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jade newThis is a lovely hand-carved pendant of natural Nephrite Jade from New Zealand. Maori designs carved in jade are steeped in religious and spiritual belief. They tell stories of ancestors long lost, depict spirits from the heavens, earth, and underworld, show historical lineage and paint images of the natural world that surround and surrounded them. They are no doubt beautiful, but they’re more than a form of art. For Maori they create a strong connection with their ancestors and the natural world they live in. It was believed by Maori that as a carving was worn against the skin it absorbed some of that person's essence. As carvings were passed down through the family they absorbed essence from each family member, creating a direct ancestral connection through the necklace itself. This is one reason why Maori design is so special, it is more than just an art form.

This special piece measures approx. 70 mm long (approx.. 2 3/4") x approx. 35 mm. (just shy of 1 1/2") at its widest point. Thickness is approx. 3 mm. Hole at top for hanging is approx. 2 1/2 mm. wide.

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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:  http://tinyurl.com/atcs2p3    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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