We have new, tiny pet chickens at our house. After my long day at work yesterday, I wanted to do nothing more today than hang out at home on the back porch and hold the chicks. Birthday parties and friends I miss and even a horse-back-riding lesson got in the way. I threw on a strand of African bone beads over an ombre russet tee and an ankle-grazing denim skirt. It was all I could do.
African trade beads come into my bead collection on their long raffia strands with the wrapped and tied backs. They tend to stay that way. Very seldom will I cut them and break them up into other designs; usually I just end up wearing them pulled over my head. I layer them up in ones or twos or threes or tens. I think that sometimes that is the best way to wear them and that they really don’t need my additions or mussing around. Is that the whole simplicity vs. laziness thing again?
There is some real beauty to multiple strands of beads hung around the neck. A nice simplicity to the no-clasp length. An artifact-like quality to those hand-made beads on that gathered grass strand. After all, one of the reasons I love to work with beads and to make jewelry is the connection to one of the earliest identified bits of human material culture. In those sandy, stony graves where pollen grains and skull fragments are painstakingly dusted with slim brushes there are always beads.
Apes and birds make tools. We alone make jewelry.