Communication, grounding, pirituality, connection between physical
and spiritual planes. Brings happiness and good fortune to all,
attracts healing spirits, making it a premier healing stone.
Protective stone, guards against violence and accidents, valuable
amulet for travelers. Zodiac signs: Pisces (Fish), Scorpio
(Scorpion), Sagittarius (Archer).
Topaz is a precious stone. Pure topaz is colorless and
transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz
is wine or straw-yellow, pale gray, or pink. They may be made
white, gray, green, blue, pink or reddish-yellow and transparent
or translucent. The name "topaz" is derived from the Greek
TOPASIOS, the author of one of the first systematic
treatises on minerals and gemstones dedicated two chapters on
the topic in 1652. In the Middle Ages the name Topaz was used
to refer to any yellow gemstone.
Topaz may be found with fluorite and cassiterite. It can be
found in the Ural and Ilmen mountains (Russia), Afghanistan,
Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy,
Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Flinders Island and the United
States. Some clear topaz crystals from Brazilian pegmatites can
reach boulder size and weigh hundreds of pounds. Crystals of
this size may be seen in museum collections. The famous
Braganza diamond is in most likelihood a topaz. The topaz of
Aurungzebe, observed by Jean Baptiste Tavernier measured 157.75
carats. Colorless and light-blue varieties of topaz are found
in Mason County, Texas, but there is no commercial mining of
topaz in that area.
Blue topaz is a December birthstone, read about another
December gem, turquoise, in our
last year's December issue.
Blue topaz is the Texas state gemstone, often cut with the Lone
Star cut - the Texas state gemstone cut showing a star in the
heart of the gem. The Texas Natural Science Center exhibits
a 1778 carat blue topaz found in a Brazilian mine. Topaz very
rarely occurs blue naturally. Typically, colorless, gray or pale
yellow material is heat treated and irradiated in order to turn
it blue. There are are several varieties of blue topaz common
to the jewelry industry:
• Sky blue topaz, often simply called "blue topaz", it is
the most common seen in jewelry. Its color is fairly similar to
that of top-quality aquamarine, but without aquamarine's gray
components. Its also available in a wide range of sizes.
• Swiss blue topaz, which has a electric blue appearance.
It has a more saturated color than sky blue topaz.
• London blue topaz, which is a deep steely grayish blue
color. It is the darkest non-coated variety available on the market.
Its name does not imply its origin.
Recently Svetlana Eltsova, a beaded jewelry designer from Finland, has
participated in the Glass Bead Expo 2008 Exhibition ("StekloBiserExpo-2008"),
that took place in Moscow. When she returned home she wrote an article
for our newsletter about that exciting event. We think, it will be interesting
to read how beadart is being developed in Russia today.
Svetlana says, "The fair and exhibition activity is one of the most important
instruments of beadwork promotion in Russia, especially nowadays, when interests
in crafts, folk art and ethnic culture is on the increase not only among the
Russian people seeking their "roots" after the Soviet Union collapsed, but among
other ethnic groups of the former USSR.
Although bead weaving or threaded beadwork in Russia has a long history,
there was time when it almost turned into a forgotten craft in the last century.
The renaissance of the "lost" bead craft in Russia started about ten years ago
partly thanks to
"Wonderful Moments of Beading" magazine
("Chudesnye Mgnoveniya") and the "Fashion Beadwork"
magazine ("Modny Biser"), which have been doing their best to
popularize beadwork in Russia again. A number of wonderful beading books
published over the last ten years also spur interest in that craft. The Internet
united Russian speaking beaders from all over the world into a huge informal virtual
association, it is now much easier to see what fellow beaders are working on,
listen in on the latest buzz, find inspiration for the own upcoming projects and etc..
"New Wave" beadworkers are eager to share the design ideas, participate in
the shows and receive the first invaluable experience of exhibiting. Thanks to
Russian Glass & Glazing Association
("StekloSoyuz") and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation for
holding and supporting, the First International fashion accessories, home decor
and beaded jewelry exhibition fair, Glass Bead Expo 2008
("StekloBiserExpo-2008") took place in Moscow on December 10-12, 2008.
The exhibition was based on the idea to gather bead artists, experienced beaded
jewelry designers and talented beginning jewelry makers, as well, under one roof
within a common exhibition space and provide them all with a unique chance to
share their brilliant ideas with each other, and get an overall view on most recent
trends in beaded jewelry making. More than 45 exhibitors from Russia, near
and far abroad, including Ukraine, Belarus, Greece, Finland and the US
participated in "StekloBiserExpo-2008".
