Beads in Africa 1: Materials and Origin

In African culture, beads are revered as highly symbolic, and the materials used to make beads have varied from natural materials such as eggshell, clay, twigs, stones, ivory and bone to glass beads that were introduced later by traders from Europe, India and the Middle East. The origin of beads and beadwork in Africa can be traced back at least 12,000 years, and continue to play an integral role in everyday life.

The History of Beadmaking

Over the next few weeks I will be doing a series on the history of bead making and the significance of beads in a variety of cultures from all over the world. This week we explore the long history of bead making. Where it came from, and how much it has (and hasn’t) changed in the last 500 years.

What is Lampwork?

The term “lampwork” is derived from the Venetian process “a lume” which means at the lamp, where in centuries past, they used the heat from an oil lamp to melt the glass. work the hot glass in a flame, or “flame working”. Today, we use torches that blend both fuel and oxygen, resulting in a much hotter flame and better control.

Inspired by Nature, Bead Maker Finds Her Passion

Special thanks to Pirjo Raits of the Sooke News Mirror for this lovely article on Dragonfly Organic Art. Being a part of the thriving arts community of greater Victoria is exciting, and the beauty of the island is a constant inspiration.

Jewellery Cards for Gift Giving

Fine jewellery is the perfect gift for the special person in your life. See how I present gift packages of bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, specifically chosen to capture the unique style of that special someone.

Artist’s Statement

Each bead you see on this site has been handmade by me, Lori Steel, in my small home studio in Sooke BC.

Coming Events

Coming events for the 2017 market season are live. Find Dragonfly Organics in a town near you this year.

Organic Bead Making Process

From selection to firing, learn about the steps involved in the creation of handmade focal beads right here.