Happy Springtime, our dear friends! Read in April's issue of
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Clear quartz is the universal stone. Everyone
should have one! It is a pure and powerful energy
source. It receives, activates, stores, transmits,
and amplifies energy. Stimulates brain functions
and activates all levels of consciousness. Excellent
for meditation. Brings harmony to the soul. Zodiac
signs: all of them.
Clear quartz - fossilized ice?
April gemstone clear quartz (clear rock crystal) has been
used throughout the centuries to divine the future and commune
with spirits. Nearly every ancient culture has revered clear
quartz. The ancients believed clear quartz was actually water
from the heavens that was frozen into eternal ice by the gods.
Even as late as the 1700's many Europeans believed clear quartz
was fossilized ice. There are a lot of legends connected to
clear quartz to list all of them, but below is a few.
The Australian sky god, Daramulun, was long portrayed through
art and sculpture as having a mouth full of clear quartz, a
huge phallus, and carrying a stone axe.
In Australian Aboriginal mythology, clear quartz is the most
common substance identified with their mystical substance
called "maban". Maban is said to be the material from which
wise men (called "karadjis") obtain their magical powers.
During initiation ceremonies, maban is spiritually "inserted"
into the body of the apprentice by the karadji.
The Aborigines and certain Native American tribes believed
rituals with clear quartz crystals could bring rain. Clear
quartz has also had a large part in ritual initiations of
Oceanic and Australian shamans, they spoke of clear quartz as
"a stone of light broken off from the celestial throne".
The Chinese decorated the entry ways to religious temples with
rock crystal to allow the light to shine in. The Japanese revered
rock crystal as the crystallized breath of the White Dragon
(dragons represent powers of creation). As such, clear quartz
was regarded as the perfect jewel and came to symbolize perfection
or the pursuit thereof. Clear quartz graced their temples and was
also found throughout the temples of the ancient Mayans, Aztecs,
and many other earlier civilizations situated around the globe.
An Aztec solid rock crystal skull weighing 475 troy ounces, resides
in the British Museum in London.
Ancient Celtic practices, said to restore and maintain health,
was to place nine small clear quartz crystals in water, boil it,
cool it, and then drink the enhanced water for nine consecutive
days. Clear quartz polished into spheres has long been used as
crystal balls for divination purposes. It has been labeled the
"Universal Crystal" due to its diversity and abundance of intense
Bead Dreams 2009 finalist!
We're glad to inform you, that
Zoya Gutina's Christmas Eve necklace is accepted for the
Bead Dreams 2009 final and will be exhibited at the
Bead & Button Show that will take place on May 31 - June 7,
Midwest Airlines Center, Milwaukee, WI.
This year in addition to the Bead Dreams and Convergence
exhibition there will be two displays from Japan.
The first one is an exhibit of 10-to-15 top award-winning
pieces from the beadwork and jewelry contest held at the
Hakone Open-Air Museum. The exhibit will
include pieces that have won Awards of Encouragement.
TOHO Beads and TOHO distributors are exhibiting
a portion of the "Treasures of TOHO Emerging Artist
Competition." The contest aims to cultivate new artists who
produce artistic designs using TOHO beads. This is the first
time a portion of the "Treasures of TOHO" will be showcased
at the Bead & Button Show.
Don't miss Bead & Button Show, the largest jewelry and bead
show in the world!
Interview with jewelry artist Beverly Ash Gilbert
Beverly is a bead artist living in the Pacific NW. Her work
features the use of color and free-form style and a number of
her pieces have been accepted in national competitions:
Absolutely Beads and Bead Dreams. She teaches beadweaving,
wireworking and metalworking workshops in shows and venues
across the US and internationally and is currently writing
her second book.
1. When did you start beading?
In 2002, I was a mom of 2 very young boys and feeling as if
I had nothing to show for my time - I needed to find
activities with immediate gratification! A sympathetic
girlfriend took me to a bead store one weekend and it was love
at first sight... the colors, textures and ability to make
something that I could wear that night - intoxicating!
I began with stringing, immediately veered off into wirework,
but craved the ability to pull together color in 3 dimensions.
I was introduced to seed beads in a class at a local bead store
and never looked back. I taught my first beadweaving classes
6 months later.
2. What is your creative process like?
I live within the creative process - am driven by the designs,
ideas and possibilities that fill my head and thrive on the fact
that they are always changing and evolving. Once my pieces are
nearly completed and I see how they are going to look, I start
to loose interest and am ready to move to the next idea. I have
to force myself to finish. And I can't stand reproducing, which
is why I tend to like freeform work better than structures or
patterns. I almost always start with a color combination I want
to play with and sometimes I sketch ideas in my notebook. But
after that, I let go and see where my beads take me.
