See Beadshaper Gallery for fabulous fashionable hand crafted jewelry.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Carnelian Crochet

Carnelian is a rust colored gem stone and has been known since ancient times. Archaeologists have found examples of it dating back to 1800 BC in ancient Greece although its use probably predates that finding. The ancient Romans used it for signet rings. Kings in various nations have used it for that purpose. The Muslim leader Mohammed was believed to have worn a carnelian signet ring, and therefore it has been a popular stone in the Muslim religion. Some people consider it a good luck stone.
The necklace pictured above consists of many carnelian and other stones crocheted into a necklace. This necklace can be found on the Necklace Gallery of the Beadshaper web site.
Rose teaches the bead crochet technique at various bead shows in California. The next teaching session will be at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show. See Classes for details.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving!
The first Thanksgiving traditionally occurred in 1621 when the early Pilgrims had a feast together with the local Indians. Later in 1789 President George Washington proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be held in November. The holiday was celebrated sporadically after that until Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be the Thanksgiving holiday which has remained as a national holiday each year since then.
The pendant pictured above can be purchased at the Beadshaper web site at the reduced price of $99.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Ivory is a hard bone-like material from the tusks of animals, particularly elephants. Ivory has been used go make various objects, like jewelry, carvings, etc. The word comes from the ancient Egyptian word for elephant. The ancient Greeks and Romans used ivory to make small statues, boxes, and other works of art. The ancient Chinese made religious items and pipe stems from ivory. In Muslim Malaysia ivory was used to make the handles of decorative daggers. In the Philippines after the introduction of Catholicism, ivory was used to make images of saints. In the more recent centuries, ivory was used to make a variety of utilitarian products including piano keys, various handles, and parts of furniture. Much of this has now been replaced by plastic since its invention. The great demand for ivory has made elephants an endangered species and has placed limits on the trade of ivory.
The ivory beads pictured above were made long ago and are part of a necklace for sale on the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Larimar is a turquoise colored stone found only in the Dominican Republic. Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren discovered it in 1916. It was rediscovered in 1974 by Miguel Mendez and Norman Rilling on a beach. Mendez named it Larimar. “Lari” was taken from Larissa, the daughter of Mendez, and “mar” for the sea. 
A necklace featuring the Larimar pendant pictured above can be found on the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Pyrite is a rough grey stone with sparkly gold-like flecks. It has been sometimes called fool’s gold because of the resemblance to natural gold. The name comes from the ancient Greek word for fire. When rubbed with another metal, it can produce sparks which can be used to light a fire. This has been known since prehistoric times. In the 16th century, it was incorporated into muskets to ignite gun powder. It contains a rich content of sulfur and has been used in the manufacture of sulfur and sulfur compounds for centuries. As you can see from the pendant pictured above, it can be used as the focal point of a unique piece of jewelry.

You can see various stones set in silver pendants at Metal Jewelry Shaper  

Friday, October 24, 2014


The word bazaar comes from the Persian word vazar. It means a market place. Market places have existed since ancient times and are associated with the dawn of civilization. When people began producing more food or other products than they could eat or use themselves, they would trade it for goods that they were lacking. The best place for trade was where roads would cross. When one person was successful in trading at a particular location, others would also come there to trade. Eventually people would set up home near the centers of trade, thus beginning towns and cities.
You can experience the excitement of the bazaar by visiting the Beadshaper table at  the Los Angeles Bead Society Bead Bazaar this coming Sunday, October 26, 2014. See L.A. Bead Bazaar for details.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


A cabochon is a gemstone which is dome shaped on its outer surface and flat on its inner surface. It has no facets. The flat side allows it to be more easily set into a bezel on a jewelry piece than  a faceted stone which does not have a flat side. Cabochons are usually opaque and are often oval in shape. The word cabochon come from the medieval French word for head (like the word cabbage). Although the name is medieval French, the origin of the technique of shaping and polishing cabochons probably goes farther back in history.
The pendant pictured above is an example of a cabachon set in a bezel. It, as well as other cabochon jewelry hand crafted by Rose, can be found on the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Jasper is a gemstone of various colors that is formed naturally over time by minerals in sediments. Dendritic jasper pictured above is formed by vegetative protrusions of mineral in natural cracks in the stone. Jasper has been used by man for about 7,000 years.
Pendants handcrafted by Rose featuring various gemstones can be seen at Metal Jewelry Shaper.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Lavender color refers to various shades of pale purple inspired by the color of the lavender flower. The first references to the use of lavender as a perfume and as an herb go back to ancient times. The ancient Egyptians used it in preparing mummies. The Romans used it in their baths and in cooking food. The ancient Greeks called it naardus after the Syrian city of Naardus which they considered to be its origin. The cultivation and use of lavender spread from Greece to France and from there throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. During Renaissance times, it was believed to ward off infection. During the Great Plague in London in the 1600s, people wore lavender around their wrists because they believed it would prevent the infection. It was also believed to bring romance in Renaissance times. Girls would put it in their pillows hoping it would bring a husband. Newlyweds would put it under their beds thinking it would be an aphrodesiac. In the 19th Century, it was associated with lack of maleness in men and became the color of homosexualism in the middle 20th Century. Aside from its historical, emotional, and religious aspects, lavender remains a beautiful color today and can be found in jewelry, gemstones, glass beads, and other adornments.
The silver ring pictured above featuring a lavender agate gemstone can be purchased at Metal Jewelry Shaper .

