Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Waterhole Dreaming necklace: AJE Component of the Month

Art Jewelry Elements is one of my favourite beady blogs, with a focus on beautiful handmade beads, pendants and other components. Last month, I was fortunate enough to be picked to receive one of Rebekah Payne‘s speckle beads for the AJE December Component of the Month giveaway. The beads immediately reminded me of the dot paintings created by the Aboriginal people of central Australia. Inspired by these paintings, I requested one of the beads in the brown/white/reddish-orange colourway, as these are the colours typically used. I forgot to take a photo of the bead prior to using it, but here is a (slightly blurry) closeup.
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Dot paintings, like other Aboriginal art forms, generally tell a story about events in the Dreamtime—the mythical time of the ancestors and the events that shaped the landscape. The dots form symbols representing places or events, which together tell a story about a journey or an important event. I looked for some dot paintings that I could use in this blog post, but try as I might, I couldn’t find any suitable examples in the public domain. This site and this site both have some good examples of Aboriginal art as well as explanations of the iconography if you’d like to see some good examples and read more about it.

Anyway, a pattern of dots in concentric circles typically represents a meeting place, a campfire or a waterhole, which inspired the name of the necklace I designed using Rebekah’s speckle bead. After much contemplation of my bead stash, I dug into my small collection of Krobo beads from Ghana, which had both the colours and the patterns to complement the focal bead. I also found some small Indonesian recycled glass beads in reddish-orange and white, which my parents brought me back from a trip to Bali a couple of years ago. In keeping with the organic feel of the beads I knotted them on chocolate brown waxed linen, and finished with a small plain brass toggle clasp.

Waterhole necklace Collage

Thank you Rebekah for the opportunity to work with one of these lovely beads, it’s been a fun challenge! I’m looking forward to seeing what the other participants come up with. Take some time to visit the other blogs to see what they have made:

Guest Designers:
Ann – Bead Love
Melissa – Bead Recipes <– you are here
AJE Team:
Kristen – My Bead Journey
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Beads

A gift for Lill

Last year I received a gift from an old friend of my parents. Lill, a textile artist, went to Ghana as part of an artists’ tour, and she brought me back some wonderful Krobo glass trade beads, recycled glass beads and brass. I’ll be writing more about these soon, but in the mean time, here’s a picture.

Krobo beads collage

In thanks I made Lill a necklace. It’s a very late thank you, as I dithered over what beads to use—Lill wears colourful and chunky jewellery. In the end I chose a pendant that I received in a Bead Swap-USA exchange. It’s a fabulous and unique pendant from US artist Meg Hannan, who uses fabric to create pendants in a millefiori style that she calls Fabric Jewels. Here’s a close up of the pendant. Gorgeous, huh??

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I strung it with a selection of glass beads including Czech glass and cultured sea glass in colours I pulled from the pendant.

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My parents gave it to her a couple of weeks ago when they visited her. I’m glad you love it Lill!