September, 2008

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

From Team

It's a pity, but we have already got Summer behind us, Golden Fall is coming. Read in our September issue:

Contact us with any questions at
Best regards, Team

Stone of September: LAPIS LAZULI

Stone of September:

Stone for acquiring wisdom, esoteric knowledge. Connection between the physical and celestial. Awareness, attunement, intuition and psychic ability. Stone of protection. Zodiac signs: Sagittarius (Archer).

More Info

Multicolor sapphire

September birthday stones are lapis lazuli and sapphire. In our September, 2007 issue you could read on beautiful blue lapis lazuli. Sapphire is one of the four precious stones and one of the gem varieties of the species corundum. Blue is considered the normal color for sapphire, but it is found in the full range of spectral colors as well as brown, colorless, gray and black (fancy color sapphire). Fully saturated red is known as ruby, and pinkish-orange is called padparadscha. Salmon-color padparadscha sapphires often fetch higher prices than many of even the finest blue sapphires. The word "padparadscha" is Sinhalese for "lotus flower". The English word "sapphire" derives from the Hebrew SAPIR (via Greek SAPPHIROS), but this is extremely disputed. Sapphires were actually not known before the Roman Empire (and were initially considered to be forms of jacinth, rather than deserving of a word to themselves), and prior to that time sapphiros referred to blue gems in general.

The cost of sapphire gems varies depending on their color, clarity, size, cut, and overall quality. As of 2000, the cost of 1 carat (0.2 g) of a typical uncut, gem quality sapphire was about $1,600. Significant sapphire deposits are found in Eastern Australia, Southeast Asia, and Sri Lanka. Sapphire and rubies are often found together in the same area, but one gem is usually more abundant. The finest sapphires are mined in the disputed territory of Kashmir, as well as Myanmar, Madagascar, and Sri Lanka. Both the Logan sapphire and the Star of Bombay originate from Sri Lankan mines.

Sapphires are also mined in Australia, Thailand, and China. Madagascar leads the world in sapphire production (as of 2007) specifically in and around the city of Ilakaka. Prior to Ilakaka, Australia was the largest producer of sapphires (as of 1987). Ilakaka is prone to violence, but sapphires are found everywhere including on the ground and in the river mud. Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Tanzania, and Kenya also produce sapphires, and less commercially-significant deposits are found in many other countries. The US state of Montana has produced sapphires from both the El Dorado Bar and Spokane Bar deposit near Helena. well known for their intense, pure blue color, Yogo sapphires are found in Yogo Gulch, near Utica, Montana. Gem grade sapphires and rubies are also found in and around Franklin, North Carolina, USA. Several mines are open to the public.

Sapphire facts

1. The 422.99-carat Logan sapphire, National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC It is one of the largest faceted gem-quality blue sapphires in the world.

2. The 182 carat (36.4 g) Star of Bombay, housed in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, is a good example of a blue star sapphire.

3. The theft of a sapphire known as the "Blue Water" is central to the plot of the novel Beau Geste by P.C.Wren and its various film adaptations.

Celebrating Beads, the journey of...

Celebrating Beads, the journey of... 1st Annual International Juried Jewelry Design Competition is over, bead artists from over 14 countries and 33 states participated in the contest. The culmination of the competition was The Passion for Beads Gala held at the Naval Heritage Memorial Center in Washington, DC on Saturday, September 20th, 2008. It was really exciting event, where the contest winners were announced, and the World Premier of Diana Friedberg's final documentary in her award winning series World on a String, Part V: A Passion for Beads took place. This documentary features bead makers and jewelry designers from around the world and was the perfect touch for that evening Celebrating Beads and the designers who make and use them. There were a guest artist Rafael Matias from the documentary at the event, as well as four of contest jurors, editors from two national beading magazines, and contest participants.

The list of all winners is here.

And in all, we are glad to tell you, that Zoya Gutina's beadwork Mid Summer Night's Dream won First Place in seed bead category and now will be exhibited for at least two month at the Celebrating Beads, the journey of... Exhibition in the Bead Museum in Washington, DC. The museum address is:

The Bead Museum
The Jenifer Building
400 Seventh St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20004

Featured artist

Bead artist Jama Watts

Jama Watts was born, raised and currently lives in Kentucky. She was introduced to art as most kids, in elementary school. "Getting to go to the art room in elementary school was always something special for me," Jama said. "I loved getting my hands dirty with clay, painting and drawing. But, since my dad was an engineer and I was good at math, I always thought I'd be an architect."

