Physical representative of the Violet Ray. Cuts through illusion.
Enhances psychic abilities. Excellent for meditation. Aids channeling
abilities. Sedative, protective. Enhances feeling of contentment, and
a connection to one's spirituality. Stone of peace and strength.
Zodiac signs: Capricorn (Seagoat), Aquarius (Water Bearer), Pisces (Fish),
Topaz as well as
amethyst is a February gem, though amethyst is
more known as this month birthstone. Topaz is colorless
and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical
topaz is wine, yellow, pale gray or reddish-orange, and blue
brown. It can also be made white, pale green, blue, gold,
pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent.
Orange topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the symbol
of friendship, and the state gemstone for the US State of Utah.
Blue topaz is the Texas state gemstone. Naturally occurring
blue topaz is quite rare. Typically, colorless, gray or pale
yellow and blue material is heat treated and irradiated to
produce a more desired darker blue. Mystic topaz is colorless
topaz that has been artificially coated giving it the desired
Imperial topaz is yellow, pink (rare, if natural) or pink-orange.
Brazilian imperial topaz can often have a bright yellow to deep
golden brown hue, sometimes even violet. Many brown or pale
topazes are treated to make them bright yellow, gold, pink or
violet colored. Some imperial topaz stones can fade on
exposure to sunlight for an extended period of time.
Topaz can be found at Topaz Mountain in western Utah, and in various
areas including Ural and Ilmen mountains of Russia, in Afghanistan,
Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden,
Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Flinders Island and the United States. Some clear
topaz crystals from Brazil can reach boulder size and weigh hundreds
of pounds. Crystals of this size may be seen in museum collections. 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 within the Llano Uplift.
During the Middle Ages topaz was thought to heal both physical and
mental disorders and prevent death. The ancient Greeks believed topaz
bestowed strength to its wearer. It was worn as an amulet to ward off
enchantment, dispel sadness and strengthen intellect. The Romans
believed it had power to improve eyesight. The Egyptians wore it as
an amulet to protect them from injury; topaz was believed to assure
beauty, fidelity and long life. Red and pink topaz gems were
commonly used in the jewelry of the 18th and 19th Century Russian
Czarinas and is why topaz is sometimes called "Imperial Topaz".
On March 8 we celebrate
International Working Woman's Day,
a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and
social achievements of women. Started as a political event, the
holiday blended in the culture of many countries.
Today many events are held by women's groups around the world (some that
even close off libraries to men). The global women's organization Aurora
hosts a free worldwide register of IWD local events so that women and
the media can locate local activity. Many governments and organizations
around the world support IWD. For example, HSBC hosts a range of IWD
activity including co-hosting of the United Kingdom's flagship IWD event
with women's group Aurora. Global interest in IWD shows a steady increase.
Our featured artist in February is Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, a seed bead
artist from California. We have known Cindy for a long time and must confess
that her bead works amaze us, especially the last items. Great progress,
Cinthia says, "I've been called a "bead engineer," and while it is true
that many of my pieces to require a good bit of engineering, I prefer to
think of myself as a "bead explorer." I have been beading for most of my
life; I started as a very young child. I can't remember my fist project;
I feel as though I have always played with beads. When I was a very small
child, I loved to string beads in different patterns; I remember enjoying
how the beads appeared to change colors when placed next to
different-colored beads. I also remember the great satisfaction it gave
me to unstring the beads and put them away so that I could make new
things with them.
That's pretty much what still motivates me; though now, I am fortunate
enough to have lots of bead beads. I don't have to take things apart any
more in order to make new ones! I bead nearly every day for several hours
a day, and I never get tired of it. I am still exploring color; I marvel
at the effect that different finishes have on color relationships.
A matte finish bead reacts very differently to its neighbors than a
transparent bead; the same bead can look completely different when
combined with beads of varying finishes and colors. I like to try out
various combinations; some of them are wonderful, but others end up
being taken apart and put away. I am often surprised by what works, and
When I start a new piece, I start with a very small piece of the puzzle. I
don't design a piece from the ground up; my process is more organic than
that. I usually start with a small thought, "I wonder what would happen..."
is the beginning of pretty much everything I have ever made. Once I have
satisfied that thought, I look at what I have made; if I like it, I begin to
wonder what would happen if I did this, then that, and then, before I know
it, it has begun to be a necklace, or a bracelet, or some other piece of
If I don't like it, I take it to pieces.
I love the freedom of being able to change direction and start over. In
beading, nothing is ever wasted except thread; luckily, thread is cheap and
easy to replace. Although I also enjoy metalwork, I don't find it as
creatively satisfying as bead weaving; with beads, there are an infinite
number of possibilities. And color. Did I mention that I love color?"
Here we go! The first Fashion Colorworks 2010 Beading Contest
is on its way! Shortly, beadworkers submit their 50% seed bead
objects made in one of the three color combinations made up from
First color combination: Amparo Blue, Turquoise, Pink Champagne.
Second color combination: Tomato Puree, Fusion Coral, Violet.
Third color combination: Dried Herb, Eucalyptus, Aurora.
We're glad to feature another amazing beadworker, who creates
stunning jewelry. Born in Russia, Elena Rasmussen, more known
as Arbumillia, lives in Denmark. In 1988 she bought a small
pack of expensive beads and made embroidery on her blouse, but
she started working with beads 10 years later, in 1998, when
during her visit to Russia Arbumillia got a book "Beadweaving"
by Lyudmila Apolozova. As she says, since then she has a
passion, a passion to enchanting glass beads and beadwork that
has continued for more than 10 years.
The first Arbumillia's artwork was Orchid Brooch made from
beads and wire, but she didn't like wirework and didn't return
to it later. She learned beading techniques by books and always
experimented because she felt it was boring to replicate
beadworks created by other artists. Arbumillia has made about
100 beadworks, sixty of them are presented on the
Arbumillia says, that her first serious work was collar Rogar
Collar, which has never been showcased. It was a netting base
of beige and pink color with many light-green and brown leaves.
Then there was Zarah Necklace (shown in my gallery) featured a
bunch of tree and a triangle piece of bark. After that Arbumillia
began making original complicated items that take from 70 up to
150 hours. As she says, when working, she always thinks,
"What if..." - and it helps to design new shapes and new elements.
Arbumillia's principles in beadwork are: simplicity, lightness
and flexibility. Arbumillia usually uses tiny glass seed beads,
which are about 1-2 mm in diameter. She also likes working with
3, 6 and 8 mm crystals, bugle beads, gemstone beads, cabochons
and other gemstones, and freshwater pearls. She always creates
just a single copy of her designs, her favorite theme is nature:
leaves, flowers and birds, so she prefers any shades of green.
Elena says, that she is especially inspired by computer games
and music where she is able to find unusual images. Magic,
mystery, fantasy, adventures help Arbumillia reach uniqueness
in beadwork. Probably because of that leading beadwork magazines
publish her works, you can find Arbumillia's Land of Matissia
Necklace in Bead&Button (January, 2009 issue), You Drive Me Insane
Necklace will appear in B&B magazine in this year summer. So long,
Arbumillia, we wish you success!
Beadwork techniques are broadly divided into loom and off-loom
weaving, stringing, bead embroidery, bead crochet, and bead
knitting. Another small tutorial by Victoria Katamashvili is on
beadweaving, but about on-loom beadwork. Here you go!