The bead adventure

Decided to show the bead necklaces I make…I just enjoy stringing together interesting beads and wearing them. It’s often not a permanent arrangement, as things are very easily re-strung according to whim. But it’s a very relaxing pastime and quite meditative….except when the difficult bit of finishing up the findings has to happen. That can become a little stressful, but there’s always the delight at admiring the complete necklace, and then wearing it. Happily, I have a really large collection that’s been gathered  over 20 years. Occasionally I get a “bead purchasing frenzy” and am compelled to buy a few more. But I certainly have more now than I’ll ever need. I’ll post up the pic of my favourite beads today. They are 4 Cornaline d’Aleppo beads strung simply with a few cheap beads between. I have a few collectables but most are just glass from various places. The four deep red beads were made probably around 1820 in Venice and were trade beads either in Africa (trading for ivory) or in the Hudson Bay area (traded for beaver pelts, mostly)….6 Cornaline d’Aleppos could buy a beaver skin. These beads are also called Carnelian white hearts, as they were thought to look like red carnelian. They’re made by the process of forming a white /yellow or ivory coloured base, and then winding the translucent deep red glass around the light coloured core. The deepest reds were favoured by Venetians and were highly prized. The red glass made around or just after 1817 had some gold in it, but later beads used selenium when gold became prohibitive in price. Because of where they were traded, they were often called Hudson Bay Trade beads. Some arrived with Russians across the Bering straits and came to Hudson Bay in that manner, but the majority came with the English. Many beads made in Venice from the 1400’s on were used as trade beads. The business was massive….hundreds of tons of trade beads were produced over a 500 year period. The oldest bead of my four is the one on the left; it’s probably around 200 years old, as it has a yellow centre. Later ones tended to have white centres. Here’s the pics.

Let me know what you think.

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