Trade Bead Bracelets

A Collection of Trade Bead Bracelets

A Collection of Trade Bead Bracelets

Walker Goldsmiths has made some Trade Bead Bracelets. We have an extensive collection of antique beads used during the Fur Trade Era in the Pacific Northwest, from Russian Siberia over to Alaska and down into all the North American Continent, that are beautiful and oozing with history.  These beads are not replicas but the real thing and we’re wanting to share the history and beauty.

Cobalt Blue Russians and Czech bead bracelet

Cobalt Blue Russians and Czech bead bracelet

Today’s offering of Trade Bead Bracelets primarily includes the famous Cobalt Blue Russians, circa 1800’s and earlier, and Cobalt Czech glass beads that I like to use for spacers and protector beads. Blue Russians were originally made in Bohemia by stretching a long tube of cobalt glass then breaking them into smaller pieces and then individually, by hand, beveling and cutting them into shape. And since you can’t bend a glass tube I have to put a round Czech bead in between each Blue Russian so the bracelet or necklace can take it’s shape.  Check out my Cobalt Blue Russian Bead Story here.  The first Trade Bead Bracelet I’m featuring is composed of only Blue Russians and the Czech Cobalt spacers with a Sterling Silver clasp.  These first 3 bracelets are all individually made and for sale for under $90 depending upon the length you need determined by your wrist measurement.

Cobalt Blue Russian and Chevron Trade Beads Bracelet


Cobalt Blue Russian and Chevron Trade Beads Bracelet

The 2nd Trade Bead Bracelet that I have for sale is Cobalt Blue Russians and 6 layer Chevrons.  Chevrons are a bead with a very interesting history and manufacturing technique originating in the same part of the world as the Blue Russians.  They came to be traded in the Americas over a different path than the Blue Russians.  They are very uniquely made by the arrangement of three or more colors in usually six layers of glass. Their history describes a trading path from Murano, Italy, south through Africa and over to the Americas.

Cobalt Blue Russians and Padre Trade Beads

Cobalt Blue Russians and Padre Trade Beads

This 3rd Trade Bead Bracelet is Cobalt Blue Russians and Padre Beads.  Padre Beads are a colorful opaque glass trade bead with a vibrant history too.  “They are round, satiny opaque glass beads, mandrel wound, originally made in Venice possibly in the mid 1400’s.”  Read more about their interesting history here on one of my posts on  Activeartist.net where Owen posted, “Ubiquitous is truly the right word as we have found that these beads were made everywhere … and traded to the furthermost corner of the world!”   There was such a demand in the world that it was a very lucrative business and Dutch Traders were masters at seafaring who started taking them everywhere they traded.  I hope you take the opportunity to read my post on activeartist.net for a deeper story about the paths of this bead.  Owen and I have a print of a painting made by Charles Russell of Sacajewea in 1805 with Lewis and Clark and the Corp of Discovery on the Columbia River.  She is standing in the canoe visibly offering Padre Trade Beads to trade with the Chinook Indians.  We love this print!

Trade Bead Bracelet of Blue Russians and Mastodon Ivory

Trade Bead Bracelet of Blue Russians and Mastodon Ivory

My 4th Trade Bead Bracelet is Cobalt Blue Russians and Fossil Mastodon Ivory Beads. I’ve used Cobalt Czech glass again as spacers. The Fossil Mastodon Ivory beads came from ancient tusks unearthed by erosion in Russian Siberia and could be more than 20,000 years old.  Fossil Mastodon Ivory  is so beautiful and can be found in so many gorgeous colors because of the minerals in which it’s buried and also because it’s so very old. “The density and integrity of the ivory is magnificent. Colorful, dense, fine grained, and reeking with history.”  See our other post about Mastodon Ivory.  It is so complimentary to Cobalt Blue Russians.  This Trade Bead Bracelet is for sale also and Walker Goldsmiths is asking $135 for it depending on length needed to fit your wrist.

Walker Goldsmiths think that anyone who appreciates history and beautiful interesting jewelry associated with history would love these Trade Bead Bracelets!  They all come with Sterling Silver clasps.

A Custom Red Gold Men’s Wedding Ring

Custom Men's Red Gold Wedding Ring with Fossil Walrus Ivory !nlay

Custom Men’s Red Gold Wedding Ring with Fossil Walrus Ivory Inlay

Walker Goldsmiths has had the privileged to work with Nathan to create his Custom Red Gold Wedding Ring. He came to us knowing what he wanted and we enjoyed doing just that.  We’ve known Nate for many years now as he works as an engineer on the boat, Steelhead, a Fish Buyer boat owned by a family friend.  Nathan was to marry Lindsie this summer so we were excited to make this ring for him as we had already made her a wedding ring.  See the story about that on another page here on Walker Goldsmiths.

