Happy blossom time!
We are officially in springtime, and no more heavy coats,
snowfall or barren trees. Birds return and sing serenades,
the first cut grass smells with freshness, and we can do
things in the daylight after work! Read in the March issue:
Contact us with any questions at
The stone of courage, protection. Aquamarine stimulates
intellect and spiritual awareness. It also accelerates the
intellectual reasoning process and makes one unconquerable
thru learning - not only of knowledge passed thru teachers
of the past and present, but of oneself. Zodiac signs:
Gemini (Twins), Pisces (Fish), Aries (Ram).
Larimar - Caribbean gem
The original birthstones for March are
bloodstone, but we want to tell you about
another blue gemstone discovered in XX century,
it's called larimar. Larimar, also called
"Stefilia's Stone", is a rare blue variety of
mineral pectolite found only in the Dominican
Republic, in the Caribbean. Although pectolite
is found in many locations, none have the
unique volcanic blue to deep blue coloration
of larimar. This blue color, distinct from
that of other pectolites, is the result of
copper substitution for calcium.
The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Mining
records that on 23 November 1916 Father Miguel
Domingo Fuertes Loren of the Barahona Parish
requested permission to explore and exploit
the mine of a certain blue rock he had
discovered. Pectolites were not yet known in
the Dominican Republic and the request was
In 1974, at the foot of the Bahoruco Range, the
coastal province of Barahona, Miguel Mendez and
Peace Corps volunteer Norman Rilling rediscover
larimar on a beach. Natives, who believed the
stone came from the sea, called the gem Blue
Stone. Miguel took his young daughter's name
Larissa and the Spanish word for sea (MAR)
and formed Larimar, by the colors of the water
of the Caribbean Sea, where it was found.
The most important outcrop of blue pectolite is
located at Los Chupaderos in the south-western
region of the Dominican Republic. It is a single
mountainside now perforated with approximately
2,000 vertical shafts, surrounded by rainforest
vegetation and deposits of blue-colored mine
Larimar jewelry is offered to the public in the
Dominican Republic, and elsewhere in the
Caribbean as a local specialty. Most jewelry
produced is set in silver, but sometimes
high-grade larimar is also set in gold. Quality
grading is according to coloration and the
typical mineral crystal configuration in the
stone. Larimar also comes in green and even
with red spots, brown strikes etc. due to
other matters. But the more intense the blue
and the contrasts in the stone, the higher and
rarer is the quality.
Here we go! Fashion Colorworks 2012
It's already time to submit entries to the Fashion
Colorworks 2012. Contest entry must use the three
colors in one of the palettes shown on the contest
page, in any combination. There are three color
palettes and three categories for entries:
• Seed Bead Jewelry: Entries include jewelry and jewelry-related objects. Each entry must be not less than 50 percent seed beads.
There are no entry fees, the contest is open to participants
worldwide, judging is by photographs, and the prizes are amazing,
what could be better? Entries are accepted since April 1,
and the last submission day is June 15. Read all the details
of the contest, including how to enter, it is not late yet!
• Finished Jewelry: Each entry must be less than 50 percent seed beads; and other materials such as, but not limited to, glass beads, crystals, semi-precious stones, wire, metal clay, found objects, etc.
• Seed Bead Objects: Entries include any not jewelry-related objects, accessories and sculptural objects. Each entry must be not less than 50 percent seed beads.
Fashion Colorworks 2012 Rules
Submit your entries to Fashion Colorworks!
Mayan culture inspiration
Bold and bright jewelry by Sigi Contreras from Mexico
made from different materials reminds about his sunny
country with its rich history, culture and traditions.
Sigi likes handcrafting since he was a child and in
2003 he discovered his true passion: designing and
making one-of-a-kind jewelry. The result is outstanding!
Sigi writes, "It's funny how God guided the course of my
life because I started making jewelry recovering from a
serious illness, it was like a therapy for me! I think
everything was worth it! Even though I could have never
imagined myself working in this wonderful field I don't
seem to want to stop now as I feel an insatiable desire
of learning new media and techniques.
Almost every day I work, creating new and new designs,
and each time I want not to resemble the previous ones
and try to do that, I don't like replicating the same
ideas. And, incidentally, I cannot understand beadworkers
of meticulously repeated design finds, even if they
clearly express the style of the artist who created
original jewelry. The reason is simple: design ideas
and the style have been worked out for years and are
unique to the artist, so I think that every creative
person has to find something different that would make
him remarkable and outstanding.
