and I went and bought our first family power drill this year.  It's green, a really fluorescent color that I like.  And that's about all I know about it.  I haven't tried to make it whirr, whistle or purr.  And I could really use it, if I weren't afraid of it and it's uncontrolled strength.

Here's my quandary:  I need to make holes in things.  You know all those cool pieces of filigree that just don't have holes to connect to things where thye should?  Plus I keep finding cool things everywhere that make me thing "hey, wouldn't this be neat in a necklace?"  Yep, if only I could figure out a way to attach it that doesn't involve torturing a lot of wire or using epoxy.  [I also have not mastered the art of soldering, although I come from a family that produced at least one jedi master welder.]

Today I got to thinking about holes, and how valuable they are. Without them, we wouldn't have beads.
Holes are the magic missing part of things that allow us to string them together and savor them.

This particular time I am acutely aware of holes in my spiritual self: pieces missing from people I've lost, sadness, deeds gone awry.  And realize that those holes are the way I've connected to some wonderful people. Gaping rifts in the fullness of life that make a place for the kindness of others to thread through.

I am so grateful for that happening.

Would you please help me give back to some of these wonderful souls who are having such sadness and loss thrust upon them this year by doing something from your heart?


Friday, September 10, 2010

Flow - The necklace

The array for Fall 2010 is varied and interesting: There are some earthy Luxe pieces with gorgeous gemstones (lapis, garnet, citrine, pyrite) and handmade artist-credited lampwork and raku ceramics. There are some Fierce Neutrals, which are spunky go-with-everything shades, accent on earth tones. And then there are the Tribal Inventions- featuring intricately carved stones, unusual painted african beads, vintage african brass and metal work and above all, a passion for texture and color.

In case you didn't know, this season Pyrite is the new IT stone- half metal, half gemstone, with gorgeous striated inclusions. You'll see some triangular column beads, stately and geometric as well as natural pyrite ("fool's gold") chunks. And pyrite is found included in the exquisite Lapis pieces in "Flow", shown above.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Impractical: or the Necklace Nobody Can Have

Sometimes art follows the Way that Cannot Be Taken. If this sounds like the words of a Sophist, it's probably because I'm trying to bend my mind around reason while flirting with passion.

These beads...They don't have holes. Logically they're not beads then. But if being a bead means being used as a bead, then these sweetly formed globules of glass are beads by nature and assignment. It seems quite possible that the first strung items were bits of bone and other natural things without boreholes. Ancient shamans probably wore notched treasures on plant fiber or sinew. So why not me?

These crazy little flat rounds are notched in the center, but have no through hole. Like a yo-yo, you wind cable around them to spin a necklace. Yo-yo beads are pretty magical. I've studied a bunch of beads and I have yet to imagine how they're formed. Each one is a bit of an idyllic June day- creamy clouds swirled with the blues of a perfect sky- the lightness of air and imagination.

And they were orphaned in my favorite bead shop. I'd seen them many times before, when they were part of a package of wonderful glass from an artisan manufacturer. All their relatives in gorgeous borosilicate were chosen and spirited away by admiring beaders. And these few stayed behind, a victim of their own ingenious design.

Oddness attracts me, though, and I wanted them now more than ever because of the challenge they presented. The shop owner had marked them down a little from their original extravagant (but worth it) price, and wanting to keep the family together, I took all of them in one fell purchase.

And after a while of matriculating in my stash, with me fondling them from time to time, wondering what reasoning I'd used to acquire them, I finally wired them with a few copper-lined rondelles and some Czech cathedral beads that look as if they were made in the 18th century and buried in the Black Forest.

That's it. No pendant, nothing fancy, no other colors - just set them plainly between mainly clear glass with a few glints of earth ore. Like a piece of new age music, they're the same note played over and over, beginning and ending in the same place. That's the opposite of my way of designing, where the basic theory is start with something and keep adding variations until the starting point is an unrecognizable infinity away. This needed a mastery over beads that miss the feature that makes them beads. And that made a piece that's simple, spare and tranquil.

And will remain mine. Serenity is too expensive to give away.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Something Old is New Again...

I'm excited about these beautiful old buttons, made into pendants ready to become long, luscious necklaces for fall.
Some have agate stone centers and perfectly blend with vintage-looking irregular faceted rounds coming in small quantities fromt he Czech Republic, long the center of beautiful and unusual glass beads.

Others have rivets that catch the light in a very sophisticated way. The look is long this season, so we'll be dangling these near the waist in a very romantic look over subtle, rich fall colors.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seeing Green

The season is bursting with new sprouts! You can't help but be obsessed with sunlight seen through something green....

Lilacs & Lavender

Pale purple takes over- the color of the sky in spring after rain as the buds sprout.
Look closely, the intricate lampwork beads seem like little cakes decorated with frosting flowers of creamy pastel glass.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Stones of Spring

A breath of spring is in the air...and we jump forward in time this weekend! Leaving less time to bead, but more light nights. The sparkle of sunlight on frozen snow is going, and the bright blue March mornings are coming.

What are the stones of Spring? I think of pale pastels- of colors not quite developed out of winter pales. Rose quartz, with its ice-like veins reminds me of a cold mountain stream flowing under snow. Getting ready to burst free. Looks like the vaguely-tamed wild when combined with Victorian natural brass elements, the pale and the dark, the nebulous and the ornate....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Like you, there's only one of each Alien Beading creation. Even if there are parallel universes, you won't be seeing your piece on someone else. Unless you're nice enough to give it away!