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Marcia Rottenberg
Site #20
118 Harvard Avenue

Handcrafted jewelry

Flow  When I was a young child, I had a recurring dream.
A witch lived in the closet next to my bed.  She guarded three treasure chests, their tops open, overflowing with emeralds, diamonds, and rubies.  She let me come into the closet anytime I wished.  I loved scooping up the jewels and the feel of them flowing through my fingers as they fell back into the chests.

My astrologer friend had just told me, “You enjoy working in mediums that flow,” when my daughter arrived home one day declaring, “Mom, you need to order a magazine for Brownies.”  Years ago I dabbled in watercolors…beaded necklaces as gifts for my friends…and today I need to order a magazine for Brownies!  I chose a magazine about designing jewelry and so began my renewed interest in hand~beaded jewelry.  This time around, I seek knowledge about the beads I purchase and read about the history of bead making.
Beads have been a part of all cultures for 40,000 years!  Glass was invented in Egypt about 9,000 years ago.  In 1292, Venetian glass makers were moved to the island of Murano so they could not reveal the secrets of glass making.  Bohemia and Moravia, now a part of Czechoslovakia, have been regions of renown for their glass making since the Fourteenth Century.  In these cultures, bead makers have always been considered artisans.  Hand~blown glass from Europe, India, and Japan.  Hand~soldered silver from Bali, Thailand, and Turkey.  Hand~carved bone and hand~painted porcelain from China.  Hand~made powder glass beads from Africa.  I am grateful to the bead artisans around the world for providing these “jewels.”
Most of my pieces are one of a kind.  I hand pick every bead and purchase in very small quantities.  I have learned that if I love a bead, buy it.  It won’t be available later.  My joy is combining beads gathered from the world over and creating adornments of earrings, bracelets, and necklaces for others to enjoy. 

My inspiration comes from many places ~ the color of woven rugs and paintings ~ the stillness of the sparkling winter sky, the emerging mysteries of spring as the snow melts, summer days of dragonflies and humming birds flitting from flower to flower and daisy chains, the brilliant burst of fall leaves ~ and like my speech-language kids, who love stories with illustrations, some are bold and some are delicate.

I now understand my friend’s message.  A good piece flows.

Marcia Rottenberg, 1997/2011
Red Mountain Design
East Hartland, CT