Monday, June 13, 2016

Sari Silk Comfort

I made these simple collars with washed, conditioned and colored recycled silk from lovely Indian saris, yes- worn by Indian women and their children and then reclaimed. Sari silk to me is the essence of wabi-sabi perfection-in- imperfection, recognition that the worn is noble.  With those lovely thoughts, it caresses you.

The stones are little haiku poems: each syllable chosen carefully to fit with the ones preceding and to create a lovely meaning  -  limited, like our lives, by finitude.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


This is just a quick note to entice you, in case you need enticing, over to The Coffee Trade in Avon...where AlienBeadings necklaces and earrings, made one at a time and one of a kind are on sale (really, really good sale, you have to go there and find out).

For bead-decking your mothers, grandmothers and those you think of as mothers, and just this week.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I have been making malas again.  It's a meditative experience, transportive, really.  When a touchstone emerges from a mass of unexplored stones and beads, it becomes the focal bead of the mala, which is meant to begin the contemplative experience with its eloquent tactility.

The beads that will make up the mala speak up for themselves.  Their shapes, their hues ask - insist, sometimes, to be included.  Like poetry of limited syllables, great discipline must be used to balance the mala and hold  its focus.

The mala has a message that is spoken in ancient shapes and materials.  It is a message of spirituality through physicality.

I think that beads were created for this purpose: to be a reminder of something.  To stand as a symbol of a promise or a hope.  And to count -  to impart a number to  remembrance and show devotion through repetition.

Today we have a long history of the making of beads in almost every culture, and many wonderful strands of this history hang by my bead table, waiting to find their calling in a piece that will give them meaning and purpose.

The house mala is meant to be contemplated, like the hand mala, and seen everyday as a matter of conscience.  It can be hung on a door  - inner or outer - on a door knob, or anywhere you pass frequently.

It is also meant to be a protector, or a reminder of protection, or guardianship.  A comfort upon seeing.  It marks this familiar space, where you have peace, and make and take your blessings.  It is an emblem of the boundary between your Inner world and the Outer world.

If it is the last thing you see as you leave home, it reminds you that you have power, and a glowing spirit to take with you, which will be nourished and replenished again when you return.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Neolithic Prom Necklaces

That's what these look like to me.  They are full of raw, chunky rocks, subtly color-differentiated.  Bronze Age pallette studies.

Because there are wooden beads (painted with many many layers of mica dust and matte gel medium for permanence), the necklaces are lighter than they look.
But wearing them, I think one should get the feeling of a Stone Age princess: powerful and mysterious.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

House Mala number one: Poetry to touch.

This is my first “house mala”.

Like a wind chime or mezuzeh, it is meant to bring spirits of harmony and energy to a place by stringing together symbols of those spirits in a beautiful little choreography. Mala being sanskrit for “garland, it is a universal decoration of life, with a prayer inherent in it. The first malas were used as altar decorations, as a gift for the Spirit.

Permit me to explain the arrangement and the participants.

Six strands are suspended from a handformed bar or bridge made of cassius basaltic black clay by my friend Steph Brouwers in Belgium, incised with special magical marks that I think represent rain and growth in a potent numerology and shipped to the New World.

Anchoring each strand to the bridge is a blue rain bead hand-baked in Indonesia or a bauxite earth bead.

Each one of the beads has a unique persona and meaning within the whole. Like an instrument in an ensemble whose unique tone blends with the music of the group.

Malas are like haiku- an art form with limitations of dimension within which infinite variety and meaning can be cultivated. Taking this power from ancient makers of beaded objects that carried spirit power, they are amuletic poetry to be touched and heard with the inner ear.

Each mala is meant to carry an encoded message or prayer which is unleashed by the act of fingering or hanging by the user.

The Basha bead hangs in the center with a tail made by a river stone: this magical orb is the centerpiece around which the mala was designed. Made in the 21st century by an flamework artist who has studied and I think perfected the look of ancient glass, long buried and gleaming with the reactions of glass in long contact with earth.

Below it hangs a counterbalance made with a mini-cairn (wheel-shape) and a flat triangular token of drilled beach stone, both so perfectly eroded they seem to have been waxed.

Above the Basha bead symbolising the planet is a Mexican tin sunburst bead, well, symbolising the sun.

At the top of the center strand, just below the bridge that holds the mala together, is a deep indigo bead from Mali, made in the 1900s, of cobalt blue, representing the vault of the sky.

The six strands are organized in this way from left to right:



earth, sun and sky



There is no seventh strand because the Maker rests after the sixth string.