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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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Bead for Life

We have been so inspired by the Bead for Life organization, a non-profit founded by three American women to create opportunities for impoverished women in Uganda. Through supported sales of paper beads produced by the women, the organization facilitates entrepreneurship that provides the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Founded by Torkin Wakefield, her daughter Devin Hibbard, and Ginny Jordan, all from Boulder, Colorado, the project finds markets for the colorful beads, now sold worldwide.

Institute of American Indian Arts

One of Santa Fe's 'hidden jewels' is the Institute of American Indian Arts. In addition to incredible contemporary and traditional bead work (including lampwork), the school offers hard-to-find training in leather work, quill work, textiles, drawing, painting, digital art, photography, ceramics/pottery, jewelry, sculpture, and other media. We highly recommend a visit to the Primitive Edge student gallery, where you can find monthly presentations by the artists and curators on the ever-expanding terrain of contemporary Native Art.

Shannon SchreiberShannon Schreiber

 

Welcome to The Bead Collection in Santa Fe

Here are our stories – we hope you enjoy!

We are a mother-daughter team, Sheila and Shannon -- just starting a new venture in our lives out of a mutual love for beads. We live and collect primarily in New Mexico, but make sure wherever we go in our travels, we seek out exceptional beads to share with bead-lovers and jewelry designers everywhere.

Shannon's Story

Ever since I was old enough to hold a bead, I was fascinated with them. When I was only two, I pried one off of a necklace of my mother's and put it up my nose! I think I imagined it was magic and would give me supernatural powers! Little did I know then how many people believe that stone beads, at least, have special influence and healing properties. The bead I had chosen at the age of two, interestingly, was turquoise – said to be a stone of 'wholeness and truth'. I don't think I could get much closer to two of the values I hold most dearly. As I grew up, I discovered a universe of more interesting beads, and learned more about their history and evolution. Whether made from shells, animal teeth, animal claws or seeds, historians believe the earliest beadwork was for religious purposes and was thought to protect the wearer from evil – or to attract good fortune. And since those times, all around the world, people have developed new materials for beads, from clay, brass, and paper to glass, stone, metal and wood. But no matter what they are made of, what moves me most is that individually crafted bead that can be the star attraction of any type of adornment. There are many bead artists who create true works of art in the forms of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets, and more – with beads of various sizes. What I most hope for as we share our bead collection with you is that you find those beads that speak to you and inspire you. My commitment to this project is to search far and wide for those special, unique pieces – those 'one of a kind' beads – that will help you create something beautiful for yourself or others.

Sheila OrtegoSheila McLaughlin

Sheila's Story

I remember when Shannon put that bead up her nose! The incident was a bit more terrifying for me as a novice mom, as I fretted it would work its way into her brain and harm her somehow. Thankfully, her dad came home shortly after and tricked her into blowing it out, then handed it over to me to put someplace safer, i.e., out of her reach! But seriously, I had a true connection to that stone bead myself. The necklace had originally held a peridot bead. Peridots are known for providing an inner sense of warmth and well-being, and as an aid in attracting and creating our most important inner visions. That bead had been lost for some time, and Shannon's dad had glued the turquoise one in the necklace to replace it. I think somehow the entire incident, as well as the energy from the stones themselves, may have led us to the journey we are beginning with The Bead Collection. I too share a fascination (well, maybe an obsession) with beads, and over the years I have gone out of my way to find the most special bead wherever I am in the world. The collection seems to have developed a 'healing spirit' of its own, with each bead associated with my special memories or impressions of Malaysia, Africa, India, Australia, and more. We now want to share our treasure trove with you, so you can share the joy of 'signature beads' with us. I hope you find what you're looking for here, or fall in love with something you weren't looking for – a bead that 'finds you' – as so often seems to happen to us.

Our Home Base – Santa Fe

A year or two ago, Forbes magazine listed Santa Fe as one of "America's prettiest towns" and put our community on its list of "best small places for business and careers". We couldn't agree more. Forbes.com editors said they left the definition of "pretty" up to a group that included Greg Melville and Sarah Tuff Dunn, co-authors of 101 Best Outdoor Towns.

"Pueblo-style architecture and rugged surroundings make Santa Fe unique, homey and immensely inviting," Melville commented. The mountains and the local ski area, the many art galleries and its 2005 designation as the United Nation's first "Creative City," are all part of Santa Fe's charm. Some of the things we love most are the colors you will find in our bead collection: the clear blue of the sky, the soft earth tones of the plains, and the clear, silvery water of mountain streams. And the architecture is unparalleled, having been inspired by pueblo dwellings as well as influences from Spain and Mexico. We hope you will make the trek to visit us and peruse our beautiful city as well as our collection. There's nothing we enjoy more than sharing our stories and giving people our "insider's view" of this very special place.

 

 

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