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant

Above is an example of a necklace handcrafted by Rose. You can see more necklaces made by Rose at Beadshaper.

Below is the text of the short story, The Necklace, written by the French author Guy De Maupassant (1850-1893).
She was one of those pretty and charming girls born, as though fate had blundered over her, into a family of artisans. She had no marriage portion, no expectations, no means of getting known, understood, loved, and wedded by a man of wealth and distinction; and she let herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education. Her tastes were simple because she had never been able to afford any other, but she was as unhappy as though she had married beneath her; for women have no caste or class, their beauty, grace, and charm serving them for birth or family, their natural delicacy, their instinctive elegance, their nimbleness of wit, are their only mark of rank, and put the slum girl on a level with the highest lady in the land.
     She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury. She suffered from the poorness of her house, from its mean walls, worn chairs, and ugly curtains. All these things, of which other women of her class would not even have been aware, tormented and insulted her. The sight of the little Breton girl who came to do the work in her little house aroused heart-broken regrets and hopeless dreams in her mind. She imagined silent antechambers, heavy with Oriental tapestries, lit by torches in lofty bronze sockets, with two tall footmen in knee-breeches sleeping in large arm-chairs, overcome by the heavy warmth of the stove. She imagined vast saloons hung with antique silks, exquisite pieces of furniture supporting priceless ornaments, and small, charming, perfumed rooms, created just for little parties of intimate friends, men who were famous and sought after, whose homage roused every other woman's envious longings.
     When she sat down for dinner at the round table covered with a three-days-old cloth, opposite her husband, who took the cover off the soup-tureen, exclaiming delightedly: "Aha! Scotch broth! What could be better?" she imagined delicate meals, gleaming silver, tapestries peopling the walls with folk of a past age and strange birds in faery forests; she imagined delicate food served in marvellous dishes, murmured gallantries, listened to with an inscrutable smile as one trifled with the rosy flesh of trout or wings of asparagus chicken.
     She had no clothes, no jewels, nothing. And these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them. She had longed so eagerly to charm, to be desired, to be wildly attractive and sought after.
     She had a rich friend, an old school friend whom she refused to visit, because she suffered so keenly when she returned home. She would weep whole days, with grief, regret, despair, and misery.
One evening her husband came home with an exultant air, holding a large envelope in his hand.
     "Here's something for you," he said.
     Swiftly she tore the paper and drew out a printed card on which were these words:
     "The Minister of Education and Madame Ramponneau request the pleasure of the company of Monsieur and Madame Loisel at the Ministry on the evening of Monday, January the 18th."
     Instead of being delighted, as her husband hoped, she flung the invitation petulantly across the table, murmuring:
     "What do you want me to do with this?"
     "Why, darling, I thought you'd be pleased. You never go out, and this is a great occasion. I had tremendous trouble to get it. Every one wants one; it's very select, and very few go to the clerks. You'll see all the really big people there."
     She looked at him out of furious eyes, and said impatiently: "And what do you suppose I am to wear at such an affair?"
     He had not thought about it; he stammered:
     "Why, the dress you go to the theatre in. It looks very nice, to me . . ."
     He stopped, stupefied and utterly at a loss when he saw that his wife was beginning to cry. Two large tears ran slowly down from the corners of her eyes towards the corners of her mouth.
     "What's the matter with you? What's the matter with you?" he faltered.
     But with a violent effort she overcame her grief and replied in a calm voice, wiping her wet cheeks:
     "Nothing. Only I haven't a dress and so I can't go to this party. Give your invitation to some friend of yours whose wife will be turned out better than I shall."
     He was heart-broken.
     "Look here, Mathilde," he persisted. "What would be the cost of a suitable dress, which you could use on other occasions as well, something very simple?"
     She thought for several seconds, reckoning up prices and also wondering for how large a sum she could ask without bringing upon herself an immediate refusal and an exclamation of horror from the careful-minded clerk.
     At last she replied with some hesitation:
     "I don't know exactly, but I think I could do it on four hundred francs."
     He grew slightly pale, for this was exactly the amount he had been saving for a gun, intending to get a little shooting next summer on the plain of Nanterre with some friends who went lark-shooting there on Sundays.
     Nevertheless he said: "Very well. I'll give you four hundred francs. But try and get a really nice dress with the money."
     The day of the party drew near, and Madame Loisel seemed sad, uneasy and anxious. Her dress was ready, however. One evening her husband said to her:
     "What's the matter with you? You've been very odd for the last three days."
     "I'm utterly miserable at not having any jewels, not a single stone, to wear," she replied. "I shall look absolutely no one. I would almost rather not go to the party."
     "Wear flowers," he said. "They're very smart at this time of the year. For ten francs you could get two or three gorgeous roses."
     She was not convinced.
     "No . . . there's nothing so humiliating as looking poor in the middle of a lot of rich women."
     "How stupid you are!" exclaimed her husband. "Go and see Madame Forestier and ask her to lend you some jewels. You know her quite well enough for that."
     She uttered a cry of delight.
     "That's true. I never thought of it."
     Next day she went to see her friend and told her her trouble.
     Madame Forestier went to her dressing-table, took up a large box, brought it to Madame Loisel, opened it, and said:
     "Choose, my dear."
     First she saw some bracelets, then a pearl necklace, then a Venetian cross in gold and gems, of exquisite workmanship. She tried the effect of the jewels before the mirror, hesitating, unable to make up her mind to leave them, to give them up. She kept on asking:
     "Haven't you anything else?"
     "Yes. Look for yourself. I don't know what you would like best."
     Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin case, a superb diamond necklace; her heart began to beat covetously. Her hands trembled as she lifted it. She fastened it round her neck, upon her high dress, and remained in ecstasy at sight of herself.
     Then, with hesitation, she asked in anguish:
     "Could you lend me this, just this alone?"
     "Yes, of course."
     She flung herself on her friend's breast, embraced her frenziedly, and went away with her treasure. The day of the party arrived. Madame Loisel was a success. She was the prettiest woman present, elegant, graceful, smiling, and quite above herself with happiness. All the men stared at her, inquired her name, and asked to be introduced to her. All the Under-Secretaries of State were eager to waltz with her. The Minister noticed her.
     She danced madly, ecstatically, drunk with pleasure, with no thought for anything, in the triumph of her beauty, in the pride of her success, in a cloud of happiness made up of this universal homage and admiration, of the desires she had aroused, of the completeness of a victory so dear to her feminine heart.
     She left about four o'clock in the morning. Since midnight her husband had been dozing in a deserted little room, in company with three other men whose wives were having a good time. He threw over her shoulders the garments he had brought for them to go home in, modest everyday clothes, whose poverty clashed with the beauty of the ball-dress. She was conscious of this and was anxious to hurry away, so that she should not be noticed by the other women putting on their costly furs.
     Loisel restrained her.
     "Wait a little. You'll catch cold in the open. I'm going to fetch a cab."