Nathan brought a big chunk of a fossil Walrus Tusk that he had found washed out of the dune debris on a beach in Alaska one day when he’s had some free time for exploring.  It’s a beautiful wild place with much good beach combing to be done.  This chunk of tusk, though pretty beat up, did have some surface that we could cut a slice out to use in a ring.  Nate wanted a piece inlaid into 14 kt Red Gold and we thought it a very fun thing to do, plus the Red Gold would complement and enhance the natural fossil Ivory colors.

I made the wax of the ring with a slot to inlay.  Owen lost wax cast the ring using gorgeous 14 kt Red Gold, then sliced the tusk to the right width for the inlay.  He choose the outside primary dentine layer of ivory to use as the inlay. See the picture above to get a look at the two different layers of dentine in a cross section of a Walrus Tusk. The inside of a Walrus Tusk has a kind of very crystalline grainy core that is exceptionally hard and beautiful, but difficult to work with as it tends to chip out in the crystal shapes.  I did Scrimshaw years ago and I found that the core of the tusk is really impossible to carve on because of this hard crystalline center, so scrimshanders always choose to work on the outside layers of the tusk.  Owen inlaid the Custom Red Gold Men’s Wedding Ring with the tusk segment and it was gorgeous.  Thank you, Nate, for letting us make this beautiful ring for you, and congratulations to you and Lindsie on the occasion of your marriage.  Walker Goldsmiths is happy for you kids on your brave choice and positive attitude on this marriage adventure.

Custom 14kt Red Gold Men's Wedding Ring

Custom 14 kt Red Gold Men’s Wedding Ring

Nathan and Lindsie on their wedding day

Nathan and Lindsie on their Wedding Day

Kat’s Custom Arrow Diamond Wedding Ring

Custom Arrow Diamond Ring

14kt Yellow Gold Custom Arrow Diamond Ring

Walker Goldsmiths was pleased to meet a gorgeous young woman who wanted a Custom Arrow Diamond Wedding Ring.  That doesn’t mean an arrow shaped diamond, but it does mean a ring shaped like an arrow with a diamond on it.  What Fun!  Arrows are really her thing.  They’ve been a symbol of importance to her through some tough times and it was very important to continue using that symbol in a brand new adventure.  She’s a survivor of a previous bad marriage in her teen years and country music has been a sanity saver to help her get through that tough time.  One country music singer, Kasey Musgrave, sings “Follow your Arrow…wherever it points”, a song that has given her solace and strength.  So the symbol of arrows became a symbol of strength to Kat and thus the Arrow Custom Wedding Ring, much to my wax carving pleasure.

Kat met Dale on the internet and they struck up a lovely friendship that turned into a real fairy tale romance!  Once on a hiking date through a large wooded Northwest Washington Park they found a diamond anniversary band that had to have been tossed into the bushes.  Who knows what juju went with that ring, but Kat and Dale certainly changed that by recycling.  The ring was a 14kt yellow gold 6 diamond anniversary band.  What an astounding find!  Dale had already bought an engagement ring for Kat so they choose to use these diamonds from the “found band” to put into Custom Wedding Bands for each of them.

It was a fun adventure for me to carve a wax arrow that would wrap around her finger and snug up to her Engagement ring.   Owen lost wax cast it in 14kt Yellow Gold using the gold from the found band and other recycled gold of Kat’s, and then one of the diamonds was hammer set in the shaft of the “Arrow”.  Three of the diamonds were set diagonally into a men’s wedding band for Dale.  There were 2 more diamonds that Kat had us put in a special package for each of her two children for their later use.

Walker Goldsmiths has enjoyed making this Custom Arrow Diamond Wedding Ring for Kat and Dale very much and we’re pleased to have a couple of lovely new friends.  We wish them both all the sweetness and joy they deserve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Custom Men’s Wedding Ring

Custom Sterling Silver Ring with Leaves and Branches

Sterling Ring Custom Carved Leaves and Branches

Walker Goldsmiths love to make Custom Wedding Rings!  Kris and Megan came to us for her Custom Engagement Ring and it was a pleasure to make.  She wanted only one ring to be used as an Engagement Ring and a Wedding Ring.  Megan had a definite idea about how it should look and was able to draw it out for me to carve in wax.  The end result was fabulous!  We communicated as I was able to guide her ideas into a ring that was durable, practical and beautiful.

