Thursday, February 14, 2008

Creating Wearable Art

Part 2...What have I been doing?
(African Trade Beads)

This January and February I have had the most fun creating jewelry for customers of mine. The big shows are over, there's kind of a lull before the next batch of shows, and it's the perfect time to fix, recreate, or redesign jewelry.

It's all about the hunt; the quest. Finding the right beads to create an individual piece of jewelry.

A customer of mine is a delightful woman from Ghana who has some fabulous African Trade Beads that she has collected over the years as gifts or on her journey back to home. It has been a joy to research the beads and create something unique that is faithful to the bead and her heritage. What is so wonderful about these beads is that they are made by women in small villages and a means of earning income for their families. The beads are imperfect, very rustic.
and wonderully earthy. No two beads are exactly alike.

I've been doing a lot of research about prayer beads and malas. There has been a renewed interest in both and helped along by the best selling book Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth Gilbert aligns the sections of her book and the chapters with the Sanskrit japa mala or prayer beads of 108 beads. I've had some customers ask if I could make necklaces or bracelets that would help them meditate, contemplate, or focus on prayer.

Japa Mala Prayer Beads

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