The holiday season is for family gatherings, fattening goodies,
and flickering lights. Enjoy the season because before you know
it, the year will be through. We love you all and wish you best
of luck and happiness!
Have a rest and enjoy your reading, in the final issue of our
newsletter in 2009 year:
Communication, grounding, 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).
December gem is turquoise. This gemstone played an important
role in the development of the cultures in which it was utilized.
The history of turquoise use in the Middle East and Egypt coincides
with the beginning of civilization itself. Turquoise mining began
in the Sinai Peninsula around 5500 BC. The stones taken from these
mines served jewelry, amulet and cosmetic purposes for millennia.
In 1900, archaeologists who excavated the tomb of the Egyptian
Queen Zer (5500 BC) found a turquoise and gold bracelet on her
wrist. That's the world oldest known example of surviving jewelry.
In Persia archaeologists have found beads of turquoise that date
around 5000 BC. Amulets from 600 AD contained carvings of Islamic
and Persian Proverbs. The fine stones from this area were important
sources of trade and were found in graves as far away as Turkestan
and the Caucasus. These revered stones, so important to the Persian
culture, were called Ferozah, which meant victorious. In modern
times, Iran honors turquoise as its national gemstone.
The earliest Anasazi peoples in Pre-Columbian America had opened
their turquoise mines by 1000 AD and had established extensive
trading practices with the peoples of what is now Mexico. The
mining locations included locations in Arizona, New Mexico and
Colorado. In cities such as Chaco Canyon, the Anasazi traded
their turquoise for the feathers of tropical birds. As demand
for the Anasazi turquoise grew in the south, the society at
Chaco Canyon grew wealthy.
The ancient Turquoise jewelry of the Zuni tribes was characterized
by prominent inserts of the stone. Navajo Turquoise jewelry features
die-stamped designs. In the 16th century, the cultures of the
American Southwest used turquoise as currency. It was also often
found on the facades of Indian homes. Aztec turquoise mines began
operating between 900-1000 AD.
As to Asia, by the middle of the first millennium, AD, China had
begun using turquoise and although they had mines in their empire,
they imported most of their stones from Persians, the Turks, the
Tibetans and Mongols. Japan use of Turquoise began in the 18th
Around 500 BC, inhabitants in Siberia had also begun using the stone,
but it did not gain favor with Western European fashion until the late
middle ages when trade with the Near and Middle East had increased.
The origin of the word Turquoise is French and comes from Venetian
traders, who bought it from the great bazaars in Turkey, though the
Turkish traders brought it from the Persian mines. Shakespeare's
"The Merchant of Venice" features a turquoise ring. The Aesthetic
Period (1880-1901) responded to the strict provisions of Queen
Victoria's mourning and jewelry became more whimsical.
Turquoise played a large role in the jewelry of this period but played
an even greater role during the Romantic Period (1837 to 1860). The
light gold worked jewelry of this period contained fine gems that
were often accented by turquoise.
Dichroic glass artist Linda Roberts lives in San Diego, California,
USA. She is a self taught artist using books, magazines and DVD's
to teach herself bead stringing, beadweaving, bead embroidery and
jewelry design. She has taken classes in PMC (precious metal clay),
polymer clay, stone cabochons, wire wrapping, silversmithing,
lampworked glass beads, and glass fusion.
Linda says, "My route to creating jewelry actually started with my
love of rocks and stones. After collecting many beautiful rocks,
I wanted to know more about them so I joined the San Diego Gem and
Mineral Society and a whole new world opened up to me. While
attending many different gem and mineral shows I was awed by all
the beautiful handcrafted pieces of jewelry I saw. It was at one
of these shows that I discovered dichroic glass.
My love for beads developed gradually, beginning about 10 years ago.
At first I was hesitant to express my fascination with them, but the
beads won and I'm now an admitted beadaholic with no hope or desire
for recovery. It is very fulfilling to encircle my treasured stone
and glass cabochons with tiny seed beads and create unique jewelry.
In June 2009 I attended a local bead show and was looking for dichroic
glass cabochons to use in my beadweaving. I met Paul Fernandes, owner
of Fusionglass Co.
in La Mesa, CA. He told me about the glass fusion classes they
offered at their store and I knew it was something I had to do! The
class was taught by his partner, Debbie Solan, and it was so much fun.
In just a couple hours I had designed three potential cabs.
Normally the store fuses the glass in their kilns and the students
return in two days to pick up their cabs. But I was determined to
learn how to do the whole process myself. I had an older (but hardly
used) kiln at home just waiting for some action.
My Sierra kiln was not specifically made for glass but actually works
very well. It has three built in programs for PMC and one program
that can be set by the user. I was given a guide sheet for fusing
the glass from the class instructor, but it had eight different
settings and I could only program in four settings. I did a lot of
research on the internet and found a few helpful articles...
...I had also saved an article out of a magazine (sorry, I do not recall
which one) called "Two-Timing Kiln" by Kathleen Bolan that addressed
how to specifically program my kiln for annealing glass beads.
