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Bead of the Week

red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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Wedding Cake BeadsWedding cake beads are ornate lampwork (artisan-crafted glass) beads that have trails or lines of molten glass on the surface resembling vines, flowers, or other designs that might remind you of icing on a wedding cake -- or at least of something very intricate and elegant.  This example from the 'PartsForYou' Etsy store is a nice example, and I have one example of lampwork beads for you to create your own unique design with on my own Etsy site:    This same set of beads is offered under the title 'Lampwork Bead Strand' here on The Bead Collection.  The art of Lampwork beadmaking is a study in itself, and is quite fascinating.  In a moment, I'll re-post one of my favorite blog posts on my favorite beadmaking book, 'Passing the Flame'.  The book was recommended to me by a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, after I admired some of her Lampwork beads.  I almost got the bug to go out and get torches and other equipment needed to take on this fabulous craft myself, after seeing the book!  It is really a treasure, if you're at all interested in creating your own incredible beads.  In any case, after I came to my senses, I realized that for now I'd rather seek out the most gorgeous signature beads for other artisans and designers, rather than adding all that work to my busy schedule.  In the meantime, I really admire those who create these beads, and even though they're more expensive than most, if you saw the work that went into them, you would know that they're worth every penny.  And it only takes a few of them to create a stunning necklace or earrings, in combination with complimentary semi-precious gemstones and some of the beautiful findings and spacers on the market today.

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