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Beads Beads and More Beads

Many of you who have read my past blogs know that I have been a bead collector for many years… the extraordinary Chinese beads are what led me to collecting Chinese Jewelry. Beads are not as easy to display as some of the other collections… they cannot be put in albums like coins or stamps or postcards…


When a large number of special beads appeared, I would always string them and wear them… then a friend taught me to knot…great hobby and a kind of meditation …when you are finished you have a beautiful piece of jewelry to wear…that solved the problem of how to display the beads… well, almost!

There were still thousands of beads left …all different shapes and sizes… Eventually it occurred to me that I could combine all the odds and ends …the way that women make patchwork quilts… these proved to be very popular when I took them along to antique shows.

Then there were the Chinese beads… great unusual beads…carved gemstones, wood and nuts, early enamels, Peking glass, but I often had only 1-4 beads of each… too few to make a necklace…but they are so fabulous they deserve a better fate than being kept in bags in a drawer or in all of the old suitcases piled on the floor.

But when I tried to string them together, it was impossible to make the knots because there were so many different hole sizes… (beaders will relate to this!). Then one day the light dawned on me because I have a friend who makes bent sterling silver wire jewelry… so I started to assemble my Chinese bead necklaces on sterling wire…


Not only did it solve the problem of the different hole sizes, but it allows me to change a bead (or two…or three) without restringing the entire necklace…

Display problem solved …but now there are all of these neck forms on the dining room table… I will have to get my husband to put in more shelving before we can sit down to eat!

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