Our friend and bead collector-extraordinaire Billy Steinberg has published a gorgeous new coffee-table style book of African powdered glass beads. This book is chalk full of some of the most beautiful bead pictures we've ever seen and treats these African-made beads as a true art form worthy of study.
We will have a copy for you to peruse at our grand opening this weekend! In the meantime, you can order your own copy from Billy directly at Wild Beads of Africa -- you won't regret it!
New space.... Check! Building permits.... Check! Construction... Starts tomorrow!
We are totally excited to let everyone know that our new space is under construction! We have more beads, more gifts, more gem stones when we open Mid-August!
Our new address will be 235 Carroll Street, NW, Washington DC 20012!!!
After 20+ years at our home base on Laurel Avenue in Takoma Park, S&A Beads is moving across the boundary between the City of Takoma Park, MD to the Takoma neighborhood in the District of Columbia. Our new home is three blocks from the old space. Very near the Takoma Station on Metro Red Line, across from Starbucks, next door to Busboys and Poets and Politics & Prose bookshop. A Yoga shop is coming three doorways away.
Our new address is 235 Carroll Street NW, Washington, DC 20012.
Many thanks to all of our customers who have stopped in to wish us well! We deeply appreciate all your love and support!!!
And many more. The closer you look the funnier it gets. Says Cheryl Moody, senior artist at S & A Beads and the designer of the window, "The election news is so depressing, I felt I had to do something to lighten my own mood." According to Larry Silverman, owner of S & A, "Our customers really love it. Many have suggested additional placards. I am very proud of the wit and the craftsmanship evident in this shop window."
As part of our participation in the Takoma Park ART HOP 2016, this weekend, April 9 and 10th, S & A Beads will feature jewelry artist and math whiz, L.S. Watson. His elegant silver, bronze and copper jewelry faithfully represents three dimensional geometric forms discovered by mathematicians during the last 150 years: example, things like the Moebius Strip.
Larry is fascinated with the Geometry of Minimal Surfaces, sometimes called the Geometry of Soap Bubbles. The idea is that when children wave or blow into their soap bubble wands, the shapes that result contain the least surface area of any shapes that could be formed under the same conditions. Deep stuff in a child’s soap bubble!
Larry is not content to create the forms in metal, but he manipulates them as well: What happens when a strip is folded or twisted together with another strip of the same type? To achieve these effects in metal jewelry, the artist has recourse to 3-D printing and other state of the art tools. The solution to the geometry and engineering problems turns out to be the most elegant and intriguing personal ornaments I have seen in a very long while.
Check out our shop window this week-end to see L.S. Watson's beautiful jewelry in person -- and than walk around to the other stores in Takoma Park to see wonderful art from all of the Art Hop participants! Math majors have always understood the beauty of their subject. Now all of us can see it, and wear it as well.
We at S&A Beads are always proud to be in one of the world's most ancient professions -- the bead business, of course! And in that spirit, we pass along this fabulously fascinating article about modern archaeological digs in Denmark, which turned up beads from all over the world, from ancient Egypt to Mesopotamia (or modern day Iraq). According to the article, one Danish woman's tomb even showed glass beads made by the same glass factory that made jewelry for King Tut:
"... the blue beads buried with the women turned out to have originated from the same glass workshop in Amarna that adorned King Tutankhamun at his funeral in 1323 BCE. King Tut´s golden deathmask contains stripes of blue glass in the headdress, as well as in the inlay of his false beard."
Just wonderful to think of ancient Scandinavians trading amber to ancient Egyptians for glass beads! Read the full article here: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/archaeology/1.707620?v=FB36077E706EF857155BE36F897EFDC5
Naomi Lindstrom was one of the great bead collectors of the 20th century. She passed away a few years ago after amassing one of the finest bead collections in history. Her personal story is just wonderful -- working as a Pan Am stewardess in the 1950s, she traveled all over the world buying beads with her per diem! (There are some great stories about her http://articles.latimes.com/1996-04-22/news/ls-61496_1_coral-beads and a nice article by Jamey Allan about her collection in this PDF: http://www.beadsocietyofnorcal.org/pdfs/BSNC_Newsletter_April_2013.pdf.)
So we in the bead collecting community watched with bated breath as Mrs. Lindstrom's collection was auctioned off earlier this week. There are some very lucky bead buyers out there -- but for the rest of us, just flipping through the catalog (which includes some Pan Am days pictures and discussion of her charitable work with Tibetan refugees) is quite fascinating! http://www.beadsocietyofnorcal.org/pdfs/BSNC_Newsletter_April_2013.pdf. The Tibetan silver needle case on a strand of unbelievable Tibetan coral was one of the highlights!