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Tuesday, December 29, 2020



Trumpets have existed since ancient times. The first trumpets were animal horns (before the invention of metals). The first metal trumpets did not have valves and were limited in the variety of pitch in the sounds it could make. Trumpets began to be used in musical compositions in the 17th Century. The invention of trumpet valves in the 19th Century allowed for greater variety of pitch in one trumpet. You can read more about the history of the trumpet at History of the Trumpet | The Instrument Place. The trumpet earrings pictured above can be purchased at COPPER VIKING TRUMPET EARRINGS (

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Saturday, December 26, 2020


The Copper Age occurred from around 5000 BC to around 3000 BC and was the bridge from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. Excavations indicate that it must have begun in Southeastern Europe, Asia Minor, and the Middle East. It was significant in that it was the beginning of smelting metal ore to make metal tools. Before then, tools were made by chiseling stones into the desired shape. Civilizations that possessed the ability to make tools and weapons out of metal were able to supercede those that relied only on stone, thus creating city states and kingdoms. The copper age ended with discovery of making bronze by alloying copper with other metals, mainly tin, to make a harder metal, more suitable for tools and weapons. Copper, being softer and more pliable, remains more suitable for jewelry, wire, and decorative purposes.  

You can purchase the copper bracelet in the above photo at COPPER VIKING KNIT BRACELET (

You can read more about the history of copper on the web site of the Copper Development Association  at   Copper Jewelry in the Early Americas

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Friday, December 25, 2020


In Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance dots on clothing were considered impurities and associated with uncleanliness and disease (reminiscent of the dots seen in smallpox and other infectious illnesses). Polka dot popularity in fashion began in nineteenth century Germany. The word polka in polka dots came from the Czech dance by that name which was fashionable at the time. Placing dots on clothing were facilitated by the development of the sewing machine. Dots continued to be popular in clothing, especially in casual and summer dresses and swim-suits in the twentieth century. Dots are now also popular on beads in jewelry. An example can be seen in the above picture of a bracelet featuring a dotted lampwork glass bead which can be purchased at SILVER VIKING BLUE BEAD WHITE DOT BRACELET ( .

If you want to read more about the history of polka dots, I would recommend clicking the following 2 sites:

The Fascinating Origins of Polka Dots - The Old Timey

A Comprehensive History of Polka Dots Throughout the Centuries (

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Thursday, December 24, 2020


Druzy (also can be spelled drusy) is a group of crystals embedded in the surface of a stone. The color of the crystals varies depending on which mineral has formed to make the crystals. Druzy is formed when warm water from the ground containing dissolved minerals pushes up into porous stones and then cools allowing the minerals to crystallize in the pores in the stones. Some people attribute metaphysical properties to druzy, but you can just enjoy its beauty whether or not you believe in that.

If you want to read more about druzy I would recommend What Is Druzy, and How Does It Form? ( in Geology or Druzy: Meanings, Properties, and Benefits - Gemstagram in Gemstagram or Druzy - Drusy - Druzies - Druse - Facts, Lore, History, Myths and Pictures ( in Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry.

If you would like to purchase the druzy bracelet pictured above, click DRUZY ROUND STONE BRACELET ( at the BEADSHAPER web site.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020


A tassel is a cluster of strands of any material hanging from an object. Tassels have been known since ancient times. According to the Hebrew Bible, God commanded the Hebrews (via Moses) to wear fringes (tassels) on the corners of their garments as a reminder to observe God’s commandments. Tassels were used as ornaments on clothing in Europe, especially France during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. They also have been used to embellish jewelry. They are also traditionally used on graduation hats. The tasseled pendant necklace pictured above can be purchased on the Beadshaper web site at RED BEADKNOT PENDANT TASSLE NECKLACE ( . A similar tasseled pendant necklace can be purchased at Elegant Bead Crochet Necklace with Pendant and Tassle (

