A tenth century Arab king once said that the Vikings would “go to any length to get hold of coloured beads”. Let’s look at some incredible bead work from the Viking Era to see how their taste in wearable glass beads is not far off from our own.
Last week I wrote about Palaeolithic beads, how they were made, and what they were used for. This week I am completing this topic with a look at the largest site for finding beads from this time period, which is Poverty Point in the lower Mississippi Valley.
Glass beads, like the ones that I make at Dragonfly Organics, represent a relatively new process of bead making (especially when compared to ancient beads like the ones above). In their time they were considered attractive and precious objects, just like our contemporary jewelry, but they were made from softer materials. Let’s have a look at how they used to do it.
Understanding of the process of glass bead making and bead working will give you insight and respect into the cultural influences and the global spread of bead production. Traditionally, the most common techniques in bead making are winding and drawing. Learn all about it right here.
Glass beads tell a story relating to diverse cultures and societies. More than the expression of a desire for ornamentation, beads have historically served a functional purpose as well. Read Part 1 about why glass beads have such cultural significance, then check back next week to learn about how they are made.
Waist beads have a long history in Africa and are worn for various reasons and purposes. Typically worn under the clothes as a private adornment, they can represent womanhood, sexuality, femininity, fertility, healing, spirituality and more.
http://dragonflyorganics.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Bead-use-in-africa-Part-3.jpg10521995Lori Steelhttp://dragonflyorganics.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/logo-blue-switched-1.pngLori Steel2017-08-22 09:47:002017-08-22 09:47:00Beads in Africa 3: More Uses
I would like to introduce you to my process, while you watch this video of me working the summer market at Bastion Square, in Victoria BC! Special thanks to Wladyslaw Labuda and Art Market Art & Craft Sale for their fantastic work.
Long before the “fidget spinner” was created as a way to alleviate anxiety, the Greeks used worry beads for relaxation, as an amulet and by those trying to break an addiction. Let’s explore the uses for beads from cultures around the world.
http://dragonflyorganics.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Beads-in-African-Culture-Part-2.jpg10521995Lori Steelhttp://dragonflyorganics.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/logo-blue-switched-1.pngLori Steel2017-07-18 09:31:162017-07-18 09:40:55Beads in Africa 2: Their Uses