     But she did not listen to him and rapidly descended the staircase. When they were out in the street they could not find a cab; they began to look for one, shouting at the drivers whom they saw passing in the distance.
     They walked down towards the Seine, desperate and shivering. At last they found on the quay one of those old nightprowling carriages which are only to be seen in Paris after dark, as though they were ashamed of their shabbiness in the daylight.
     It brought them to their door in the Rue des Martyrs, and sadly they walked up to their own apartment. It was the end, for her. As for him, he was thinking that he must be at the office at ten.
     She took off the garments in which she had wrapped her shoulders, so as to see herself in all her glory before the mirror. But suddenly she uttered a cry. The necklace was no longer round her neck!
     "What's the matter with you?" asked her husband, already half undressed.
     She turned towards him in the utmost distress.
     "I . . . I . . . I've no longer got Madame Forestier's necklace. . . ."
     He started with astonishment.
     "What! . . . Impossible!"
     They searched in the folds of her dress, in the folds of the coat, in the pockets, everywhere. They could not find it.
     "Are you sure that you still had it on when you came away from the ball?" he asked.
     "Yes, I touched it in the hall at the Ministry."
     "But if you had lost it in the street, we should have heard it fall."
     "Yes. Probably we should. Did you take the number of the cab?"
     "No. You didn't notice it, did you?"
     They stared at one another, dumbfounded. At last Loisel put on his clothes again.
     "I'll go over all the ground we walked," he said, "and see if I can't find it."
     And he went out. She remained in her evening clothes, lacking strength to get into bed, huddled on a chair, without volition or power of thought.
     Her husband returned about seven. He had found nothing.
     He went to the police station, to the newspapers, to offer a reward, to the cab companies, everywhere that a ray of hope impelled him.
     She waited all day long, in the same state of bewilderment at this fearful catastrophe.
     Loisel came home at night, his face lined and pale; he had discovered nothing.
     "You must write to your friend," he said, "and tell her that you've broken the clasp of her necklace and are getting it mended. That will give us time to look about us."
     She wrote at his dictation.
By the end of a week they had lost all hope.
     Loisel, who had aged five years, declared:
     "We must see about replacing the diamonds."
     Next day they took the box which had held the necklace and went to the jewellers whose name was inside. He consulted his books.
     "It was not I who sold this necklace, Madame; I must have merely supplied the clasp."
     Then they went from jeweller to jeweller, searching for another necklace like the first, consulting their memories, both ill with remorse and anguish of mind.
     In a shop at the Palais-Royal they found a string of diamonds which seemed to them exactly like the one they were looking for. It was worth forty thousand francs. They were allowed to have it for thirty-six thousand.
     They begged the jeweller not to sell it for three days. And they arranged matters on the understanding that it would be taken back for thirty-four thousand francs, if the first one were found before the end of February.
     Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs left to him by his father. He intended to borrow the rest.
     He did borrow it, getting a thousand from one man, five hundred from another, five louis here, three louis there. He gave notes of hand, entered into ruinous agreements, did business with usurers and the whole tribe of money-lenders. He mortgaged the whole remaining years of his existence, risked his signature without even knowing if he could honour it, and, appalled at the agonising face of the future, at the black misery about to fall upon him, at the prospect of every possible physical privation and moral torture, he went to get the new necklace and put down upon the jeweller's counter thirty-six thousand francs.
     When Madame Loisel took back the necklace to Madame Forestier, the latter said to her in a chilly voice:
     "You ought to have brought it back sooner; I might have needed it."
     She did not, as her friend had feared, open the case. If she had noticed the substitution, what would she have thought? What would she have said? Would she not have taken her for a thief?
Madame Loisel came to know the ghastly life of abject poverty. From the very first she played her part heroically. This fearful debt must be paid off. She would pay it. The servant was dismissed. They changed their flat; they took a garret under the roof.
     She came to know the heavy work of the house, the hateful duties of the kitchen. She washed the plates, wearing out her pink nails on the coarse pottery and the bottoms of pans. She washed the dirty linen, the shirts and dish-cloths, and hung them out to dry on a string; every morning she took the dustbin down into the street and carried up the water, stopping on each landing to get her breath. And, clad like a poor woman, she went to the fruiterer, to the grocer, to the butcher, a basket on her arm, haggling, insulted, fighting for every wretched halfpenny of her money.
     Every month notes had to be paid off, others renewed, time gained.
     Her husband worked in the evenings at putting straight a merchant's accounts, and often at night he did copying at twopence-halfpenny a page.
     And this life lasted ten years.
     At the end of ten years everything was paid off, everything, the usurer's charges and the accumulation of superimposed interest.
     Madame Loisel looked old now. She had become like all the other strong, hard, coarse women of poor households. Her hair was badly done, her skirts were awry, her hands were red. She spoke in a shrill voice, and the water slopped all over the floor when she scrubbed it. But sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she sat down by the window and thought of that evening long ago, of the ball at which she had been so beautiful and so much admired.
     What would have happened if she had never lost those jewels. Who knows? Who knows? How strange life is, how fickle! How little is needed to ruin or to save!
     One Sunday, as she had gone for a walk along the Champs-Elysees to freshen herself after the labours of the week, she caught sight suddenly of a woman who was taking a child out for a walk. It was Madame Forestier, still young, still beautiful, still attractive.
     Madame Loisel was conscious of some emotion. Should she speak to her? Yes, certainly. And now that she had paid, she would tell her all. Why not?
     She went up to her.
     "Good morning, Jeanne."
     The other did not recognise her, and was surprised at being thus familiarly addressed by a poor woman.
     "But . . . Madame . . ." she stammered. "I don't know . . . you must be making a mistake."
     "No . . . I am Mathilde Loisel."
     Her friend uttered a cry.
     "Oh! . . . my poor Mathilde, how you have changed! . . ."
     "Yes, I've had some hard times since I saw you last; and many sorrows . . . and all on your account."
     "On my account! . . . How was that?"
     "You remember the diamond necklace you lent me for the ball at the Ministry?"
     "Yes. Well?"
     "Well, I lost it."
     "How could you? Why, you brought it back."
     "I brought you another one just like it. And for the last ten years we have been paying for it. You realise it wasn't easy for us; we had no money. . . . Well, it's paid for at last, and I'm glad indeed."
     Madame Forestier had halted.
     "You say you bought a diamond necklace to replace mine?"
     "Yes. You hadn't noticed it? They were very much alike."
     And she smiled in proud and innocent happiness.
     Madame Forestier, deeply moved, took her two hands.
     "Oh, my poor Mathilde! But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Paprika is a condiment made from certain kinds of dried peppers. In fact the name paprika comes from the word for pepper. Paprika is often associated with Hungarian cooking, but it can be found in various cultures. The Hungarians learned to cook with paprika from the Ottoman Turks when the Ottoman Empire ruled part of Hungary in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Paprika has continued to be popular in cooking to the present day.

