I just got a shipment of antique trade beads from Mozambique Island (thanks to my friend A for being the courier) and I couln't be more excited. I love sorting the strands, identifying the different beads and dreaming up new designs. These beads are incredible - on any one strand there can be an assortment of 400-year-old Hebron beads made in Palestine using salt from the Dead Sea as an alkali, 500-year-old carnelian agate beads from India, 150-year-old Islamic prayer beads, 300-year-old Venitian, Bohemian and Dutch glass beads...it's like a treasure chest.
I'm currently working on some designs for Spring that mix strands of the tiny trade beads with gemstones and big, silver flowers made by Thai Hill Tribes artisans. Can't wait to launch the collection!