We all deserve a little break, let’s take a trip around the world!
No need to lace up your shoes or put on your coat, only your minds will be wandering this time.
We acknowledge that there are an overwhelming amount of beads to choose from, so we limited this trip to some specific beads that we carry in our shop. We hope you have fun learning facts and challenge you to look into the origins & the stories surrounding your next beaded project.
British Columbia (BC) is the largest producer of nephrite jade in the world.
These diamonds are double-terminated quartz crystals found in and around Herkimer County, New York and the Mohawk River Valley. They are close to five hundred million years old. The crystals are found in rock and are naturally faceted, each having eighteen facets and 2 points.
Amazonite is named for the Amazon River in Brazil, where the stones are thought to have been originally found, however they are not currently sourced from that particular region.
There is a specific technique that dates to the old Ashanti Kingdom (18th-19th century) called “lost wax.” Each bead is created in a mold made of bee’s wax and then covered in clay. It is then heated and cooled, which tends to cause some breaks in the material, making each bead unique.
KAZURI BEADS, KENYA
MALI CLAY WHORL BEADS
“…made from the charcoal black clay found in abundance in the hills around Mopti and Kati. Once collected, the clay is broken down…into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle, then sieved several times to rid the mixture of larger pieces that cannot be broken down. It’s not uncommon for pieces of old and broken clay pots to be ground in with the mixture to improve its overall strength. Once the powder has been prepared, it is mixed with equal parts water, oil and Gum Arabic to create a thick, malleable mixture that can be further shaped and refined by hand. beads are individually shaped by hand, then pierced…” –westafricanbeads.com
Millefiori, are also called mosaic beads.
Millefiori comes from two Italian words, ‘mille’ (meaning one thousand) and ‘fiori’ (meaning flower). The technique of making millefiori beads has not changed over the years and all beads are still made by hand.
In the 3rd century BCE, Celtic craftsmen began to produce glass beads in Bohemia, now known as the Czech Republic. These beads were of great value for trade and personal ornamentation.
“…dried seeds of a tree, which grows in select locations of South East Asia, botanically known as Elaeocarpus Ganitrus. It is also called ‘Tears of Shiva’ and there are many legends connected to Lord Shiva that describe its origin. The word Rudraksha comes from ‘Rudra’ (name of Shiva) and ‘Aksha’ meaning tears.” –more info here.
HILL TRIBE SILVER (HTS)
HTS from Thailand is considered fine silver, which is the trade term of 99.9% pure silver. Fine silver does not tarnish like sterling silver and lower grade silver alloys do (sterling silver is an alloy containing only 92.5%).
Come out and browse the HTS trunk show we are hosting Sept. 29th through Oct. 3rd, 2021!
MIYUKI SEED BEADS
Miyuki was founded in Hiroshima, Japan, in mid-1300’s. It Quickly became a renowned glass seed bead manufacturer. Since then, they have continued to strive for increased quality and improved artistry through innovation and state of the art technology.
ABALONE, NEW ZEALAND
Hope you’ve enjoyed the trip!