The gem stone set in the above ring made by Rose, the metal jewelry shaper, is named paprika because of the rust colored spots over the greyish beige background. It can be found at the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Amazon Rain Forest

The Amazon rain forest is the largest rain forest in the world and occupies the area along the Amazon River. Most of this rain forest is located in Brazil, but parts are also in the surrounding countries. The first humans to live there appear to have settled around 11,000 years ago. The size of the population has varied from dense to sparse over the years. The Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana travelled the length of the Amazon River in 1542. He fought a war with some of the local tribes. In those tribes the women fought along with the men. He named the river after those "Amazon" women. Since the 1970s the Amazon rain forest has suffered from deforestation to obtain lumber and to create farm land . More recently there has been a campaign to save the rain forest.

The pendant pictured above created by Rose is named for the rain forest and can be found at Metal Jewelry Shaper

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Although there are variations in what toffee is and various theories about its origin, toffee is generally a candy made by caramelizing sugar and molasses. Other food items such as chocolate, nuts, or raisins can be added to give various types of toffee their various characteristics. The temperature in its preparation can be varied to give it various textures. Anyway it is sweet and has a light brown color. It is believed to have its origin in England around 1820. More specifics as to who began toffee making and how it got started vary among various toffee historians.
The silver ring pictured above and handcrafted by Rose features a gem stone with streaks of toffee color.  It can be found at the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Rings have been in use by people for thousands of years going back to Prehistoric times. Prehistoric rings from the Neolithic period have been found on the island of Java in Indonesia. Other prehistoric tings have been found by archeologists at sites all over the world, e.g. the British Isles, the islands of the Aegean Sea, and in North America.
The wearing of rings was already well established by the time of the rise of ancient civilizations. The ancient Egyptians wore rings as far back as around 3000 BC. Rings are known to have been worn around 1500 BC in the ancient Hittite civilization which existed in what is now Turkey. The Greeks and Romans wore rings, and the custom has continued to present times.
The ring pictured above was handcrafted by Rose and can be found on her website at Metal Jewelry Shaper

