I'm sure we all heard this at least once during our childhood: "don't forget to wash your hands". As a tomboy and serial creek-hopper, I probably heard that at least once a day. My grubby little paws were always busy and exploring---catching crawdads for the boys who were afraid of getting pinched (come on, guys!), playing on the swingset, picking bouquets of flowers for mom, netting butterflies in the garden, romping through the woods behind our house.
We assume that dirt and the accumulation of "stuff" is a bad thing. Now, to be fair, in many cases, it is. Germs are not fun. Smelly stuff is not fun. Grody stuff is not fun. However, when it comes to dirty beads with a history, I'm all for it.
When I'm at a show or am trolling Etsy for new components and I see
a strand of beads that have grime, I usually pounce. And
once I get them on my bench, the thought of WASHING the
beads to remove that beautiful patina of time...well, it never even enters my mind. Some people prefer their
beads and jewelry to be new, pristine, shiny, and spotless. That's fine, no problem with that. But there's also something very sterile about it to me.
Take, for example, the collections of old antique beads found in my earrings for today. Just look at the macro shot on those babies! Pitted, caked with decades and centuries of grime---people rolling the beads around in their hands, wearing them, treasuring them, trading them for goods. Different cultures, different continents, different purposes. In other words, these beads have LIVED. They've outlived generations of humans. And they live on today in their current incarnation as earrings. If that doesn't get your juices flowing as an artist, then I don't know what will.
These earrings feature lime green ancient glass beads, clear "dogon" glass beads, and pale robin's egg blue amazonite stone beads---all from Africa. I added in small vintage wood beads and little bead caps to complete each quintet. The wirework is all hand-wrapped steel, because you know how much I love organic gnarled vining forms. Hooped, lightweight, and fluid.
Happy Wednesday...and have fun getting dirty!
LoveRoot on Etsy