Then our last show of 2018, the following weekend at Brighton Gem 'n' Bead Fair, Brighton Racecourse BN2 9XZ.
We’ll have many of our just-arrived-in-the-UK beads – the latest and best semi-precious! Be among the first to get you’re hands on the very latest beads just arrived in the UK. Say your a MrBead Newsletter reader for a free gift!
As Brighton will be our last bead fair of the year, MiMi and I are taking a week’s holiday in Portugal from Wednesday 21st November. So all online orders from then will be delayed.For our bead shop click MrBead.co.uk or
Follow Nigel on his personal site at NigelHayMckay.com
Warm Up With Lampwork Beads
Venetian Murano Beads
Gems For The Fall
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Or buy your own jewellery to dismantle from a charity shop, then add new beads to create an up-to-date design.
New Beads online at MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com
Hot glass-working 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 be visible in the bead – although some beadmakers use of these as design elements. 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 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. To prevent cracks, the beads are soaked in a kiln to ensure 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.
This time-consuming process produces beautiful beads, far superior to any other lampwork.
However, they are very expensive. So unless you have really up-market clients for jewellery, then genuine Murano beads are not for you.
Pictures on the online version of this newsletter, are of genuine Murano beads, taken in September, in shop window of Murano Island, Venice. Note price per bead – MrBead’s China-made lampwork looks very similar, but cost about 1/10, think how easier to sell your glass bead jewellery!
See Our Affordable Lampwork Beads at MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com
Pearls, nature’s treasure from the deep, can be very effective mixed with other beads – especially as they come in autumn colours too. Let fabulous colours with a touch of gold capture your imagination as well as your eye.
Try mixing contrasting colours like brown and gold with blues and green. Some of the most popular gemstones that make fabulous autumn jewellery are listed below.
It’s believed to bring fortune, health, wealth and long life. Some call its strange patterns ‘cosmic caterpillar tracks’. Others’ swear that wearing these beads can heighten the spiritual consciousness and balance the body’s physical and mental states.
Another stone from the quartz family, usually bright orange to reddish orange. Carnelian is for confidence. Carnelian is in tune with the energies of the Earth, making you feel anchored and comfortable with your environment.
A good stone for people starting new projects or who feel they are going nowhere. It motivates, allowing you to find the energy to make the most out of life. Said to help blood disorders and eliminate toxins from the body.
”Citrine” comes from the French word for lemon, and is any quartz crystal or cluster that’s yellow to orange. The darker, orange colours were traditionally the best, but today people prefer bright lemony shades to mix with pastel colours.
Sunny citrine brightens all jewellery, blending especially well with the yellow gleam of polished gold. The yellow colour is a natural reviver, and citrine focuses the mind bringing a feeling of self-esteem.
Coral Coral was thought to be a strong talisman against evil spirits and hurricanes. It is also said to reduce blood flow. Naturally its colour ranges from white to red, but most red coral these days is dyed. It grows in branches that look like underwater trees.
The most common flaked stone is goldstone: ideal for autumn jewellery. Man-made, first created by alchemists trying to create gold – however, all material has properties, these are transmitter stones. Causing light to pass through you in order to convey or receive a medium. Revitalizing, energizing, and encouraging a positive attitude and individualism.
For 5,000 years Imperial China used the word “jade” as something precious. Because jade is said to have all the attributes most valued in society. A symbol of purity and serenity, it is delicate, but will not break – is beautiful, but not impermanent, it can be flawed with lines, but still pleasing.
It is believed to radiate divine unconditional love and balance the emotions. The most famous type of jade carved in China is from Burma, with shades of green, lavender, yellow, white and grey.
Jasper was highly valued in ancient times, not only for its beauty, but also for its magical and medicinal properties. Jasper is known as the “patron stone of counselors and healers”.
Red jasper is an intensely protective stone, stabilizing the aura and bringing contentment. Poppy jasper is dark red with black flecks. Picture jasper is pale brown with darker patterns – named from pictures formed by patterns caused by trapped fossilizes algae. Fancy jasper is creamy brown with lavender or green swirls.
This gemstone is straight out of fairy tales of the Arabian Nights: deepest blue with golden shining Pyrite inclusions which twinkle like little stars. Through the ages, lapis has been associated with power, wisdom, and love.
The twinkling inclusions are not gold but pyrite, caused by iron. The blue colour comes from the sulfuric content of lazurite. For many people lapis is a stone of truth and friendship. A powerful gemstone that should not be worn by those who lack strength of character.
Malachite & Rhodonite
Malachite is green with irregular black banding. Its stripes have the ability to soothe and bring rest – helping sleep, meditation, circulation and balancing emotions. Copper content helps rheumatism. The magic of malachite is also thought to attract love and wealth. Some say malachite travels the world in search of energies to change.
Rhodonite is usually pink to red or orange, very popular in 18th-century Russia where it was used extensively to decorate the Russian court. Rhodonite has similar properties to malachite.
The least expensive cultured pearls today rival the most expensive natural pearls ever found.
Natural freshwater pearls occur in mussels for the same reason saltwater pearls occur in oysters. Foreign material inside a mussel can’t be expelled. To reduce irritation, the mollusk coats the intruder with the same secretion it uses for shell-building, nacre. To cultivate a pearl, farmers’ slit the mussel and insert small pieces of live tissue from another mussel.
Freshwater pearls are popular for their colours: white, silvery-white, pink, red, copper, brown, lavender, purple, green, blue, and yellow. These are usually dyed these days.
Tiger’s-eye is polished to show its characteristic band of pearly luminescence, resulting from light reflecting off its thin parallel inclusions in the quartz. Colours range from a rich golden yellow to dark brown. Tiger’s-Eye is good for those worried about health. It also builds will-power and inner-strength.
Full 2018 Bead Fair List
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April 2018 is the 13th full year of the MrBead newsletters, and I thank you all for such enthusiastic comments and appreciation. To see the past newsletters click here.
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