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Letter Openers

An early predecessor of the letter opener was the pen knife which was used during the Middle Ages (and until metal pens were invented) to trim and sharpen the points of quills which were used for writing. In the 18th Century, printing was developed to the point where large numbers of pages were were printed on a large sheet of paper which was then folded and cut by hand with a paper knife. The paper knife by the 19th Century evolved into the letter opener which is still in use to open envelopes. The handles of letter openers have often been ornately decorated. The letter openers shown above are adorned with lampwork glass beads handcrafted by Rose and can be found on her web site at Beadshaper.
The featured creation on the Beadshaper web site in September is the Lilac Eyes Letter Opener.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Glass in Venice

During the early Middle Ages, there were glass makers in the Venetian area who made glass for church windows. Later as Venice grew as a major port for trade, the Venetian glass makers were influenced by the art of the East, particularly Islamic art. By the 13th Century, glass making had reached such importance in the Venetian economy that the Venetian government began taking measures to protect their glass industry and its secret methods for making the uniquely beautiful Venetian glass. The glass production was concentrated on the island of Murano. Foreign glass makers were not allowed in, and Venetian glass makers were not allowed to emigrate. However, by the 17th Century, some of the secret methods gradually filtered out to Venice's competitors in the outside world. The glass artists of Venice were then forced to become innovative in their art in order to stay a step ahead of their competitors. After the fall of the Venetian Republic at the end of the 18th Century, most of the innovation ended for a period of time. Venice continued to produce glass, particularly glass beads, in the same style that had been developed earlier. However, innovation in Venetian glass making was revived in the 19th Century along with the unification of Italy. Venice continues to be the most famous glass making city in the world even today.
The glass bead pictured here was made by the Beadshaper in California, but the glass she uses is imported from Italy. You can see more of her glass beads at

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beads and Superstition

Beads have been used for religious purposes and for purposes related to superstition. Although the line between the two can sometimes be fuzzy, I would define religion as a belief in a deity (or deities) to give meaning to our temporary lives in an otherwise chaotic existence. Superstition deals with small disconnected issues. The use of beads in superstition assumes that they have some magical power to ward off evils. Beads in religion are tools to help in communicating with God (or gods). Anyway, beads can be beautiful in their own right, whatever their purpose.
So, having defined superstition as well as I can, let’s go on to some of the history of beads and superstition.

Evil Eye
Probably, the most widespread superstitious bead with a long history is the Evil Eye. This type of bead dates back to prehistoric times and has been found particularly in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, Asia Minor, the Middle East, and Europe. The concept is that someone can cause you harm by giving you the Evil Eye. Beads shaped and colored to look like an eye were made to ward off this evil.

Ancient Egypt
In ancient Egypt heart shaped beads were believed to promote health. They were also often buried with the dead to continue good health into the afterlife. Another ancient Egyptian bead called the menat was believed to protect women and bring them love. A lotus shaped bead was believed to give intelligence, and a fish bead was believed to ward off evil. Eye shaped beads to fight the Evil Eye were typically blue in color.

Other Ancient Civilizations
The Romans believed amber beads could ward off illnesses. A ram shaped bead was believed by some Middle Eastern civilizations to give strength.

Adder Beads
Adder beads were beads made of a glass-like material found in Britain since ancient times. The peasants believed that they were made by adders (poisonous snakes). They were believed to cure various ills in people and livestock as well as to help with difficult pregnancies
The Beadshaper will be offering her handcrafted lampwork glass beads and handcrafted jewelry at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show July 24-27, 2014 in the Pasadena Hilton Hotel, 168 S Los Robles in Pasadena, California. See Beadshaper for details.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Silver from Ancient Times through the Renaissance

The use of silver by man dates back to 4000 B.C. The first silver mines are believed to have been in Anatolia. The Anatolian mines supplied silver to the craftsmen of the ancient civilizations of Asia Minor, the Near East, and Greece. The cupellation process of extracting silver from ores containing silver and lead was developed in Chaldea around 2500 B.C. Silver mining in ancient times was often done by slaves because of the toxic effects of lead poisoning to the miners. The Minoan and Mycenaean civilization on the island of Crete became especially active in silver craftsmanship until their decline between 1600 and 1200 B.C. Then the silver mines at Laurium near Athens became the major source of silver for the emerging Greek civilization. The next major source of silver mining developed in Spain first supplying Carthage and later the Roman Empire. After the Moorish invasion of Spain in the 8th Century A.D., the source of silver for Europe was diversified into Central and Eastern Europe. After the discovery of the New World in 1492, new sources of silver were found in the Americas.
Rose will be presenting her lampwork glass beads and jewelry creations at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show July 24 - 27 as well as teaching various exciting jewelry making techniques. See Shows for details.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Women in Ancient Sumer

The most ancient civilization existed thousands of years ago in Sumer which was a collection of city states in Mesopotamia. The position of women in relation to men in Sumerian society varied according to which location in Sumer, at what point in history, and what level of society. As farming became more prevalent, men were more likely to do the heavy farm work (like plowing). Women would process the farm products (like churning milk, grinding grain, and weaving cloth. Although women were usually in a lower position than men, the difference was less in the earliest years than later. Women often sold the goods they made and went to the market place to buy the raw materials they needed to make the goods. The deity for many communities was often a goddess. In later years men engaged in commerce and women stayed home doing housework. Women in the nobility and priestesses could often read and write, but commoners did not. Women wore long tunics, henna make-up, and jewelry.
The bracelet pictured above is a nowadays bracelet hand made by Rose. See Metal Jewelry Shaper and Beadshaper for examples.

