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jade hookSAVE 20% WITH SAVE20 COUPON for this and anything else in the shop. This is a lovely hand-carved pendant of natural Nephrite Jade from New Zealand. The hei matu, or fish hook, has endured since pre-colonial times (prior to the 18th century) and symbolizes abundance, and a respect for sea. The design represents the special relationship Maori people have with fishing (historically they lived from fisheries and depended on the sea for food gathering) and Tangaroa, god of the sea. Designs range from the ultra-realistic through to more conceptual styles, and wearing one is said to bring good fortune when traveling across oceans.

This beautiful piece measures approx. 45 mm long (approx.. 1 3/4") x approx. 23 mm. (just shy of 1") at its widest point. Thickness is approx. 3 mm. Hole at top for hanging is approx. 3 mm. wide.

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Turfle ImageSusan Turfle is a new rock star in the bead world, at least as far as I’m concerned! She’s just now having her beads featured in earrings made for gift bags at the Oscar Awards event. It all started when a jewelry designer bought some of her beads online – and kindly, let her know that some of the jewelry she made was going to be given out to celebrities at the event!

Susan has a creative soul according to articles recently written about her, despite the fact that she worked in the rather technical-sounding job of ‘Supervisor of Business Systems Group’ for the National Security Technology Department at the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL).

At a point in her life when her father became ill with family, she decided she wanted to focus more on family, and she left her job at JHUAPL and became a stay-at-home mom. And when her kids became more independent, she began to take formal training in her chosen creative endeavor: making clay (porcelain) beads. Eventually, she formed her own company around this endeavor, Lundela, LLC, and now sells her work at both ArtFire and Etsy.

Talk about ‘quitting your day job’! And I love Susan’s approach; first, she appreciates the fact that the porcelain clay she uses is organic – a substance made up of decomposed rocks – and further, her design inspirations come from nature as well as the sun, moon and stars as well. It’s also impressive that she is so meticulous in what she does. It takes her two weeks to make one batch of beads! Each bead is painstakingly formed, then fired in a kiln with exacting techniques and temperatures.

The most important thing to me is what Susan has to teach us about her daily work. When she was interviewed in an article for the Westminster Patch (Westminster, Maryland, that is), she said: “Making porcelain beads fills me with a sense of joy and accomplishment. It is a way of translating inner vision to outer reality.” I have met many talented bead artists, and this seems to be a common theme. One more reason for us to LOVE BEADS!

If you liked this blog post, you might also like our previous post on Lampworked Beads.

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