3. What inspires you to create?
I am driven by color, how different colors play against each
other, how a single color can be given depth by including shadows
and highlights. I love making bead soups - the beader's equivalent
of a palette of paint. My designs and preference for free-form
beadweaving is all about playing with color.
4. How do you create color combinations for your jewelry?
Color inspiration comes from all around me - nature, magazine pages,
other art-work, fabrics, scarves, flowers. I have a wall with photos
and bits of colorful things that are inspiring. Sometimes there is
a specific color I want to work with and need to find other colors
that will look good with it. Still other times I am working on a
project with nice colors, but it looks flat and I need to find
something to give it life.
I think the best tool for working with color is the color wheel.
There are lots of wheels on the market, most designed for painters
who are interested in color mixing (red + yellow = orange), but not
as useful for those of us pulling existing colors together. So I
designed a color wheel system,
Eye For Color that focuses on color combinations -
to help people visualize what colors look good with each other.
Once I know what colors I am going to use, I create mixes that include
dark shadows and bright highlights. I also make sure to pull the colors
together by transitioning with color, value and saturation. Here is a
sample of how I go from inspiration, to defining the colors on the
color wheel, to bead soup.
Full interview with Beverly Ash Gilbert
Win a give-away!
Beverly Ash Gilbert says, "Working with color drives
so many of us creative souls! Drawing inspiration from all around,
gushing over the plethora of photos, paintings, collage, fiber and
bead work across the blogosphere - we launch into our own creations
excited by the infinite array of possible color combinations.
With color in mind and in honor of Zoya Gutina who is graciously
featuring me in her current newsletter, I am offering a free
give-a-way... or two!
To enter to win a signed copy of
Eye For Color, here is what you need to do:
tell me what your favorite color combination is (I'm sure you have
many, but what is your favorite today, right now?).
Another chance to win a bead soup from my Bead Soup Collection: visit
MyLovelyBeads.com then come to
my blog and tell me what my color inspiration was for the necklace
in the 6th photo.
The winners will be chosen at random on May 6
(after I return from the Art & Soul Retreat!)."
Beadart by Albina Polyanskaya
Zoya Gutina says, "I was very lucky, that in the beginning of
my beadweaving career I met a few people, whose beadart
impressed and inspired me. One of them was Albina Polyanskaya,
a bead master from Ukraine."
So, we are glad to introduce our another featured artist
this month: Albina Polyanskaya is one of the most talented
professional jewelry designers we have come across. She has
been designing jewelry for much of her life and her beautiful
work reflects that. Albina's first experience in beadwork was
associated with creating so called "gerdans", locally designed
ribbon necklaces with traditional Ukrainian ornaments (first
five artworks in her gallery).
Albina, who lives in Kharkov, North-East of Ukraine, has said
that jewelry design is her way to express herself. For the next
years she has developed her skills in beading techniques
learning peyote stitch, square stitch, cross stitch, and so on.
When we asked Albina about her favorite materials, she said
that she didn't have any; Albina likes working with beads and
gemstones, pearls and shells, creating impressive free-from
Albina is a very cheerful and life-loving person and feels that
surroundings are great influencers our emotions and behavior.
She is a winner of many local and international jewelry design
contests. Smiling, she said that she cannot put together her
works because they are always exhibited at the art shows and
galleries. She is also an experienced teacher and a writer: last
year Albina published a book "Beadwork: 100 patterns"
(unfortunately, only in Russian). Visit Albina's gallery, and
we hope you agree that she is an amazing talent!
Gallery of bead artwork by Albina Polyanskaya
Step by step - Russian Leaves
Sweet April! - many a thought
Is wedded unto thee, as hearts are wed;
Nor shall they fail, till, to its autumn brought,
Life's golden fruit is shed.
by Henry W. Longfellow
We love spring with the sun shining, birds singing and flowers
blooming! It's time to take off winter clothes, to put on short
and light and to pick up appropriate adornments. One of the most
favorite jewelry theme in spring is floral. Using seed or bugle
beads and directed by a free tutorial you can try to design a
piece of jewelry, incorporating so called Russian Leaves. Good
Tutorial by Victoria Katamashvili: how to make Russian Leaves
Russian Leaves in beaded jewelry by Victoria Katamashvili
Sugarloaf Craft Festivals
May 1, 2, 3, 2009
Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, Virginia
Juried Fine Art & Craft Festivals since 1976. Find the unique handcrafted artwork of
thousands of American Artists! Decorative creations for home & garden, exceptional
fine art & designer crafts!
Old Town Arts and Crafts Festival and Volunteer Fair
May 30, 31, 2009
Market Square in front of City Hall
301 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia
This popular annual event offers juried hand-made crafts with each artist present.
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