118 Harvard Avenue
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