Friday, June 13, 2014


A pyramid is a 3 dimensional structure consisting of at least 3 sides in which all the sides are triangles which converge at the top. The greatest and most famous pyramids were built in ancient Egypt between 2600 and 1600 BCE. They were usually tombs for Pharaohs. They were supposed to represent the rays of the sun coming down and a pathway for the Pharaoh to ascend to the Heavens. Many of them were the largest structures built in ancient times. The pyramidal shape allowed for greater height by placing the largest (heaviest) part at the bottom becoming progressively smaller going up so that each level was lighter than the one supporting it below. They required the labor of thousands of workers. The Egyptian pyramids were preceded by the zigurrats of Mesopotamia which had a partially triangular shape although they did not converge in a point at the top. The native people of Mesoamerica (Mexico and adjacent parts of Central America) independently developed a civilization during Pre-Columbian times in which stepped pyramidal buildings played a role (more like ziggurats than Egyptian pyramids).
The pyramidal shaped (actually triangular because it is 2 dimensional) pendant pictured above can be found in the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


A parallelogram is a 2 dimensional box bounded by 2 sets of equal length opposing lines, but the each set is not necessarily the same length as the other set and the angles are not necessarily right angles. If all the angles are right angles, then it is a type of parallelogram called a rectangle. If all 4 sides are equal length, then it is a square. If the angles are definitely not right angles, then the parallelogram is called a rhombus. The pendant pictured above is a rhombus.
The idea of the parallelogram was known to the ancient Greeks (perhaps earlier). The ancient Greek mathematician wrote about it.
You can find the pendant pictured above as well as other jewelry pieces on Metal Jewelry Shaper.
Rose will be teaching an extensive list of exciting classes at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show July 24-27, 2014 in the Pasadena Hilton Hotel at 168 S Los Robles in Pasadena, California. See Jewelry Classes.

Monday, June 9, 2014


A rectangle is a 4 sided shape with 4 corners in which each side is straight and equal to the opposite side (in other words 2 sets of opposing equal sides). It also has 4 right angle corners. Rectangles usually occur naturally in living things which tend to be more round. Occasionally one might find a hard non-living substance like a rock which by chance happens to be rectangular. However, rectangles are usually man made. They have been known to humans since ancient times and were used in architecture because walls of buildings were often rectangular. Also writing tablets were often rectangular.
The ring pictured above is rectangular in shape. See Metal Jewelry Shaper to see jewelry of various shapes.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mother's Day

Although Mother's Day as it is known in the United States dates back approximately 100 years, ancient polytheistic civilizations honored mothers through the celebration of gods that represented mothers. Isis was the mother goddess of the ancient Egyptians. The Greeks worshipped the mother goddess Rhea. The Romans celebrated Magna Mater (Great Mother). The holidays celebrating Rhea and Magna Mater both occurred in early Spring. Later in Christian Europe holidays developed honoring the "Mother Church." By the 17th Century, this evolved into Mothering Day in England which celebrated mothers. Mothers Day in the U.S.A. began in the early 20th Century through the efforts of a Sunday school teacher named Anna Jarvis after her mother's death. Her efforts resulted in President Woodrow Wilson proclaiming Mother's Day as an official holiday in 1914.
Mother's Day is coming up on Sunday, May 11, 2014. Rose is offering a sale at 30% off on her web site at BEADSHAPER

Saturday, April 12, 2014


A triangle by definition  is a 2 dimensional geometric figure with 3 corners (angles) and therefore it also has 3 sides. The ancient Egyptians used triangles in designing their pyramids. Some theorums concerning triangles have been attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras who lived in the 6th Century BC although there is some question as to whether Pythagoras himself formulated Pythagorean mathematics or whether it was done later by some of his followers. The triangle is important in the ideas of Euclidean geometry and is the basis for many mathematical formulae. Euclid was a Greek mathematician who lived about 300 years after Pythagoras (in the 3rd Century BC) in Alexandria which was a Hellenized Egyptian city. Persian and Chinese mathematicians wrote about the mathematics of triangles in the Middle Ages. The study greatly advanced in the 17th century with the work of the French mathematician Blaise Pascal.
The Jewish Star of David consists of 2 intertwining triangles. It has been found on some Hebrew artifacts dating back to antiquity, but later around the 17th Century it became a symbol of the Jewish religion.
Triangles have played a prominent role in various designs in jewelry and architecture. In sculpture and paintings, the triangles is more likely to be found more prominently in Modern Art although it might found in a more subtle way in earlier art.
The triangular shaped metal earrings pictured above were handcrafted by the Beadshaper. You can see more of her work at Metal Jewelry Shaper

Monday, April 7, 2014


The word oval means egg shaped or egg-like in shape. A geometric oval that is shaped with both points at each end equal (as opposed to a real egg in which one end is broader than the other) is called an ellipse.
An oval with a line inside it at one end was used in ancient hieroglyphics to surround the name of the Pharaoh. This oval was inscribed on an amulet that was worn by the Pharaoh. It came to signify good luck and eventually was worn by other people.
In architecture one of the earliest known religious temples was one with an oval floor plan found in Mesopotamia at Khafaja, Iraq which is believed to have existed around 2700 BC. In ancient Rome, amphitheaters were often oval shaped.
As for the oval shape in jewelry and beads, perforated egg shells were used in jewelry in Pre-Historic times. Later with the advent of civilization, ovals were found in jewelry made of various materials.
The oval shaped lampwork glass bead pictured above was handcrafted by the Beadshaper. You can see more of her work at Beadshaper