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Monday, December 21, 2020


Pi is a factor which is used to calculate the circumference of a circle if you know the diameter or to calculate the diameter if you know the circumference. Pi is approximately 3.14. If you know the diameter, multiply it by 3.14 to get the circumference. If you know the circumference, divide it by 3.14 to get the diameter. Pi was known in ancient times in Babylonia and Egypt. It probably was used to calculate dimensions of circular pieces of land. So, what does pi have to do with bracelets? If you know the diameter of a bracelet, multiply that number by 3.14 to get the circumference of the bracelet or divide the circumference by 3.14 to get the diameter. The diameter is the line that goes straight across a circle and the circumference is the line that goes around the edge of the circle. Remember the diameter should be from the inner surface of the bracelet to get the inner circumference which is what you need to match your wrist. To get the circumference of your wrist (the inner circumference of the bracelet), wrap a string around your wrist, marking with a pen where the wrapped part ends, and then measure the wrapped part. The bracelet shown in the above photo can be purchased at AUTUMN NIGHT BRACELET 

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Sunday, December 20, 2020


Bracelets date back to prehistoric times when bones, shells, seeds, pieces of wood, and stones were strung on cords of plant material. These beads were often thought to have protective power for the person wearing them. The ancient Egyptians developed bracelets into elaborate jewelry pieces with precious stones attached to gold and silver. The Egyptians wore bracelets to show their status in society and believed that when they died they would be place in the proper place in the afterworld according to their jewelry. The Romans made very elaborate designs in the metal of their bracelets. In Medieval Europe, Christians adopted many pagan customs of their ancestors including the wearing of protective amulets on their bracelets to ward off evil spirits. Charm bracelets became popular in Victorian times for decorative rather than utilitarian purposes. The popularity of bracelets for beauty continues to today.

The contemporary bracelet pictured above can be purchased at REGAL BLUESTONE BRACELET 

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Friday, December 18, 2020


A bail in jewelry is a loop which can connect 2 parts of a jewelry piece. In a pendant necklace it is at the top of the pendant or at the bottom of the necklace. The earliest known image of a human being and probably the earliest known bail is a statue discovered in Germany in 2008 known as the Hohele Fels figurine which is estimated to be 40,000 years old. There is no head, but at the top of the body there is small loop. This loop is possibly a bail through which a cord could be threaded making a necklace. It is possible that the head is not present because it might have been made of a perishable material that disintegrated over the years.

The picture above is of a handcrafted lampwork glass bead crowned with a silver bail in which one can thread a chain or cord to make a pendant necklace. It can be purchased at BLUE FLOWERS AT NIGHT GLASS PENDANT WITH BAIL   

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Sunday, December 13, 2020


Fish scales were used in primitive times because of their availability (byproducts of cleaning fish for eating) and beauty (shiny and at times colorful). The whole fish as a symbol originated in various cultures. The fish was worn as a symbol of fertility and birth in various pagan cultures, including the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Celts, as well as others). The ancient Polynesians wore fish hooks as jewelry to symbolize prosperity and health because, as island people, they derived those benefits from the ocean. This custom has been particularly popular among the Maoris of New Zealand and has been continued in the Hawaiian culture. The fish is popular in Christian jewelry. It was a secret symbol used by the ancient Christians in Roman times to identify each other. They consider fishing a symbol of missionary activity, but the pagan Romans did not detect it as such because it was also a pagan symbol.
You can see beautiful flamework glass fish beads for jewelry making at SANDY STRIPES FISH PENDANT WITH BALE (

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020


It has been known since ancient times that wine that is stored over time has to be protected from the air to prevent spoilage by oxygenation. The ancient Egyptians used clay to seal their wine bottles. The ancient Greeks and later Romans stored wine in vase shaped vessels called amphora. We don't have examples of the stoppers which were used to seal them because the stoppers were made of perishable materials. A French monk named Dom Perignon started the widespread use of cork as a stopper for wine bottles in 1698 which is still commonly used today. 
Bottles made of various materials known as decanters have been used for serving wine since ancient times. The ancient Romans began making decanters out of glass, and the Venetians reintroduced the concept of making decanters of glass during the Renaissance. The English in the 1700s began using glass stoppers. Once the cork is removed from a bottle it is difficult to put it back in. Today, wine stoppers used after the cork is removed are often made of glass or metal. Elaborate wine stoppers are often decorated with glass beads or other adornments. 
The wine stopper pictured above can be purchased at RED BEAD BOTTLE STOPPER - Beaded Tools - Handcrafted Lampwork Glass Beads, Pendants, and Wirewrap, Viking Knit, and Bead Crochet Jewelry. (

