Just Where Does Our Love of Beads Originate?

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Women come naturally by their love for beads. They inherit it from their “great-great-twenty- seven-times-great-grandmother” — as the fairy tale says.

Close to the first rude implements for household work explorers find bits of shell, turquoise, amber, or lapis lazuli, pierced for stringing; rough and asymmetrical to be sure, but unmistakably beads. Each generation since the time of that very great-grandmother has had the taste for bead work in a greater or lesser degree, and with the different peoples it has shown itself differently.

With some it has been gorgeous and barbaric; others have wrought with exquisite fineness. Many have only seen in it a personal ornament; while others, like our North American Indian, have used it to beautify alike their household utensils and articles for ceremonial usage. Studying Indian handicrafts, we cannot but recognize the decorative possibilities of bead work.

The present interest in bead work undoubtedly sprang from our enthusiasm for Indian handicrafts. From admiring and wishing to possess baskets wrought with beads, and woven bead belts and chains, it was a natural and easy step to copying them. Whether the special branch of bead work one wishes to do is stringing, weaving, knitting, or sewing, the beads are, of course, the first consideration.

Wampum, the genuine Indian bead, is beautiful and costly. The wampum used by eastern tribes is long and cylindrical; in color ivory-white, black, or purple. Western wampum, shaped like tiny millstones, was generally made of clam-shells ground and drilled by hand. “The aboriginal tool for drilling, called dawihai (from da win, to bore, and hai, a stick), was a straight shaft of wood two feet long and half an inch in diameter at the middle. This the kneeling Indian twirled between the palms of his hands. The drill-point was of jasper or flint and fastened to the shaft by a lashing of hemp coated with pitch. Its origin is beyond tradition.

Sometimes the Indians fashioned beads of rainbow-colored abalone shells from the Pacific. The beautiful feather baskets of the Pomos are occasionally enriched by decorations of these beads. Again, in strings of white western wampum one finds a bead of wonderful sky-blue — an exquisite contrast; it is turquoise. These beads, however, are for a fortunate few. Those most of us must be content to possess are the Venetian glass beads, sometimes mistakenly spoken of as Indian, but which are only Indian because they are used by them.

In conclusion of “just where do our love for beads originate,” why, it is from the Indians of course, where else could it possibly be. Much, much we have all received from the Indians, and a love for beads is surely one of those things.

Reference Used: Copyright 1904 by Doubleday, Page and Company Published May 1904 (in public domain due to expiration of copyright)

White, Mary. How to Do Beadwork Complete with 100 Illustrations (Kindle Location 38). . Kindle Edition.

Re-Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

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All for The Love of Beads

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Beads are found all over the world. Many different cultures believe in prayer beads. Some people believe the use of beads helps them to recite their prayers. What about “worry beads?” Middle East businessmen have been known to wear a tasseled strand of 33 beads they call “worry beads,” to help them make decisions. As for me, it would take much more than a necklace of 33 beads to help me make decisions. One never knows though until you try. Maybe I should put together a tassel strand of 33 beads the next time I am up against decision making.

During the Middle Ages, Europeans made beads primarily for religious purposes. In some regions there were laws against wearing any kind of jewelry except prayer beads, the rosary. Many other great bead traditions emerged. Beads have been found in much of our excavations. Historians study the finds to learn about ancestors. Some of the things they have learned from the study of beads found are:

trade route facts
technological advances of materials and manufacturing methods
evolving fashions and habits of generations before us

Beads continue to increase in popularity and value. People have become more and more fascinated by the history of beads as well as their significance to different cultures. Beads of all kinds is full of a rich history many people find fascinating as they work with them and create more and more designs. Innovation in bead designs is ongoing daily.

It is interesting to note Turkish eye beads found all over Turkey were and probably still are used to ward off the “evil eye.” Who is the evil eye? I would say it is the devil in my personal culture. As bead artisans learn more about beads and bead jewelry making we also pick up little tidbits along the way regarding how they have been used, and why they have been used or worn. Once we become fired up with enthusiasm about beads, the creative process of making bead jewelry kicks in as well. My first love was for the beads themselves, and not the actual finished jewelry products.

I know it must be exciting to travel the world, visit their local markets and hunt for beads. Africa, Eastern Europe, India, the Middle East, the Far East are all interesting locations for bead hunters, I am sure, as well as unique bead jewelry making traditions. It would take some time to learn differences in what is real and what is fake.

Glass was the most common material used to make beads during the Neolithic era of time in Europe and the Middle East. The Middle East is part of the“exotic lands.” They also had beads of amber, gold and semiprecious stones. I really think a lot of us just by human nature crave that which is novel to us.

Germany is known for their wooden toys. Germany’s wooden beads follow right along after their tradition of making wooden toys.

As for now, I truly am not interested in making beads. I think there is enough to discover already made without creating more. Beads have such a rich and fascinating history it is hard to just skip over to putting them together as jewelry pieces without knowing a little bit about where it all began. For the love of beads, a jewelry artisan most likely emerges.