Kris and Megan came back to us when it was time to make a Custom Wedding Ring for Kris.  He wanted a ring that went well with the ideas they originally had of symbols of the earth on their important jewelry.  So it was branches and leaves again, and the challenge for me was to carve a Custom Men’s Wedding Ring with these natural symbols.  I loved the challenge!  There would be no stone on Kris’ ring but the branches would be textured like bark with leaves with veins shaped and carved. Kris OK’d the wax carving and Owen lost wax cast it in Sterling Silver. The intention was to antique the Sterling Silver to enhance the natural look like Megan’s ring. Sterling takes on such a wonderful patina when oxidized and then the high points are polished creating depth and dimension.  I think Walker Goldsmiths accomplished the task of creating a beautiful Custom Leafy Men’s Wedding Ring for Kris and Megan.  Thank you again, Megan and Kris, for letting Walker Goldsmiths share in your excitement and happiness with these nature inspired Custom Wedding Rings!

Branches and the Sea Custom Engagement Ring

Branches and the Sea Custom Engagement Ring

Custom Gemstone Pendants

Katy's Blue Topaz in a Sterling Silver Custom Crown

Katy’s Blue Topaz in a Sterling Silver Custom Crown

Walker Goldsmiths often get asked if we can create a Custom Prong set Pendant so a stone can be worn by it’s owner.  Of course we can!  Sometimes folks get a stone when they’re traveling to S.America or on a cruise to the Caribbean and when they bring it home it just sits in the drawer awhile until they figure out they can ask us for help.  We can always help!  Here’s two examples of keepsake stones that we’ve set in fancy Sterling Silver crowns so that the stones are wearable and useful to their owners.  Sterling Silver is always reasonably priced and do-able so it’s no huge expense.  Now the stones are out of the drawer and around someones neck ready to tell the story of the adventure.  If you have a stone or some keepsake that is hiding away in a drawer give us a shout and let’s figure out a solution, maybe a Custom Gemstone Pendant will do the trick.  Maybe a birthday present or Christmas present can be made up to order by Walker Goldsmiths.  Email [email protected]

Sue's Herkimer Diamond in a Sterling Silver Custom Crown

Sue’s Herkimer Diamond in a Sterling Silver Custom Crown

Custom Nautical Braid Wedding Ring for a Sailor

Custom Nautical Braided Wedding Ring

Sterling Silver Custom Nautical Braided Wedding Ring

Walker Goldsmiths received an opportunity to make a Custom Nautical Braid Wedding Band for Weston and Anna.  I’ve always loved nautical braided ropes, macrame’, fancy braided applications on ships and anything to do with Sailor Knots, all too cool to me!  I did Macrame’ for years and had some interesting leather cord tucked away.  When Weston said, “I want a Nautical Braided ring that has no holes through it and it must have a solid inside”,  my mind went searching about to find a way to do just that.  So I braided up a length of the leather cord and taped it all together on the ends, wrapped it in a big circle and molded it in our wonderful clear mold product.  When it was all set up and cured I cut out the cord and Owen shot the mold full of wax for me.  I then made the circle to the right size and used melted wax to firm up the ring and create a comfort fit solid substantial ring for Weston.  We invested this wax and cast it in Sterling Silver and it turned out beautiful.  This ring is wonderful, comfortable, sturdy and attractive. It is sort of a Story Ring because Weston is a Sailor and knots have a big meaning to him in his chosen profession. Weston came out to try it on and loved it!

Weston and Anna were heading off to a great adventure that his profession was determining.  Weston had worked for the Coast and Geodetic Survey people and had just landed a job with NOAH in the Netherlands.  Very exciting.  They were getting married and packing up everything and moving there right away.  We had to scurry to get this done for Weston.  Anna was recycling some old gold and a diamond from a previous relationship and we bought her diamond and gold to pay for Weston’s ring.  This recycling of old unwanted jewelry was a big success because they needed every cent they could get to move to the Netherlands. Thank you, Anna and Weston, for including us in your adventure by letting Walker Goldsmiths create this Custom Nautical Braid Wedding Band .  We loved it and wish you two the very best dreams come true!

Weston's Sterling Braid Wedding Band

Weston’s Sterling Silver Braid Wedding Band

Mother’s Custom Memorial Red Gold Rose Ring

Red Gold Mother's Ring with diamonds

Red Gold Mother’s Ring with Diamonds

A Leafy design was what one of my best girlfriends wanted from Walker Goldsmiths for her Custom Memorial Red Gold Mother’s Ring. We said, “Of course, we’d love to do it!”