Watts took mostly construction, drafting and other classes in middle and high school, but during the summer of 1992 she began to focus on drama and the arts, and later Jama decided to study art in college. After graduating from college Jama has spent a few years working in jobs that had nothing to do with the arts. In 200 Jama had a life-changing moment: needing a creative outlet, she began stringing beads and making rosaries to pass time. She is a self-taught beader, learning through books, magazines and experience.

Shortly after her daughter, Amber, was born, Jama left her office job and opened a small art gallery and coffee bar in Lebanon. The gallery, These Precious Things, represents 30 central Kentucky artists, allowing Jama to spend "down time" making jewelry at her desk.

The ideas for her pieces come from a variety of sources. She has a slight addiction to beading magazines and books but most of her inspiration comes from a background in painting, sculpture and nature. She loves color and texture, which shows in her jewelry. Jama often begins a piece as a way to examine a new stitch or color palette then lets the piece tell her where it wants to go. Her favorite work is in freeform beading as she feels it allows her to express herself more freely.

Jama has come to think of her pieces as "wearable art" rather than "just jewelry," which she feels allows her greater creativity when designing and working on her pieces. Watts' work is also a reflection of what she's into or going through at the moment she makes the piece. Music, emotions and paintings are starting points for many pieces, as is the desire to test out a new stitch.

"I'm very ADD when it comes to my craft, learning new techniques constantly and playing with the results," she said. "I guess you could call it contemporary tradition! I do everything from pieces that look vintage to incorporating computer and watch parts into my pieces."

Watts has ventured into cold-connected metal work, wire wrapping and silver clay but always returns to the beads, elaborating on traditional designs and creating her own. Her work has been featured in many national and local magazines, media and Internet outlets. She also filmed a segment for HGTV's "That's Clever!" which is tentatively scheduled to air in February 2009. Jama is a winner of several awards for her pieces over the last few years, she is an active member of beading and art associations. She also enjoys teaching jewelry-making classes at the local community education center. Jama's work can be found in her own gallery These Precious Things in Lebanon, KY, as well as in several retail outlets throughout Kentucky.

An article by Jama Watts
Beaded jewelry by Jama Watts
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Slave (trade) beads

Slave (trade) beads

Slave (trade) beads are decorative glass beads used between the 16th and 20th century as a currency to exchange for goods, services and slaves (hence the name). Made to ease the passage of European explorers and then traders mainly across the African continents, the beads were made throughout Europe although the Venetians dominated production.

Trade beads are also found in the United States and Canada, and throughout Latin America. The production of slave (trade) beads became so popular that literally tons of these beads were used for this purpose. Beads were used as ballast in slave/trade ships for the outbound trip. The beads and other trade items were exchanged for human cargo as well as ivory, gold and other goods desired in Europe and around the world. The beads traded were not of a set design, but were produced according to demand. Millefiori (thousand flower) beads from Venice, Italy were one of the most commonly traded beads. Beads such as the kiffa beads of Mauritania are thought to have resulted from women creating powdered glass beads to mimic the appearance of millefiori beads.

The success of this form of currency can largely be attributed to the high intrinsic value African people put upon decorative items. Africans often used beads for currency, (often referred to as African money) and wealth storage, and social status could be easily determined by the quality, quantity and style of jewelry worn. This created a high demand for trade beads in Africa.

Geometric bracelets

Jewelry artist Galina Kolmogorova

Being creative seems to run in Galina Kolmogorova's family - her mother says that she takes after her grandmother with crafting. She has been knitting and cross-stitching since she was a child and began making jewelry after removing beads from a sweater she'd knitted. When she did not like the beads on the sweater, she found an Internet pattern for a necklace and began her new craft. Although she never believed she could create her own designs and has just begun to sell her jewelry, her relatives and friends are often found showcasing her work.

Galina was always good at math, geometry and drawing and combined with her interest in ancient Greek architecture those skill became the foundation for her classical designs. She now carried a pencil and paper with her everywhere so that she can draw designs and patterns from the things around her that inspire her.

Born in Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East, Galina grew up in Leningrad. She moved to sunny Greece with her husband and now lives in Saloniki with her children, Janis and Tatiana.

Geometric bracelets by Galina Kolmogorova

Upcoming events

13th Annual Art on the Avenue Festival 13th Annual Art on the Avenue Festival

Saturday, October 4, 2008 10 am - 6 pm
Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA

13th Annual Multi-Cultural Arts, Crafts & Music Festival, Art on the Avenue celebrates community diversity though the arts in the Potomac West area of Alexandria, Virginia.

Celebrating Beads, the journey of... Exhibition

October - December, 2008
The Bead Museum
The Jenifer Building
400 Seventh St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20004

The exhibit features pieces made by the winning artists from the Bead Museum's 1st Annual International Juried Jewelry Design Competition Celebrating Beads, the journey of...

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