Beadwrangler Magazine Review

Ornament, P.O. Box 2349, San Marcos, CA 92079-9806, phone 800-888-8950 or 760-599-0222, fax 760-599-0228, email

Summer 2000

Bondo Costume Ornaments by Alok Kumar Kanungo takes you to a location in India where bead ornamentation thrives. Photos of Bondo people dressed in so many bead strands, it makes them look like a fabric draping on each individual. Here, just as in areas of Africa, telephone wire is popular for making bangles.. A Black Hills Powwow by Robert K. Liu offers colorful images of traditional dancing, captures a little of the emotional experience the dancers feel during the event and describes a few basics about powwows.

Chinese Symbolic Locks by Margaret Duda provides the history, legends and use of these locks today. I have seen these pieces sold as jewelry components and had no idea they were actually locks or evolved from locks. There are several examples from pages 32-35. Lynne Merchant’s Visit to a Tahitian Pearl Farm by Robert K. Liu is a trip through a pearl farm plus a look at some of Lynn’s wirework combined with black pearls. Deborah Einbender, A Mythic Countenance by Beverly Gordon is an eye popping glance at Deborah’s magnificent leather creations The shaping and tooling of these pieces offer a whole new approach to the word "art." Her masks are arresting but her face bags are absolutely compelling. She has a purse on page 43 and one in an ad for her work. Try and see what you think.

Tibetan Nomad Festivals by Phila McDaniel is a trip in a world of rich colored clothing, giant copal and amber beads, lots of turquoise and coral and huge silver and brass metalwork. I don’t know how the women shown in the article can wear all those ornaments which must be very heavy. Information about the festival, location, traditions and people are included along with a historical background.

Autumn 2000

Precolumbian Greenstone Beads by Robert K. Liu is an adventure in ancient beads that are very collectible. There are several photos and the beads are identified by size and type material. What I find most fascinating is that when I hold a large old bead in my hand, especially one that has been worn over the ages, I feel more than just the stone, it is a touch with the past and this is what makes it all the more a unique experience.

Chachales of Guatemalan Mayan Indians by Lee Price Arellano includes images of Chachales, necklaces, made of various beads, some including silver coins and many incorporating a crucifix or cross into the piece. Galina Rein, Working on the Edge by Robert K. Liu displays a splendid array of porcelain pendants, beads and jewelry by this artist. Her work varies from a look of the old to the new. Some of her feathered type pieces look like they were made in the 1800’s, soft, muted colors in delicate floral arrangements. Other pieces duplicate the appearance of glass beads.

Risa Benson, The Artist Within by Carolyn L.E. Benesh explores this designer’s work in an extravaganza of knitted wearables. I find the textural changes from one portion of a piece to another to be most pleasing. Ellen Gienger, Making Magic by Margaret Sharp is a look at silk painting and designing wearable art. Strong vibrant colors are worked to evoke a muted elegant effect. Lee Phillips, Bipartite Relationships by Glen Brown includes masks on every page made of precious metals. The ‘Mask Series: Celestial Mask’ on page 48 is a real eye grabber.

Secret World of The Forbidden City by Carolyn L. E. Benesh is a review of the exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California from Oct 2000 through January 24, 2001 including textiles, portraits, furniture, wearables, jewelry and many other lavish items from that era. I was amazed at the embellished pedestals made expressly for setting a pair of women’s shoes for display, apparently until the next time they would be worn.

Blanka Sperkova - Jewelry Arts by Jacqueline Ruyak is about finger knitting with silver wire. The Each jewelry item excels in find handwork, offering a very delicate and lovely finishes. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, pieces that look like fingers from a glove all in a row, figures hanging from finger knitted ropes are some of the examples.

Spring 2000, Vol.23, #3

Designs With Heart by Carolyn L.E. Benesh is an overview of a fiber conference in California including photos of work from the exhibit. Arline Fisch by Rober K. Liu covers the exhibit of her work at the San Diego Historical Society Museum. Many of her classic pieces are displayed on pages 26-27. Fern Wayne by Carolyn L.E. Benesh offers a look of several garments created by this fiberist.

Embroidered Skullcaps of Uzbekistan by Irina Bogoslovskaya & Larisa Levteyeva includes historical information about the stitch work and color examples of the items are provided. The Pursuit of Balance by Carl Little is a look at Elizabeth Prior’s silver and goldsmithing and incorporating precious gems and pearls to create fine jewelry.

Kate Bishop, The Seventh Chakra by Chori Santiago a look at hat wear extraordinaire. From head wear of crocheted copper and copper mesh to hand painted silk and embroidered lace, each hat has a unique appeal. If you wore one of these hats, you can be sure, you would be the center of interest. Lilly Fitzgerald, An Intimate Classicism by Beth Frankl is a look at this goldsmith’s jewelry including pendants, brooches and earrings.

Sharon Boardway, Moments in Time by Robin Updike bring to view metalsmithing creations with the look of natural materials such as leaves. Comparisons of Ancient Faience Ornaments by Robert K.Liu discusses this material with a time line and identification of various beads of ancient times.

Bead Display Armatures by Robert K. Liu is an adventure through various ways to display beads. Bead Collectors will enjoy this article. Faience Bead Earrings by Robert K. Liu describes various faience beads set in sliver wire pieces to create earrings . The designs are not what one thinks of when the word "earring" is expressed. These earrings are all created to highlight the faience bead. Bead Expo 2000 by Robert K. Liu is a review of the past expo events and highlights of this one for 2000.

There is an excellent article, actually a paid for, two pages, by Crystal Myths, Inc. and the SoftFlex guys explaining their "cancellation" of the Wine Country Glass Art & Bead Festival due to the unexpected bead shows added in front of others for this year on the West Coast. Take a moment and really read this article; it will clarify for you what is going on and the ethics involved. As usual, Postscript From the Editors pops out new ideas and thoughts such as the diversity of artwork going on and bringing together an international conference of this diverse group? Sound exciting? Read page 96 for more.

1999 Issues