Happy 2010 from MrBead! Garnet, Warming Lampwork, & Old Newsletters

This month is January's birthstone garnet, lampwork beads, our old newsletters + we ask for help with our new book. Scroll down, or click one of the links below on the html version to go to a certain section.

For the HTML version with color pictures click http://www.mrbead.com/december09.htm

Garnet - January's gemstone
Warm up this winter with Lampwork Beads!
Old MrBead Newsletters
Free 2010 Calendar
Please Help Our Bead Book

Garnet - January's gemstone

Garnet is January's birthstone, a name given to over ten gemstones with similar chemical structure. Although red occurs most, there are also shades of green, pale to bright yellow and fiery orange garnet. Some rare garnets even change color from daylight to artificial light. “Garnet” derives from the Latin “granum” meaning "grain”. Describing the typically rounded shape of the gemstone and also reminds of pomegranate seeds.

Garnet makes good jewelry because it is very hard, and so resistant to wear. Garnet has been found in jewelry from ancient Greece, Rome, and dating back to 3100 BC in Egypt. Chinese and Japanese warriors made bullets out of garnet because they believed that these would inflict more damage. Even Noah used a lantern from garnet to steer his Ark through the night. Travelers wore garnets for protection from evil, poison and wounds. People thought garnet brightened the night because of its high refraction of light. It was also believed to help depression and prevent nightmares. A red garnet in particular is said to break a fever, stop bleeding and to reduce inflammation.

Today, garnet is prized for its beauty rather than its magical powers. People like its naturalness, its brilliance, and color of a sun-drenched Indian summer. Garnet is said to symbolize happiness as well as deep and enduring love and friendships. Green garnets are the rarest and therefore highly prized. Emerald green and colorless garnet is next rarest, followed by pure red. Garnet comes today mainly from Africa, but also from India, Russia, central and south America. Skilled gem cutters all over the world shape them in classical forms and modern fancy designer’s cuts. to top

To see all garnet in our bead store click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk

Warm up this Winter with Lampwork Beads!

The "lamp" in lampwork came from the oil lamps and blowpipes used in seventeenth century France and Italy. Blowing by mouth or bellows into an oil lamp flame with a small pipe makes just enough heat to soften and form this type of glass. It's amazing the great work the early lampworkers were able to do with so little equipment. Hot glassworking skills originated from the Syrians around 1700 BC, the Egyptians 1450 BC, the Chinese around 550 BC, the Romans at the turn of the first millennium. Today lampworkers usually use an oxygen torch, but the technique to form and decorate the glass hasn’t changed much for thousands of years.

Choosing Lampwork Beads
As usual with handcrafted items, the quality is equal to the expertise of its maker. Choose beaded jewelry in a style you like, but remember that style isn't the only thing you must consider when buying handcrafted glass beads. Air bubbles should not normally be visible in the bead – although some beadmakers use these as design elements, but they are normally round or positioned in specific areas. The bead hole should be free of nicks or burrs. Jagged edges around the hole produce a wobbly bead that can eventually cut through beading wire. Check that the shapes of beads. They're handcrafted, so expect some variations, that’s part of their charm, but the overall look should be attractive.

How are Lampwork Beads actually Make?
Lampworkers use a torch to melt the tips of glass rods, and then wind the molten glass around a mandrel, a narrow stainless steel rod. Later, when the bead is removed, the space occupied by the mandrel becomes the hole used to string the bead. Glass cools from the outside in and the outer layers shrink as they cool. Bringing a bead out of the flame and leaving it in the open air allows the outside of the bead to cool rapidly around its molten interior. However, a stress point develops between the cool shrinking glass and the hot center, which can cause a bead to crack immediately or at a later time. To prevent cracks, the beads are soaked in a kiln to make sure that all glass within them is the same temperature. After soaking the artist reduces the kiln’s heat over several hours to bring the beads to room temperature.

57 months of MrBead Newsletters

December marks 57 months of MrBead newsletter, and I thank you all for your appreciation. Any suggestions for future newsletters would be appreciated, just email nigel@mrbead.com