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Pendants were among the earliest forms of jewelry. A copper pendant believed to have been made in Sumeria, the first civilization, around 8700 B.C. has been found by archaeologists. In Babylonia around the 8th Century B.C. seals that were used to sign documents by imprinting in wet clay tablets were worn as pendants. The earliest pendants were made of stone, but later glass and gemstones were substituted. The Pharaohs in agent Egypt wore a type of pendant called a cartouche. The cartouche had a rectangular shape and had the name of the Pharaoh inscribed on it. It was supposed to protect him from evil. The ancient Greeks made gold pendants. The Greek necklace often featured multiple small vase-shaped pendants portraying figures of deities in Greek mythology. The ancient Romans also made gold pendants, but they more often consisted of one focal pendant. Sometimes a cabochon gem would be set in the gold pendant. Pendants were also worn in ancient India and ancient China.
You can find a great assortment of modern day handcrafted pendants like the one pictured above at Metal Jewelry

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Enamel is made by heating and fusing colored glass fritte (ground up glass) to a solid material, usually metal or ceramic, producing a bright glassy smooth surface. Enamel is best known in colored metal jewelry of a certain appearance and in ceramic pottery.

The history of enamel goes back to ancient times. The ancient Egyptians used the technique mainly in finishing pottery. The ancient Persians, Greeks, and Romans enameled jewelry in addition to pottery. Enameling continued into the Middle Ages among the Gauls of Northern Europe, in Byzantium, and in the Islamic lands. It reached China around the 14th Century where it has continued to remain popular to the present. Enameled jewelry became less popular in Europe in the 18th Century, but its popularity revived in the 19th Century and retained its popularity until now.

Some very good enameled copper pendants in addition to other metal jewelry can be found at
Metal Jewelry Shaper.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Evil Eye Protection

The superstition of casting an evil eye refers to the idea that one person can cause harm to another person by looking enviously at that person. Therefore one should hide one's good fortune, lest one might become the victim of an envious evil eye. This concept is believed to have originated in the earliest cultures in ancient Sumer and Egypt. It is most common in the cultures of the Mediterranean and Middle East. During Roman times it spread throughout the Roman Empire to areas far from its origin and subsequently was carried to the New World by Spanish and Portuguese colonists. In some cultures wearing protective amulets or gemstones is believed to give protection against the evil eye. Although this protection has been assigned to various gems, in certain cultures the color blue is supposed to be the most protective.
The blue sodalite pendant pictured above certainly would enhance your beauty even if it does not protect you from the evil eye. A number of pendants with dazzling gemstones can be found at Metal Jewelry Shaper and Beadshaper, and as for warding off evil, well it can't hurt.

Monday, March 17, 2014

History of Bezel Settings

History of Bezel Settings

A bezel setting is a strip of material (usually metal) attached to a piece of jewelry that encloses a gemstone keeping it affixed to the jewelry piece. Bezel settings date back to ancient times and were in use in ancient Mesopotamia 5000 years ago and shortly after that in Ancient Egypt. They have also been found in various other ancient civilizations including the Greek and Roman. This art continued into the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque periods, and into modern times. The word bezel comes from  the word biseau in Middle French (the language of France from the Renaissance into the Baroque period).

The silver pendant made by Rose and pictured above features a gem stone held in place by a silver bezel. It can be found at the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Glass Bead Trade and Colonization of the Western Hemisphere

During Pre-Columbian times, the Natives of North and South America made and used beads made of various stones, bones, and shells. Glass making was not known to them. The European explorers, beginning with the Spanish and Portuguese Conquistadors, and later the Dutch, French, and English introduced glass beads which were highly prized by the Native Americans. These glass trade beads were used by the Europeans (beginning with Columbus or perhaps even earlier with the Vikings) to purchase various commodities. To the Europeans, the beads were cheap in comparison to the value which the American products brought when imported to Europe. Beads were included in the purchase of the island of Manhattan by the Dutch. The Hudson’ Bay Company used glass beads to buy furs. The demand for beads to trade was important in the growth of the glass bead industry in Europe which was a mainly centered in Venice.
See great modern day lampwork glass beads at Beadshaper

You might also want to check out Rose's new Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.
If you would like to join Rose's e-mail list click E-mail List.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Early History of Pendants

Pendants were among the earliest forms of jewelry. A copper pendant believed to have been made in Sumeria, the first civilization, around 8700 B.C. has been found by archaeologists. In Babylonia around the 8th Century B.C. seals that were used to sign documents by imprinting in wet clay tablets were worn as pendants. The earliest pendants were made of stone, but later glass and gemstones were substituted. The Pharaohs in agent Egypt wore a type of pendant called a cartouche. The cartouche had a rectangular shape and had the name of the Pharaoh inscribed on it. It was supposed to protect him from evil. The ancient Greeks made gold pendants. The Greek necklace often featured multiple small vase-shaped pendants portraying figures of deities in Greek mythology. The ancient Romans also made gold pendants, but they more often consisted of one focal pendant. Sometimes a cabochon gem would be set in the gold pendant. Pendants were also worn in ancient India and ancient China.
You can find modern day pendants at Metal Jewelry Shaper.