Ane’s mother’s original ring that she inherited was literally falling apart and her two daughters wanted to do something for their mom to preserve this heirloom ring.  She wanted a ring to celebrate her memory of her mother.  Roses were so precious to her mother and she had a wonderful green thumb with them.  Ane’ remembered being taught the names of all the roses in her mother’s garden;  the Hybrid Teas and the Grandifloras, the Double Delights and the Florabundas included names like Peace, Red Blaze and Ballerina, the wonderful old fashioned stalwarts of the Rose Garden. Ane’ is a Master Gardener who has inherited and earned this same Green Thumb.  She’s always been puttering about  since the day I met her creating exquisite gardens!  I am also a gardener who has a good handful of glorious Rose bushes.  This year, by the way, has been spectacular for Roses and gardening in general in our neck of the woods.  So to make this ring for Ane’ was totally a labor of love.

When Ane’s mom died while living at her sister’s home the grandchildren all decided that Ane’ should have The Rose Ring left by mom.  It was a ring with a rose shape and a light yellow Canary Diamond in the center and a cresent with some small birthstones.  It was made of white gold and so very worn out to be too thin and dangerous to wear.  Ane’ wanted to keep the general pattern of the original ring and I was to enhance the design.  This was to be a Memorial Ring, a Story Ring with memories of mom. We thought that 14kt Rose Gold would be so very appropriate, plus she loves Rose gold and has her wedding band in Rose Gold.  The only stone she wanted kept was the center Canary Diamond.

Diamonds and Red Gold Mother's Ring

Diamonds and Red Gold Mother’s Ring

I carved a wax, which Ane’ approved and Owen Walker lost wax cast it with his wonderful Rose Gold 14kt Alloy.  We set the original center Canary Diamond in a 14kt white gold crown in the middle of the large rose;  set 7 melee diamonds at the base of the rose in a bit of a swirl, with 1 melee diamond set in the small bud rose on the edge.  The band of the ring has leaves going down a ways on each side to the deep and substantial squared shank that works so well to keep any ring from flipping uncomfortably on a finger.  We were hurrying to get this for Ane’ as she and Bill were set to go to Hawaii for her son’s wedding and we wanted Grandmother’s presence with her. Mom’s Rose Ring lives again! Walker Goldsmiths thanks you, Ane’, for this fun family experience creating a custom recycle of your Mother’s Rose Ring.

Custom Thor’s Hammer and Raven Ring

Custom Raven and Thor's Hammer Ring

Custom Raven and Thor’s Hammer Sterling Ring

Custom Sterling Silver Ring with Raven and Thor's Hammer

Custom Thor’s Hammer with “Kumi” Sterling Ring

Raven and Thor's Hammer Sterling Silver Ring

Raven and Thor’s Hammer Sterling Ring

Custom Thor’s Hammer and Raven Ring is a result of a previous post about “Krumi”, old Norse for Raven on this Walker Goldsmiths website. The Hammer of Thor is a powerful symbol in Old Norse mythology. Our daughter, Nalani, has a half-sister, Leilani, who’s married to a Norse fellow who subscribes to the old Norse pagan ways and is always looking for Thor’s hammer jewelry.  Leilani got in contact with me and asked about a Raven with Thor’s Hammer design on a band, something more for a guy to wear.  I played around with the idea and came up with this design.  I love the 3-D Raven, the Thor’s Hammer with Celtic symbols and a Triskelion on the side.  My heritage is intensely Viking and I’m interested in the myths and history of my ancestors.  I carved a wax pattern and Owen lost wax cast it in Sterling Silver.

Thor is a major Norse God associated with thunder and his hammer is one of the most fearsome of weapons known to level mountains.  The cherished old myths tell of dwarf brothers making this short handled hammer.

Historian Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson provides an excellent summary of the uses of the hammer:  “It would seem indeed as though the power of the thunder god, symbolized by his hammer, extended over all that had to do with the well-being of the community. It covered birth, marriage, and death, burial, and cremation ceremonies, weapons and feasting, travelling, land-taking, and the making of oaths between men. The famous weapon of Thor was not only the symbol of the destructive power of the storm, and of fire from heaven, but also a protection against the forces of evil and violence. Without it Asgard could no longer be guarded against the giants, and men relied on it also to give security and to support the rule of law.