Everything About Pearls - from MrBead..... Mailed: Apr 24 2005
Jade Jewelry & How to Make it ...... Mailed: May 22 2005
All about Turquoise - from MrBead ...... Mailed: Jun 26 2005
Summer Beads - Carnelian & Peridot ...... Mailed: Jul 24 2005
Buying Beads ...... Mailed: Aug 28 2005
Opal, Tourmaline, & Chip Beads ...... Mailed: Sep 25 2005
How to Sell Beads Online, Citrine, Yellow Topaz, & Lampwork ...... Mailed: Oct 23 2005
Happy Christmas from MrBead! ...... Mailed: Nov 27 2005
Happy 2006! ...... Mailed: Jan 1 2006
Amethyst - February's Stone + Much More! ...... Mailed: Jan 29 2006
Aquamarine & How to Make $1,000s Selling Beads! ...... Mailed: Feb 26 2006
Diamonds, E-Jewelry Parties & Mother's Day ...... Mailed: Mar 26 2006
Emerald, Bead Shapes & Jade ...... Mailed: April 30 2006
Pearls, Moonstone & Wedding Beads! ...... Mailed: May 28 2006
Ruby, Carnelian, Findings, & Chips ...... Mailed: June 25 2006
Summer Peridot, Onyx, Flaked Stone, Donut Beads & More! Mailed: July 30 2006
Sapphire, Quartz, Coral, & Measuring Beads ...... Mailed: August 27 2006
Opal and How to Buy Beads Retail, Wholesale & Online Mailed: September 24 2006
A Spooky Halloween with Orange and Black Beads! ...... Mailed: October 15 2006
Cheeky Chips, Presentation, Citrine & Yellow Topaz ...... Mailed: October 29 2006
Christmas Beads & Great Present Ideas ...... Mailed: November 12 2006
Merry Christmas, Turquoise Beads, Selling Online, & Gem Properties Mailed: November 26 2006
Happy 2007 from MrBead! Garnet & a Bead Crossword Mailed: January 1 2007
Amethyst, Lampwork, Bead Boards & Bead Storage Mailed: January 28 2007
New Beads & Chinese Year of the Pig! Mailed: February 11 2007
Aquamarine - March's Stone + How are Beads Made, Mala Beads & More! Mailed: February 28 2007
Millefori: Spring Beads, Lava Beads, & Diamonds Mailed: April 1st 2007
Emerald, Moonstone, & Findings Mailed: April 29th 2007
Spring Pearls & Chalcedony ...... Mailed: May 27th 2007
Jewelry Parties, Frame Beads, Ruby & Carnelian Mailed: July 1st 2007
Summer Peridot, Natural Color, & What's New? Mailed: July 29th 2007
How to take Photos that Sell, Sapphire, & Man-made Gems Mailed: August 26th 2007
Glass, Coral, & Opal Beads Mailed: September 30th 2007
Buying Bead Tips, Citrine & Yellow Topaz Mailed: October 28th 2007
Merry Christmas, Xmas & Turquoise Beads Mailed: November 25th 2007
Happy 2008 from MrBead! Bead Sizes, Garnet, & a Bead Crossword Mailed: January 1st 2008
Everything about Making a Necklace, & Amethyst: February's Gemstone Mailed: January 27th 2008
Latest from MrBead with Free Shipping + year of the Rat! Mailed: February 12th 2008
Jade Beads & Aquamarine - March's Stone Mailed: March 2nd 2008
Agate Beads, Mother's Day & Diamonds - April's Stone Mailed: March 30th 2008
Briolette & Wedding Beads + Emerald, May's Gemstone Mailed: April 27th 2008
Pearl Beads & Bead Necklace Ideas Mailed: June 1st 2008
How to make a Bead Bracelet, Lave Beads, & Ruby Mailed: July 4th 2008
Summer Beads & What's New Mailed: August 11th 2008
Selling Beads Online, Sapphire for September & More Mailed: August 31st 2008
Autumn Jewelry & Opal Beads for October Mailed: September 28th 2008
Citrine, Yellow Topaz, Chips & Xmas Ideas Mailed: November 1st 2008
Christmas & Turquoise Beads Mailed: November 30th 2008
Happy 2009 from MrBead! Bead Resolutions, Garnet, & Old Newsletters Mailed: January 1st 2009
Year of the Ox, Colored Beads Mailed: January 11th 2009
The Fall of Money & Amethyst: February's Gemstone Mailed: February 1st 2009
Swarovski Crystal, Beading Ideas + Aquamarine: March's Gemstone Mailed: March 1st 2009
Millefori, Spring Beads, & Diamonds - April's Stone Mailed: March 30th 2009
Bead Buying Tips, Moonstone + Emerald, May's Gemstone Mailed: April 26th 2009
Fighting the Recession and Pearl Beads Mailed: May 31st 2009
Easy Jewelry Selling, Ruby, & Prayer Beads Mailed: July 1st 2009
Bead Shows & Summer Beads Mailed: August 2nd 2009
How to Sell at Bead Shows, Measuring Beads, & Sapphire for September Mailed: August 30th 2009
Troll Beads, & Opal Beads for October Mailed: September 27th 2009
Clasps & Bails, Citrine & Yellow Topaz for November + What's New Mailed: October 25th 2009
Christmas, Presents + Turquoise & Pearl Beads Mailed: November 29th 2009

New Year Calendars

MrBead Calendar 2010 here
For Free 2009 Calendars click here
Free Printable US 2009 Calendar here

Please Help Our Bead Book!

We are working on a MrBead book telling you how to make money selling beaded jewellery. We would appreciate any ideas you have on content. Like bead questions you have or whatever you would like included. Especially the biggest bead problems you have? Please type in the box below and click submit. To submit ideas click here.

In appreciation we will send you a voucher code for $8 or £5 off anything in our store, plus a free copy of the book, expected to be published early 2010. To submit ideas click here

To see more What's New click MrBead.com or MrBead.co.uk
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To go to our UK MrBead shop click MrBead.co.uk