Among the artists who have taken part in the exhibition were such talented
Russian beaded jewelry designers and makers as: Elena
Vilchevskaya, Galina Pchelkina, Natalia Busheva, Olga Makhonova, Galina
Grebenschikova, Elena Barsukova-Graphkina, Alla Maslennikova, Nella
Moskvicheva, Natalia Berezovskaya, Olga Boltenkova, known beaders from
Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Belgorod, Rostov-on-Don and other
places. "StekloBiserExpo-2008" became a really true festival for both visitors
and participants, as they were able to see wearable and non-wearable artworks,
meet the artists working in various techniques, and have long chats. All genres
of bead weaving were on display: beaded paintings, beaded Russian icons and
Easter eggs, beaded trees, flowers, sculptures and toys, and beaded jewelry,
Our guest today is incredibly talented bead artist from Israel
Patrizia Tager (Triz), she was very kind and agreed to answer our
questions. We believe that you'll be glad to know Patrizia and read
her short story on her passion, the name of which is beading!
1. Triz, where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Milan, Italy where I lived till I was twelve. My mother is
French and my father is British, and when I was 12 my family moved
"back" to England. After graduating from college at the age of 22, I
decided to move to warmer climates, as I cannot stand cold and rainy
weather, so I moved to Israel, where the sun shines eleven months of
the year. I'm still in Israel today.
I graduated with a B.A. Hons in Fashion Design from the American
College in London (renamed The American Intercontinental University,
London). I studied photography for two years in Israel and then in my
perpetual quest to find myself, I went on to study Social Policy and
Criminal Justice. I currently work as a desktop publisher for a
medico-legal publishing house as well as working on my own beadwork
and teaching intermediate/advance bead embroidery workshops.
3. When did you start crafting and what was your first craft?
This is so difficult to answer! I've always, as far as I can remember, been
doing one form of craft or another. This is mainly due to the wonderful
nanny, Paola, that looked after my sisters and I when we were little. She
was with us for many years and was incredibly talented and resourceful.
We used to make hand puppets and create the most beautifully decorated
puppet theatres all made out of cardboard boxes. She also taught me to
knit and to crochet and, in fact, introduced me to my early experience with
beadwork by showing me how to make a loom out of a shoe box and
taught me to make loom-woven beaded bracelets. Coming from a
completely artistically-challenged family, she was my artistic angel sent
from above. She encouraged, praised and inspired me.
4. How did you come to beading? What inspired you?
As I mentioned above, I was introduced to beading by our nanny Paola,
however those days were long forgotten once I moved to London and it
wasn't until about 3.5 years ago that I was reintroduced to this wonderful
world of beads. When my son turned one and started attending day-care
a couple of times per week, I found myself desperate to get out of the
house for a few hours and do something creative. The local shopping
center had a beading shop and I went in to enquire about taking some
classes. I took four basic beading classes, where I learnt to make a
beaded ball and a couple of other beginner's projects. I became
completely and utterly hooked with this medium. It was as though I
found myself, finally! The four classes weren't enough, I desperately
wanted more, so I went out and bought every magazine and book I
could find on beadweaving and for a year I spent all of my free time
trying out different techniques. It became my true passion verging on
Today we publish the second and the last part of the Andrea Landau's
article "New Dimensions in Beadwork - An Overview of Bead Sculpture",
the first part you can read in our November's issue. Again, thank you,
dear Andrea, for sharing with us your thoughts of beadwoven and bead
embroidered sculptures, of the creative process - how to make beaded
sculptures! We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Chapter 3. Preparing your Pattern
OK, so you have selected your subject, have him sketched out, have supplies
and are ready to go. Nope! Almost, but not yet. Trace your sketch on tracing
paper, including all of the details, cut it out and attach to poster board. This is
your main template. Below are my initial sketches of my fish, to the left my main
Take a good look at your sketch. We are taking this 3D, so why not extreme
3D? Real-life 3D? Let's do it! I'll show you what I did for that in regard to my
fish, you'll have to evaluate your subject to see what you can do where to make
the whole thing more interesting
As you can see, I broke my sketch down into pieces, and attached the pieces to
poster board for template purposes. The fin is self-explanatory, it was constructed
and later attached, and sticks out like a fin is supposed to. The curved pieces are
gills, and I also decided to add emphasis to the head area so I made a separate
(photo 3). I wanted to raise the gills above the rest of the
beadwork, so I made them separately. I decided I wanted to stuff the head part
even though the entire fish was destined to be stuffed, to add more interest and
dimension to the sculpture.
