Participating in Lori Anderson's bead swaps and blog hops has given me the opportunity to learn about new artists and new elements in jewelry design, and to make some terrific friends!
I recently was in Anderson's Pantone Summer Color Bead Swap -- an experience that taught me about color as I created bead soups for each of the ten Pantone summer colors for my partner, the immensely talented Tina Holden of Beadcomber. Holden is an expert polymer clay and jewelry artist and instructor, and her bead soups made for me were exquisite! Tina has now become my good friend, and as she says, we know we would be hanging out if we weren't at opposite ends of the USA and Canada! Distance doesn't stop us from having fun online, sharing life's adventures and challenges and of course, the jewelry arts. I'm so grateful to have met Tina!
Now being a part of Lori Anderson's 400 person Bead Swap Blog Hop Party is another amazing experience! Not only has BSBP6 been fun, but exchanging beads between Orlando Florida and Jyväskylä Finland has been an adventure! I've learned some Finnish, and I've learned about Finland. But most of all, I cherish making another friend, my partner Margareta Saari of Mags - Koruja, a beautiful artist whose jewelry is intense, artistic, poetic and very popular. Margareta Saari is a beloved Finland artist, and it is easy to see why. Her work ranges from inspirational rosaries to leading edge modern folk art to the sophisticated and sublime.
One of my favorite pieces from her blog is "Noitanainen" (meaning "Witch Woman"). I love the raven, a cool twist on the popular birds in jewelry designs, and adore the magic bottle! I've looked hard for one, and the small size of the glass bottle filled with flowers makes it perfectly magical.
|"Noitanainen" by Margaret Saari|
Margareta loves Seraphinite, as do I, and often works with the feathery, upscale gemstone. Seraphinite, the gemstone of the angels with its silvery wisps of wings on soft, muted fern greens, is called "serafiniittti" in Finnish. Saari's necklace "Päivän sana: kiitos" represents thanks to the angels.
"Päivän sana: kiitos" by Margareta Saari
I've learned how challenging it can be for artists to shop, ship, and share internationally -- and I've come to appreciate the stores, independent artists, and internet jewelry challenges that are open to all and are internationally focused to bring us together. It takes more energy and more time and even more income to go global, but it is so well worth it! The results are outstanding. Whether we are in Canada or Finland or the U.S.A., we all share our love of jewelry arts, our love for our families and children as mothers, and our love of adventure.
Thank you brilliant Lori Anderson and thanks to my partners in soup, Tina and Margareta -- I'm honored to call you all friends :)
Toltec Jewels is an author by day and jewelry artist by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA in a permanent collection of mixed media art and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. A gemstone collector and jewelry lover, her store offers gemstone beads and she is happiest when creating handcrafted jewelry with her entire family. She has won a number of awards for both her literary and jewelry art.
She is also the creator of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and emerging jewelry artisans taking inspiration from each other, Jewel School, and jewelry art culture by featuring jewelry designers and bead artists and supporting entrepreneurship for independent artisans. Join her at Jewel School Friends on Facebook for tutorials, community events, challenges, and fundraisers.