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Carmilita’s Elegant Collection Kambara Jasper Semiprecious Rounds Dangle Earrings: “Jasmine”

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Jasmine is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Elegant Collection. She dangles from the hook about one inch. Her focal point is the Kambara Jasper 12 mm Semiprecious Round beads.

Materials used:

2 gold plated 11×15 mm leverback earring hooks

2 gold plated head pins

2 antique gold plated 3 x 8 mm fancy bead caps

2 antique gold plated 4 x 10 mm Scroll-Work Bead Caps

2 antique gold plated 3 x 4 mm thick Rondelle Metal Beads

2 Caribbean 8 x 5 mm Glass Crystal Rondelles

2 Kambara Jasper 12 mm Semiprecious Rounds

Jasmine’s Price is $15 (includes shipping)

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Bead Dangle Earring Jewelry Making Technique Part 1: The Open Loop

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What is an open loop bead dangle? The open loop bead dangle is one jewelry making technique for making eye loops in the end of a wire jewelry component. This technique is used most often for making bead dangles to hang beads from earrings or necklaces. It is an acceptable technique to use when making lightweight earrings. For earrings having significant weight the “wrapped loop” technique is better and stronger to be able to hold greater weight.  However, for lightweight dangle earrings, the open loop works very well. Most of the earrings I am creating now are lightweight and are made using the open eye loop. In fact, I use the one step looper tool which works excellent in making consistently nice open loops.

In the photograph you can see an open loop.

To make the open loop without using the one step looper tool, you will need either about 4 inches of jewelry wire or an eye pin or head pin. The photograph here is actually the top of an eye pin. Eye pins always have the open loop at the end. You can open the loop with round nose pliers to start the beading process or to hang whatever you choose on your earrings, then close the loop back using the pliers. I use head pins for most of my earring designs. A headpin usually has a “stopper” at the end to keep the beads from falling off at least one end. This stopper point is either flat or on some head pins it is round.

You will also need round nose pliers, bent chain nose pliers and cutting pliers to make open loops on wire or head pins, that is, if you do not use the one step looper tool.

Step 1: Add your chosen beads to the head pin or wire.

Step 2: Grasp the wire or headpin immediately above your last bead u sing the bent chain nose pliers. To minimize the amount of wire or head pin above your last bead, grasp the wire or head pin right at the last bead using the tip of bent chain nose pliers. The technique is easier when you use 1/2 hard wire and even easier using the one step looper tool.

Step 3: Push the wire over 90 degrees with your thumb as close to the pliers as possible making a nice crisp bend. You do not want a “rounded” bend, and again, if you want perfect open loops every time, invest in the one step looper tool. This tool will save you a lot of headaches especially if you are making a lot of open loop earrings designs or you are a novice.

Step 4: Re-orientate the wire in your pliers to complete the loop and push the wire until you have completed a nice loop as shown in the eye pin photograph. Best loops are not exactly circle size, but a little like oval size.

Step 5: Inspect the loop to be sure it is centered. If the loop is off center, use your pliers to insert the loop fully and twist it one way or the other until the loop is centered over the vertical wire or head pin. The open loop forms a connecting point for earring hooks. You can either leave the open loop a little open or open up the loop on your earring hook. I usually just leave the open loop a little open and then close the loop after placing an earring hook.

Step 6: If you are using wire, you will now need to cut the excess wire using your cutting pliers. Place the flat side of wire cutter toward the finished wire component and cut excess wire at the point where it overlaps the beginning of the loop. If you are using a one step looper tool, the tool will cut the wire at the precise point needed while making your perfect size loop all in one step.

Step 7: After you have cut off the excess wire, you will need to close the loop with bent nose pliers. Simply grasp the loop and twist it closed.

Creating loops is actually the very first and most basic technique you will need to learn when making dangle earrings.

Written by: Connie Limon

Meet Joy:

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Joy is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Christmas Collection. She dangles about one inch from hook. She is appropriate for gift giving. She is also appropriate for wearing to any kind of Holiday celebration.

Materials used:

2 antique copper head pins

 

2 antique copper French earring hooks

3 antique copper 3 mm bead caps

2 red glass crackle beads 6 mm

2 milky white faceted glass bead

I chose to call these earrings “Joy” because of the joy people usually feel during the Christmas holidays. Joy is a popular name for girls born around Christmas time.
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Carmilita’s Romantic Collection Red Carnelian Semiprecious Stones Dangle Earrings: “Bonita”

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Bonita is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Romantic Collection. She dangles a little over one inch from the hook.

