Theres something exciting about creating jewelry. As an interior designer dabbling in jewelry making, it kind of feels like gardening – very therapeutic. The coolest feeling is being able to create a piece of jewelry for someone that hopefully becomes an heirloom for them later in their lives.
But as an artist, there’s also something intrinsically beautiful about creating something without having to excel in the craft. I get to select beads for sheer pleasure and connect the dots at my whim. The notion that beauty is a bi-product of hard work can be erased.
Meet the Artist I conjured up for my nurturing, virtual Artist Studios and Garden, “I am Good Enough” – which lives forever in the Obsidian Virtual Concept Home.
I haven’t given her a name nor does she have a look; but this is a hard working artist can learn about herself through the stories and wisdom of jewelry. She collects Stones and Beads, because they hold much power from forgotten cultures. (Read my blog on “Behind” The Obsidian Virtual Concept Home for the backstory).
However, Beads and crystals have been used as body adornment, and have been connected to religion, tribes, and social status. Not only were beads used as currency, but beads and crystals continue to be used as recipes for health, healing, and protection.
They are also known to be metaphysical . It is said from some stone owners, that their energy can get passed down to those who hold them generations, later. Beads and Stones have mounds of stories that help this artist gain an in-depth knowledge of her past, and a clearer understanding how she wants to form her future. And in this virtual world of hers, she can make jewelry as a therapeutic process, and lose track of time; working on passion projects that give her a piece of her life back that she didn’t notice was missing. But, also she can create jewelry as her own legacy to pass down to those who follow after her.
African beads dated back over 12,000 years. Cowrie and bone beads were thought to be used for trading as currency.
Then towards the 12th century, glass beads became popular, and dominated the African, Egyptian, and European cultures.
Glass beads have been found in Egyptian tombs buried with Pharaohs. They were woven into opulent headdresses and robes worn by nobility. Then, made their way to Portugal during the 4th Century at the start of Africa’s trading era.
In Africa, glass beads were used mostly for healing rituals, and ceremonies.
In the 14th and 15th Century, African Glass beads became a South African trade currency with explorers for oils, fur, and spices with helped the African economy.
Africa’s “Golden Trade Era” (1700-1920) used Millefiori Beads that were popular with African Tribal Chiefs.
Then, Chevron beads were added with Millefiori beads during the slave trading periods.
So, Beads can be used as visual storytellers as well as supporting emotional well being; especially now when the world is full of raw emotions without much mental health support. Picking up a hobby may just be what the doctor ordered. this artist chose jewelry making.
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