See Beadshaper Gallery for fabulous fashionable hand crafted jewelry.

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