The only other skills required are necessary for both
beadwoven and embroidered sculptures and have nothing to do with
beads, but with the artist's ability to make their sculpture resemble the
original idea. If making an abstract sculpture, the only limits are those
imposed by the artist. If on the other hand the idea is to produce a lifelike
replica of something, the artist will need to have some basic skills in
sculpture and or drawing... a good rule of thumb is that if you can sketch
something lifelike from more than one angle without having to trace, then
you can produce a lifelike beadwoven sculpture. Those who don't have
drawing skills can opt for a stylized bead sculpture, which affords more
room for personal artistic expression.
The bottom curve of the head next to the gills was
treated (and decorated differently from the rest of the head - with bugle beads) as
another gill, and sits above the rest of the beadwork while the rest of the head is
tacked down. I'll show you my solution for the gills further on. As you can see, you
can easily find elements even in a simple subject that you can play with according
to your creativity to add emphasis to a specific area, or simply to add more interest
to the whole. Once you've singled out which parts you want to treat differently,
take another piece of tracing paper and trace them directly from the template. Cut
them out and attach them to cardboard. Now you're ready to trace your various
pattern pieces onto your felt, and only a breath away from picking up those dang
beads, because I know you're busting a gut by now!
Svetlana Eltsova, 46, born Russian spent her childhood in the deep
Ural country side next to Tyumen town, the main Siberian oil region
center. Her paternal grandmother taught her many crafts including
knitting, crochet and sewing. But she gave up all of them after
finishing school and entering Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg)
Pedagogical Institute. She wanted to know languages, that's why
Svetlana choose the faculty of foreign languages, where she studied
German and English for 5 years. After graduating from the institute
she taught languages to children in the secondary school in Tyumen.
One day her school colleague boasted of beaded Easter eggs made by
The beadwork impressed Svetlana so much, that next day she went to
the book store to buy any beading book and teach herself beading
stitches and techniques. Now her craft background includes all basic
techniques and stitches: peyote, brick stitch, netting, Ndebele
(herringbone) and square stitch. Svetlana is creating off-loom
All her bead pieces are inspired by the beauty of flowers and plants
growing in the area, where she lives. Svetlana says, that each time
she watches a flower or a leaf, she tries to translate those images
in her mind to a beaded piece for her neck or wrists. In her botanical
beaded jewelry collection you can find chamomiles, marigolds, pansies,
lilac, red current berries, snowdrops and snowberries and other local
flora examples, as well.
"Everything started with pansy flowers", Svetlana has confessed. Her
first floral neckpiece "Pansies" was made after Diana Fitzgerald's
tutorial. The necklace was so pretty, that Sveta decided to write a
Thank You letter to D. Fitzgerald and was very happy when the bead
art master answered it. As people say "The ability to give strokes
is a skill". So Diana Fitzgerald was that person, who gave Svetlana
a stroke. Her warm compliments fired a beginning beaded jewelry maker
to create something else.
Svetlana ordered some books to learn more about 3-D flowers, in
particular, "The Trumpet Flower" by Marcia Katz, "Spring Riot" by
Cindy Fleming, "Dimensional Flowers, Leaves & Vines" by Barbara
L.Grainger, "The Beader's Floral" by Liz Thornton and Jill Devon.
While corresponding with B.L.Grainger related to the book order,
Svetlana promised the bead artist to show any necklace, she would
later create after her instructions and tutorials.
Sveta kept her word. She learnt to brick stitch a morning glory
flower and a year later created a "Morning Glory" necklace. The
photo of the neckpiece was sent to Barbara, who replied as follows:
"...Your Morning Glory necklace is just beautiful! I love the
colors you used. It's so wonderful to see how you have taken the
flower and created your own necklace. That was the reason I wrote
the book - so people could take the flowers and leaves create their
own works of art..."
Svetlana also adores floral jewelry made by Karen Paust, Huib
Peterson and Margo Field, as well. Now Svetlana is designing her
own leaves and petals for her dimensional flowers, but each time
she faces problems, she opens the beader's floral books and usually
finds a solution.
In 2007 Svetlana Eltsova joined the Beadworkers Guild (UK) and since
then actively participates in the BWG annual challenges.