Materials used:

2 antique silver plated 11×15 mm leverback earring hooks

2 antique silver plated head pins

2 antique silver plated 3 x 9 mm decorative bead caps

2 antique silver plated 4 x 10 mm scroll-work bead caps

2 antique silver- plated 3 x 4 mm thick rondelle metal beads

2 red topaz 8 x 5 mm glass crystal rondelles

2 red Carnelian 12 mm semiprecious rounds

Bonita’s Price is $15 (includes shipping)

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Advantages of Costume Jewelry Over More Traditional Jewelry

Have you thought of costume jewelry as a collection say in the same way more expensive jewelry becomes collections to those who can afford it? Costume jewelry collections is certainly a less expensive alternative with styles, designs and colors to match every outfit in your closet as well as your personality all without breaking your bank account. Costume jewelry is widely available in almost every material known to mankind, which means none of have to do without just because we are not part of the rich and famous crowds of people. Sterling silver, wood, metals, resin plastics, glass just to name a few types of materials available to us today for creating our costume jewelry designs is widely available leaving it all up to just whatever each of us can imagine and create from it all. The use of sparkling “colored” gem stones helps create a pleasing to the eyes and senses sensation giving way to an appreciation of beauty jewelry artists around the world can all relate to as well as those who purchase our handmade pieces of works of art.

At one time costume jewelry was considered “junk jewelry,” but this is not the case anymore as more and more people become obsessed with the beauty of costume jewelry art. It is now being seen more as artistic, tasteful and in good taste. The price of costume jewelry depends upon the cost of materials, but also, the appearance of each piece plays a huge part of pricing costume jewelry. The huge advantage of having more costume jewelry (a particular piece, color, shape or style for every outfit in your closet) as compared to traditional more expensive pieces of jewelry seems to be more and more the trend for many people unable to afford the high prices of traditional jewelry. We are also seeing costume jewelry, especially that made by hand artisans, is much more unique as well. It is much less likely you will show up wearing the same pair of earrings that anyone else in the crowd is wearing to any given event, whether it be in the office, the company picnics, or evening life. It is difficult to buy expensive jewelry as often as a person buys new clothes, and much more economical to purchase unique handmade costume jewelry instead. You don’t have to worry so much about loosing a $1,000 earring out of your ear while on the dance floor as you would a $15 pair instead. For many people more expensive traditional jewelry is just not a sensible or practical choice. Affordable handmade costume or fashion jewelry assures you have jewelry for every outfit and every occasion. Costume or fashion jewelry definitely reflects the wearer’s personality without checks bouncing from your bank account. I also love to find FREE shipping incentives. Don’t you just hate to pay for your earrings and then find that you have to pay an additional $5 or more just to have them delivered to your door. At Carmilita’s Handmade Jewelry, I offer FREE shipping for every purchase. Your shipping costs is within the total price you pay. There is no add-on shipping fee at the end of your check out that perhaps you never figured when you decided to purchase. I decied to offer free shipping because of my own shopping experiences. I would find a pair of earrings for $5 to $7 and then find at the check out I had to pay $6.99 just to have them delivered to me. After seeing the shipping charge, I often abandoned the choice.

Although many people still “bark” about costume jewelry being fake or imitation jewelry, it is in higher demand now in the year 2014 than ever before. With so many people out of work and the prices of everything that sustains our survival keep going up, people are just accepting there is beautiful pieces of jewelry that does not come with an expensive price tag and oftentimes is even more beautiful than the more expensive traditional jewelry. Costume or fashion jewelry definitely is also a “collector’s item.” Of course higher priced traditional jewelry still has its own buyers, costume or fashion jewelry is in demand. It is affordable, there is a wide range of styles, designs, colors, and flexibility which makes it now much more sought after than days gone by.

And there are many mass producing costume jewelry manufacturers, but why purchase a piece of jewelry “everybody else” is most likely to have the same of when you can purchase from hand jewelry artists and receive pieces that are most often just one of a kind?

As collections, handmade costume jewelry is a great choice. Most of us “collect” something we display on our desks at work or keep hidden away in orginal packaging in our closets. People spend hours upon top of hours researching, digging, looking and finding things to collect in every nook and corner imagainable. From designer bags, comic books, shoes to handmade costume jewelry, each of us have a space reserved for collecting “something.” Handmade costume jewelry is a great choice for the collector.

 

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Materials used:

2 silver plated French earring hooks

2 silver plated headpins

2 silver plated 4mm bicone metal beads

2 pink 8×5 mm glass crystal rondelles

2 pink crazy lace agate 20 mm semiprecious puff coins

Robin’s Price is $15 (includes shipping fees)

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Carmilita’s Christmas Collection Red and White Dangle Earrings: “Joy”

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Joy is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Christmas Collection. She dangles about one inch from hook. She is appropriate for gift giving. She is also appropriate for wearing to any kind of Holiday celebration.

Materials used:

2 antique copper head pins

2 antique copper French earring hooks

3 antique copper 3 mm bead caps

2 red glass crackle beads 6 mm

2 milky white faceted glass bead

I chose to call these earrings “Joy” because of the joy people usually feel during the Christmas holidays. Joy is a popular name for girls born around Christmas time.

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Joy’s Price is $10 (includes shipping)
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