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Monday, November 23, 2020



Life began in the sea billions of years ago. The first living things were bits of material that had the ability to reproduce themselves. Over time they evolved into organized groups of living materials called cells. In each cell various blobs of living material have various functions. Later cells evolved into organized collections of cells in which various cells had various functions. Eventually these collections of cells organized into organs which make up plants and later animals. Later, these sea animals evolved into various forms and eventually became fish. Later they evolved into reptiles and amphibians (like turtles) which live in the sea and also on land. Some reptiles evolved into completely land animals. Later mammals evolved on land, but a few species like the whales returned to the ocean.

To see and perhaps purchase handcrafted lampwork glass fish beads click" 

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020


Men and women in Ancient Egypt wore light linen clothing. Men's dress-like clothing was shorter, and women's dresses were longer. Dresses of aristocratic ladies were often beaded and tied at the waist to make the figure appear hour glass. Women wore heavy make-up for beauty and also for protection from the sun. Elaborate wigs were popular and clipped in a typically Egyptian fashion. Jewelry was popular for all classes, but jewelry of the aristocracy was made of precious metals and stones. Egyptian necklaces and bracelets tended to be heavy and clunky. The styles of ancient Egypt have been copied over the years for their beauty and sensuality, and some of them are still popular today.

You can see contemporary fashionable jewelry at 

Friday, July 31, 2020


First we must define what is art? The Merriam-Webster definition of art is something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. I think a better definition is something that is created for pleasing the senses and not necessarily for practicality. However a creation can consist of both artistic and practical features, for example architecture.
There is controversy as to whether non-human animals can make or appreciate art. The earliest human art that we know of is Bhimbetka petroglyphs which are engravings on rock found in central India which date from at least 290,000 BCE which must have been made by a very early human species. The ability to create art increases as the size and efficiency of the human brain evolves. Cave paintings and figurines of Cro-Magnon man dating back to about 50,000 BCE have been found in Europe and elsewhere. In the Mesolithic period from 10,000 to 4,000 BCE we see more sophisticated cave paintings, sculpture, pottery, and jewelry. After that we enter the era of recorded history and increasingly sophisticated art.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2020


The Sumerian civilization which existed from about 8000 B.C. to about 2000 B.C. is considered the first civilization in the world although much less sophisticated in the first 3000 years. Cities appeared after 5000 B.C. Sumer was located in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Middle East in the land which now makes up Iraq. The Sumerian ladies wore their hair in braids. The clothing consisted of a gown down to the ankles with one shoulder bare. Clothing materials consisted of wool and flax. In the early years before the process of weaving wool was invented, Sumerians wore sheepskin with the wooly side inward. Wealthy Sumerian ladies wore silver and gold jewelry as accessories including earrings, necklaces, pendants, and rings.
.These earrings are not ancient Sumerian. They were made in modern times by the Rose.
To see more of the Rose's creations click Beadshaper Gallery.

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Monday, July 13, 2020


Beads have been used in trade for centuries, particularly in the Middle East and Africa. “Amber" beads are highly prized in certain African cultures as status symbols. They are often included in the dowry which a woman brings into a marriage. The beads do not necessarily have to be natural amber. Natural amber is millions of years old petrified resin from trees. While we usually draw a distinction between natural and manufactured, to many African people manufactured amber-like beads impart the same status as natural amber. An interesting history has developed concerning Bakelite African ambroid beads. Dr. Leo Baekeland (1863-1944) was born in Belgium and migrated to the USA in 1889 at the age of 26. He invented Bakelite, the first true plastic, in 1907 by combining phenol and formaldehyde. He then formed the Bakelite Corporation which manufactured Bakelite. Dr. Baekeland was president of Bakelite from 1910 to 1939. When the Bakelite Corporation’s patent ran out in 1927, other companies started producing phenol/formaldehyde plastics. For a time, the word bakelite was used by many people to refer to any similar plastic. Bakelite was used to manufacture many products including beads and jewelry. It was made in various colors, one of which was an amber color which resembled natural amber. Bakelite was used in making jewelry that was produced in America and Europe for domestic sale in the early 20th Century (especially during the Depression when formerly wealthy people wanted more affordable jewelry), but it was also sold in Africa where the amber-like variety was very popular. During World War II, bakelite jewelry was no longer made because the material was needed to make products for the military.
Today, bakelite products manufactured in the early 20th Century, particularly beads and jewelry including those used in the African trade, are valued as antiques and collectibles. Rose has acquired a number of those antique African amber-like bakelite beads which she has incorporated into African ambroid jewelry which are available for sale on her web-site at 

