See Beadshaper Gallery for fabulous fashionable hand crafted 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.
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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.