To properly fuse and anneal glass, the kiln must be ramped up or down
to different temperatures, at different rates, and held at these
temperatures for different periods of time. If the glass is cooled too
quickly it will not anneal properly and will potentially crack."
Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metal
oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties. The process
of cutting and preparing the glass is quite simple. The basic tools
and materials required can be purchased from a stained glass supplier
or a ceramic supply store that is involved with fusing:
• glasscutter - this puts a "scratch" on the glass where it is to be
• pliers - special curved pliers that when placed over the "scratch" break
the glass along that line;
• grinder - used to shape the glass (I use a flat top Hi-Tech Diamond Grinder);
bit rotary grinders are useful for creating curves;
• glass - must be compatible meaning it must have the same COE (Coefficient
of Expansion); I use COE 90 glass.
The glass is prepared in layers of two to four different types and
colors of glass. Because of its reflective properties, dichroic glass
often will only show its brilliant colors when placed on top of black,
so a black glass backing is often used. Dichroic glass can be
purchased layered on black glass or on clear glass. This allows for
a lot of variety and unusual results.
You begin by making a backing. Take a piece of black glass (or
dichroic glass already placed on black glass) and cut it to the size
you want using the glasscutters and pliers. If you want the corners
rounded, you can use the flat grinder to round them. Once you have
the backing glass sized and shaped like you want, choose the dichroic
glass you want for your second layer.
You can use many different kinds and colors of glass placed next to
each other or one specific type of dichroic glass for the whole 2nd
layer. This is where your creativity and imagination come into play.
The top layer is either another piece of dichroic glass layered on clear
glass or just plain clear glass. If dichroic glass is placed on top, the
finish will be metallic. If clear glass is used, the finish will be shiny
This month's featured artist comes from Russia, her name is
Irina Belinskaya, she is a Muscovite. As a child Irina was
interested in portrait painting and her dream was to become
an artist. She spent most of her spare time drawing, till the
day she found beads in her mothers crafting box. She asked her
mother to let her take the beads and give beading a try. Irina
didn't have any kind of special tools for beading, she pulled
string thru beads by gluing the ends, it was not the easiest
way to work but soon Irina made her first bead necklace from
one of the crafting magazines.
The necklace turned out beautiful and she received many
compliments from her family and relatives, however Irina
decided not to continue beading. Following her parent's advice
Irina went to college and got a degree in banking, never
returning to beading until 90's. Toward the end of 90's Irina
saw an Ad in newspaper for a beading class. Irina remembered
her first necklace and decided to take the class, shortly after
starting classes Irina decided that she didn't want to spend
days copying designs and beading, she wanted to create her own
After few months Irina left her job in banking industry and
started her career as jewelry designer. Some of her first
designs were bead woven women's caps, she created for the Golden
Ring Fashion Shop. Shortly after Irina became a member of Modern
Beading Moscow Club headed by Galina Pchelkina, a talented bead
worker and instructor. Irina worked with other bead artists and
exchanged knowledge and experience till she started working with
Amber Orchid Jewelry Company as a designer and has designed
numerous items using seed beads and amber.
From there Irina's popularity grew and her customer base expanded
outside of Russia to USA, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark,
Croatia, Finland, Switzerland, and numerous other countries. Irina
loved designing beautiful necklaces for her customers, but there
was one item that she has always wanted to make. Firebird Necklace,
it was her dream to feature a firebird from a Russian folk tale,
however she was not able to design it the way she wanted. Till one
morning she woke up with an image of how here masterpiece necklace
should look like, she put aside all other work and started and
finished her Firebird Necklace.
Irina works with different techniques and color combinations,
depending on project at hand. Her main sources of inspiration are
flowers. She features flowers in a lot of her designs, especially
roses which are as she says it her Muse. Irina participates in
many jewelry and beading contests, she has a permanent display at
the Nagornaya Art Gallery in Moscow. Her beadwork is featured all
over the world, in fashion magazines and catalogs. She is a proud
member of the Creative Union of Russian Artists, the Moscow branch
of the Artists' Society, and the International Federation of Artists.
This small tutorial (not step-by-step, but patterns and
pictures) by Victoria Katamashvili is about New Year
decorations. Altogether with patterns, photos, and
beadwork samples it seems to be pretty simple. Decorate
January 29 - February 09, 10, 2010
Tucson Expo Center, Tucson, Arizona
J.O.G.S. Gem and Jewelry Show is the largest and most popular
independent jewelry trade show in the Tucson, Arizona area.
Wholesale jewelry manufacturers, miners and international
dealers gather in Tucson every winter.
Each J.O.G.S. show is held in the state of the art Tucson Expo
Center, one of Tucson's largest professional convention centers.
The whole show takes place under one roof and on the same floor,
ensuring that buyers visit every booth and no vendor gets left
out. Great promotion, a complimentary lunch buffet for the
buyers, top security and a red carpet atmosphere has been
responsible for the success of the J.O.G.S. show. This year
• more than 146 classes include wire wrapping and beading classes, fine macrame, PMC classes
• exhibition of unique jewelry made by internationally recognized jewelry designers
• presentation of the new Mixed Media. Jewelry Techniques Book