Pearl art / beadwork

Today's blog post is dedicated to pearl art - who doesn't know it ?! Many of us used to make things with glass beads, plastic beads or plastic Chrälleli (in Switzerland) when we were children at school or while doing handicrafts at home. Anyone who has experience with it knows how complex this art is and how much patience and steady hands you need to create large-scale patterns from small beads.

Beads Artisan pulls glass beads on a thread with a needle, colored glass beadsThe art of pearls is the art of pulling pearls onto a thread or thin wire with a pearl needle or knitting needle and thereby connecting them to one another or sewing them onto fabric. The pearls consist of a variety of materials and come in different shapes and sizes.

Once processed, it becomes jewelry, various objects, wall hangings, pictures and sculptures and many other objects and works of art. Pearls were used early on for religious purposes, as good luck charms, remedies and even as currency of exchange.

Beadwork techniques include weaving on the loom (loom) and hand weaving (off-loom), threading, bead embroidery, bead crocheting, bead knitting and bead making. As you can see, a book of its own could already be written about it. However, this blog post is only intended to give you an initial overview of this exciting art form.

The art of pearls (English beadwork, from bead / beads = pearls) is mostly lived in Europe today in this context. Here, too, this craft goes back thousands of years when mussels and animal bones were used as pearls. Famous for glass art, Murano, Italy (part of Venice) has been producing pearls since the 14th century. The technique was also used in France as early as the 16th century - the name French Bead is no coincidence. Pearl flowers were made there and the lamp blowing of glass beads was invented in our neighboring country Germany in the 18th century. The city of Lauscha is considered to be the cradle of this technology.

But also in other cultures and regions of this world, working with pearls has been preserved since the Stone Age (robust pearl works are known from archaeological records since the advent of modern man Homo Sapiens). The best known are those of the Native Americans (for many centuries with glass beads and earlier also as quill with dried porcupine quills). The techniques differ depending on the region and the styles are spread across North America, Central America, Greenland and Siberia.

In Africa, too, there are countries with a rich tradition of pearl art, such as Cameroon. Women create wooden sculptures that are completely covered with pearls - similar to skin. Traditionally, pearls were reserved for kings as jewelry and clothing. For this reason, craftsmen have started to decorate everyday objects such as chairs and bowls etc. with beads.

Pearl artist with handicraft, pearl embroidered box for decorationBut also contemporary art (contemporary beading, modern beading) is represented a lot. As already mentioned, there is a lot of tradition and know-how in Africa. A variety of 3d Art objects we have discovered and loved it over the years. Animals, fruits, vegetables and also objects are conjured up by the artists in elaborate manual work and with the highest precision. We love this art form so much that we have already designed many pieces ourselves in collaboration with the artists (animals, Fruits and typical Swiss everyday items such as. Ovi and Aromat).

In Asia, too, we have found artist groups on our voyages of discovery who are reviving this old tradition and with high-precision work Storage boxes weave from bamboo, which you then decorate with bead patterns. The Balinese artists have brought contemporary pearl art to a new level and perfected it. Your objects are high-quality eye-catchers in every living room, which can be easily combined and expanded with further copies.

Both techniques are very different. But they fascinate us equally because here in Europe, contemporary beading is often only used as a creative hobby - just like we did when we were children at the handicraft table with our parents. But many adult artists also use pearls to create jewelry, handbags, coasters and much more. The materials, colors, shapes and sizes of the pearls have become even more diverse today, which enables a great variety of pearl art works and projects. Simple projects can be created in less than an hour, even without prior knowledge, while complex beadwork requires weeks of careful work with special tools and equipment and is usually only tackled by the most experienced artists.

Bead embroidered poodle in pink handmade

You too can discover the art of pearls for yourself. If you are a born artist, you can get started right away or continue your education. If the matter is hopeless for you, there is definitely also the opportunity to buy great products and let the specialists do their work, who also gain economic strength and can live from their work. We pay attention to fair trade and are proud of our great artists.

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