You can purchase the bracelet in the photo above at african ambroid bracelet (

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Ancient diamond mines existed in India which were the main source of diamonds at that time. The origin of diamond cutting to transform a rough diamond stone into a jewel is unclear, but the earliest diamond cutters were probably in India. However the Indians usually did minimal alterations to the rough stone because they felt that too much cutting would ruin the mystical value of the stone. The more sophisticated diamond cutting that we know today originated in Europe in the Middle Ages when Venetian traders brought diamonds back home from India. during the following centuries diamond cutting and trading spread to other parts of Europe, particularly Amsterdam, Bruges, and Antwerp. In the 15th Century, many of the traders and workers in the diamond industry in those 3 cities were religious Jews because of the relative religious tolerance practiced there at that time. There was a temporary hiatus in the diamond activity of Bruges and Antwerp when Spain took over Belgium temporarily in the 16th Century and instituted the Inquisition there which drove out the Jewish diamond workers. But this ended when the Spanish were driven out and religious tolerance returned.
The discovery of diamonds in South Africa in the late 19th Century and the rise of the DeBeers Diamond Company there greatly increased the volume of diamonds on the market at a time when great wealth in the West, particularly the United States, provided a market to absorb the increased production. The rise of the Nazis in Europe in the mid 20th Century produced another temporary hiatus in the diamond industry of the Netherlands and Belgium when the Jewish diamond workers either fled Europe or were killed in the Holocaust. Many of those who escaped went to Palestine which later became Israel where the City of Ramat Gan is now one of the great diamond centers of the world. Many of the survivors returned to Antwerp which also remains one of the great diamond centers of today's world.
The Beadshaper does not make or sell any diamond jewelry, but she offers beaded jewelry, and semi-precious stone jewelry on her web site at  http://

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Sunday, March 22, 2020



Beads were used in early trading by the Native American communities in Illinois and the Chicago area. Before the arrival of Europeans, beads were made of natural materials like stones, bones, and shells. Beads have been found in excavations of mound dweller sites in Illinois dating back 2000 years. French explorers and traders in the 17th Century and later other Europeans introduced ceramic and then glass beads. Native Americans often used these beads to weave bands for clothing and jewelry. The Native American bead trade added an outlet which helped to stimulate the manufacture of beads in Europe. As bead manufacturing increased, the cost of production and therefore the price of beads declined, making beads more affordable and more widely used in trade.

Beadshaper Click here to return to the Beadshaper website.

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Sunday, February 2, 2020


Crystals have been found in prehistoric graves and were known in ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India as well as among early Native Americans. The earliest crystals occurred as natural stones but early civilizations began making artificial crystals by adding lead to glass to give it brilliance. George Ravenscroft improved this method of making crystals in 1676. Daniel Swarovski invented a machine to cut crystals in1892. He moved his crystal company to the Rhine River in Austria where he used the river for energy to run his machines. The crystals he made were called rhinestones after the Rhine River. Now the word rhinestone is used to refer to any small leaded crystal.

For beautiful jewelry click

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Thursday, January 16, 2020


What was fashionable for women in Viking times? The evidence for fashion in Viking times comes from what was said in the Viking sagas and from archeologic examination of Viking graves. Although the clothing material mostly disintegrated over time in the graves, old clothes were sometimes covered with pitch and used in making ships, thus preserving those clothing articles.
Women usually wore an ankle length inner dress and an outer dress that was sometimes relatively short and sometimes as long as the inner dress. The outer dress was often fastened with 2 brooches, and a chain of beads was sometimes strung between the 2 brooches.

The bracelet pictured above is made in modern times by the Beadshaper.  It is called Viking Knit. Some Viking Knit jewelry can be purchased from the Beadshaper cart at 

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