This is fun stuff for me and, thank you, Leilani, for encouraging me to pursue this design.  It’s given me reason to research.  Owen and I recently had our DNA tested to find out our heritage and I had a good idea I had Viking ancestors because of my Scottish Gunn Clan grandmothers.  The Gunns were originally Vikings who conquered and invaded the northernmost point of Scotland.  So sure enough, there was the DNA evidence of my Viking heritage.

This Raven and Thor’s Hammer Sterling Silver Ring is 10mm wide on top, tapering to a custom 5mm wide squared shank that creates balance and comfort to wear.  I’m selling this Sterling Silver ring for $175 US for sizes 6 to 14, over that it’s $195 US.  S & H in the USA is free.  We will certainly make this ring in yellow, white or red gold upon request.  Email me for price.

A Custom CTR Ring for our Celtic Friend

A Custom CTR Ring for our Celtic Friend

A Custom CTR Ring for our Celtic Friend

CTR = Chose The Right Custom CTR Ring!

Noel wanted a real Custom CTR Ring that reflected who he was, so Walker Goldsmiths put it together with him.  We’ve known Noel since he was a little guy and we know his folks and their Celtic heritage very well.  His dad is McCarty Irish and his mom is MacDonald Scottish, so he’s Celtic clear through!  Noel is a big, handsome, strong and determined Celt. The design of the CTR is a traditional shield motto of the LDS church of which Noel is a member and the Scottish emblems all around the ring are symbols of his heritage.

Sterling Silver Custom CTR Ring

Sterling Silver Custom CTR Ring

Noel came to Walker Goldsmiths with some of his ideas and we went with it.  I carved the wax after researching Celtic knot designs that I thought truly fit the situation and OK’d it with Noel.  We choose the King Solomon’s Knot because it’s so attractive and spiritual.  The monks of early Christianity considered the geometry of the square a symbol of the  creation of the universe.  Aidan Meehan writes in his book, Celtic Design Knotwork, “It was important to them to contemplate how…the infinite and the finite, all opposites- could be symbolized by the pattern of this knot; a symbol of ‘Divine Inscrutability’ and the epitome of wisdom, King Solomon”.

Walker Goldsmiths lost wax cast this 10mm wide, comfort fit band in Sterling Silver and set two gorgeous blue Sapphires in the side knots.  These Scots, Walker Goldsmiths, loved doing this Custom CTR Ring for Noel.  Thanks, Noel, for this very fun project touching on yours and our Celtic heritage.

A Custom Compass Ring for a Mariner

Sterling Silver Custom Compass Ring with Aquamarine

Sterling Silver Custom Compass Ring with Aquamarine

Walker Goldsmiths was privileged to make a Custom Compass Ring for a Mariner who found us through Etsy. I’ve got a few rings pictured on my site there and Jarred emailed me through walkergoldsmiths.com wanting to know if I’d be willing to make him a custom ring. Of course I was interested! We love doing custom work because it’s so fun and personal to those who want it. We often get to really have a good rapport with folks and the challenge to satisfy them is very rewarding.  To help people get what they want in a custom piece of jewelry is important to Walker Goldsmiths as we’ve always found that jewelry IS an emotional issue.

Jarred wanted a Custom Sterling Ring with a Compass Symbol and an Aquamarine stone on the top. I doodled around with some ideas and we agreed to a particular one and I started carving wax, keeping him aware of what was going on with the process. It was lots of fun emailing back and forth. I asked him why he wanted this particular design for a ring and he replied, “ A way to remember my Naval service and an heirloom to pass on.” I told him, “My dad was a Navy guy and our oldest daughter joined the Navy too and became an electrician.  My husband, Owen, was a Sea Scout and I think that counts.  Our son is a Marine Mechanic in San Diego so we’re awash with salt around here.  Plus we live on the beach!”  This ring will be a kind of Memorial Ring with an emblem particularly significant to Jarred’s Naval service, so it’s a kind of Story Ring for a part of his life.

We got on with the process and Jarred OK’d the wax, then on to lost wax casting in Sterling Silver. Jarred was particular that we got a very good Aquamarine for him, and we did, to set in the center of the compass. He told me that the Aquamarine was very important because of it’s significance to sailors and that he wanted to make sure that the ring was going to be a big one. I made sure of that making the top part of the compass a good inch in diameter surrounded by rope. We sent photos to Jarred after casting, he was excited and so were we to get it done and sent to him.

Walker Goldsmiths thanks you, Jarred, for the opportunity to make this beautiful Custom Compass Ring for a Mariner for you and for your service as a “sailor”. We loved doing it!

Custom Compass Ring Drawings

Custom Compass Ring Drawings