My designing style has evolved through the years. I started
making very casual designs but inspiration has led me to
make more elaborate and intricate jewelry. Most likely it
was in 2008 when I made my first bead woven necklace with
seed beads, it was inspired by the Bead Dreams finalists'
catalog I saw in the Bead&Button magazine. The very first
techniques I learned after that were brick stitch, beaded
crochet and fringe, and the result of these was "Monique",
the very beautiful necklace in gold and green and tiger eye
When I am about to start a new design I like making
drawings of it first, this way I can get a better
understanding of what I have in my mind. Sometimes I even
jump out from my bed late night to make at least a sketch
of my new inspiration. When I finally like it, I move on
to selecting colors and materials, and I never stop
changing some of them or adding the new ones as I go. I've
always got trouble selecting the colors since I am color
blind to some greens, browns, red and deep purple, and
sometimes I need to label my beads and ask for help to
recognize their true colors..."
Full article by Sigi Contreras
Bead artwork by Sigi Contreras
IBA 2012. Cast your vote!
The second International Bead Award (IBA) 2012 is in process, and
Perlen Poesie website announced online
voting for People's Choice Award. The theme of this
contest is POP ART. Strong colors and shapes, two or
three dimensional, certain simplicity, a reference
to everyday objects or free abstraction, all is
possible at the same time as well as a smooth
succession of objects. Trivial things become
original and refreshing. Humor is very important!
International Bead Award 2012. Cast your vote!
Article about Pop Art style and jewelry
Nature on miniature brooches
Born and living in Moscow, Russia, Lyubov Tyurina
focuses her passion to beadwork on creating tiny
brooches featuring flowers, cats, birds and other
nature critters. Lyubov's amazing jewelry pieces
don't leave people indifferent and we are happy to
introduce her beadwork and her story to you today!
Lyubov says, "In my opinion, nature is an endless
source of inspiration for any creative work, even
as a child I wanted to work somewhere in conservancy
area or as a tour guide at the zoo, but... I'm a
teacher at the elementary school. I love my job, but
would not advise others to choose this profession.
Working with young children is also inspiration:
fairy tales, funny poems and stories by A. Barto,
S. Marshak, K. Chukovsky, N. Nosov and V.
Dragunsky, children's lively pictures, the world
of fantasy and imagination.
I like drawing, sewing, writing poetry, collecting
and making different models and other things from
paper. Apparently, this creative energy accumulated
in me over the years and finally led me to the
beads; it's a pity that I haven't known about them
for a long time! At first, I was fascinated by the
toys made using wire and beads. They were simple
but very cute little critters; I've woven them by
patterns from the books. When I felt I became
pretty experienced in this technique I myself
started making up and drawing patterns.
I am seriously attracted to beadwork and have got
children in my class interested in that, too. So,
I founded bead classes at my school and they were
attended not only by girls, but also by boys!
Gradually, I felt I "overgrew" my critters, and I
switched to the flowers from wire and beads. Then
beaded jewelry seemed to me very simple and trivial
yet... until I saw amazing beadworks by Svetlana
Dubinskaya (Israel), Svetlana Sametis (Riga, Latvia),
Julia Turova (Krasnoyarsk, Russia), Uliana
Volkhovskaya (Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine), Irina
Belinskaya (Moscow, Russia), Alla Vizir
(Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine) and other talented
artists, and then I fall in love with beads forever!
It was then I felt a desire to create something of
my own. I wanted to have my own unique style
by which my beadworks could be recognized. You can
create any number of items by patterns from books
and copy lots of jewelry pieces designed by
well known artists but the "soul" and individuality
come in only when you "feel" your beadwork, pass
ideas through yourself and create it from the very
Full article by Lyubov Tyurina
Beadwork gallery by Lyubov Tyurina
Website (in Russian): biser.info/albom/29896
Smithsonian Craft Show
April 19-22, 2012
National Building Museum, Judiciary Sq Metro (Red Line)
401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's
largest museum and research complex, consisting
of 19 museums and galleries, the National
Zoological Park and nine research facilities.
Widely regarded as the country's most prestigious
juried show and sale of fine American craft, the
Smithsonian Craft Show is produced by the
Smithsonian Women's Committee to support education,
outreach and research at the Smithsonian Institution.
Join the 30th Anniversary celebration and enjoy
dazzling exhibition of creativity, innovation and
technical mastery at the elegant and historic
National Building Museum; 121 distinguished craft
artists, 44 of them new to the show this year;
one-of-a-kind or limited edition works in 12
different media - from furniture and ceramics to
glass and wearable art.
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