Friday, February 28, 2014


Copper was the first metal mined at the dawn of civilization about 10,000 BC in Mesopotamia and Persia. It was first used for trinkets and tools, then for pots and pans. Bowls were made by hollowing out a block of wood, placing a sheet of copper on it, and hammering the copper to fit the shape of the mold. The ancient Egyptians found that copper was the best material for water pipes. Some copper pipes found in ancient Egyptian buildings remain intact today thousands of years later. The Egyptians also developed bronze (which is harder than copper) by alloying tin with copper. Much of the copper used in Egypt was mined in the Timna Valley in Israel and much of the Greek and Roman copper came from Cyprus. Copper later came into use in India and China. The Pre-Columbian civilizations of the Western Hemisphere developed copper mining independantly. European scientists discovered the ability of copper to conduct electricity much later in the 17th and 18th Centuries. That discovery was necessary for the scientific advances that made the world what it is today.
You can find a number of exciting hand crafted copper bracelets for sale at Metal Jewelry Shaper

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Botanical Art

Prehistoric art often depicted animals, but drawings of plants were not common. Later, plant art appeared in the art of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. This interest in plant art might have been associated with the beginning of agriculture. The ancient Greeks and Romans decorated coins and ceramics with pictures of flowers and other plants.
Rose hand crafted the lampwork glass blue flower pictured above on the left for the Beadshaper collection.
Rose handcrafted the silver pendant on the right for the Metal Jewelry collection. The agate stone mounted on the pendant naturally formed a flower-like arrangement of petals.
Rose will be teaching classes in various exciting aspects of jewelry making at the Bead and Boutique Arts Show, February 28 to March 2 at the Concord Hilton Hotel in Concord, California. See Classes List for details.
Would you like to join our e-mail list to hear about new additions to the jewelry presented on the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site? If so, please click here.

Monday, February 24, 2014


Agate is a stone containing layers of quartz. The layering of quartz often occurs in crevices of volcanic rock. Various agates are of various colors and forms, and are found all over the world. Theophrastus, an ancient Greek naturalist, is credited with first describing agate about 5 thousand years ago.
Agate was discovered near the Nahe River in the towns of Idar and Oberstein about 6 hundred years ago or earlier which resulted in the towns becoming important gem cutting centers. Later when all the agate in the area had been mined, the gem cutters imported agate from elsewhere, particularly Brazil, and continued being a gem cutting center.
The silver pendant pictured above features an agate stone and can be found at Metal Jewelry Shaper.
Rose (the Metal Jewelry Shaper) will be teaching classes in various metal jewelry making techniques at the Bead and boutique Arts show at the Concord Hilton hotel in Concord, California February 28 through March 2, 2014. See Metal Jewelry Classes for details.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sterling Silver

Silver is a metal that is precious and beautiful but soft. Therefore silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it hardness. However too much copper means less silver and therefore less valuable. So in the Middle Ages in Europe the sterling silver standard was set for the maximum per cent of copper (or any metal other than silver) that could be alloyed into a silver piece and still allowing the silver to meet the standard. The standard was and has continued to be at least 92.5% silver. The word sterling is believed to come from an old word for star. Sterling silver has been used in coins, jewelry, and eating utensils (hence the term silver ware). Silver forks and spoons could only be afforded by the most wealthy people. Today sterling silver is often used in jewelry, but as for eating utensils it is mostly found in antiques. 
The upper plates in the hand crafted earrings pictured above are made of sterling silver. They can be found on the Metal Jewelry Shaper web site.
Incidentally Rose (the Metal Jewelry Shaper) will be teaching classes in various metal jewelry making techniques at the Bead and boutique Arts show at the Concord Hilton hotel in Concord, California February 28 through March 2, 2014. See Metal Jewelry Classes for details.

Friday, January 3, 2014


The name Iberia refers to the peninsula in the southwest corner of Europe which is separated from the rest of Europe by the Pyrenees mountains.  Neandarthal people began living there 200,000 years ago and became extinct about 30,000 years ago. Humans who physically looked like the humans of today migrated into the peninsula about 40,000 years ago. The earliest civilizations with various cultures and trade with other areas of Europe and the Mediterranean began to develop around 5,000 years ago. Around 3,000 years ago, various seafaring cultures developed colonies for trade on the Mediterranean coast of Iberia, first the Phoenicians, then the Greeks and the Carthaginians. The name Iberia came from the Greeks. The Romans invaded Iberia in 218 and took it away from Carthage, making it part of the Roman Empire. With the decline of the Roman Empire and the onset of the Middle Ages, Iberia was conquered by Germanic tribes beginning in the 5th Century AD. The Moslems conquered Iberia in the 8th Century and stayed about 700 years. The Christians remained in the northernmost part of the peninsula and gradually reconquered it by 1492 when all Moslems and Jews were expelled unless they converted to Christianity. Ultimately most of Iberia became consolidated as the Kingdom of Spain, but Portugal on the western coast remained independent. Spain and Portugal sent fleets of ships to establish colonies in much of the western hemisphere as well as colonies in Africa and the Far East, most of which have since then become independent.
The pendant pictured above was hand made by Rose Klapman and can be found on her web site at Metal Jewelry Shaper