Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just getting better the older they are ...

In addition to the gorgeous assortment of beads to which I feel privileged to have access, I love their history. Take for example, the African Trade beads I used in a pair of tribal earrings I finished making this morning. As I worked with them, I was deeply moved by the realization that these beads have been in existence for so much longer than I have been, and will be around long after I become dust to dust!

Vintage Bohemian and Czech glass trade beads,
Nigerian brass, old Yemen silver, Ghana metal beads

That's rather a humbling thought. I feel like a facilitator in the ongoing "story" of these beads that were made far away and long ago. I think it's incredible that I can hold these bits of history in my hands and know that other hands made them, sent them off to Africa for trade, other hands received them and sold them or traded them for other goods. They've traveled farther than have I. And they're not done yet!

A number of years ago, I attended a historical bead exhibit at the Bowers Museum. They had a timeline displayed along the walls showing where different beads originated and where they traveled on the various trade routes of the world. Amazing!

These earrings, heady with history, are now available for purchase at www.birchbaykay.etsy.com.

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