This Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace by Walker Goldsmiths is a beautiful collection of trade beads reminiscent of a late summer sunset in the Aleutian Islands. The Aleutians are amazing islands located off the southern coast of Alaska.
Walker Goldsmiths has a collection of fossil Walrus Ivory that I love to put into Trade Bead Necklaces. They blend themselves so well with the trade beads in the colors and patina that these fossil pieces attain. Also they blend with the history of the traded beads in the area of the North Pacific where these fossil bits are found. The story goes that native Aleut kids don’t have summer jobs mowing lawns in the Aleutian Islands so they scramble around the beaches and eroded streams looking for these fossils to sell to traders. I love it! Many of these pieces of Fossil ivory are broken bits and parts of sled runners, snow knives, harpoon points and other tools, all having that man-shaped aura, also fabulous colors from being buried in the earth for thousands of years. I don’t know what this original ivory piece was used for, but the piece came with the hole drilled in it and it has the appearance of primitive drilling techniques. It could possibly be a fishing line weight; the material is definitely easier to drill through than stone. I like to call it a toggle because that too is a possibility. Toggles are easier to unhook to access stuff in packs than fussing with a knot. I use easy to manipulate, yet strong and secure, black lip pearl shell buttons as toggles instead of metal clasps to fasten my necklaces because they are so much more convenient.
The specific beads used in this necklace to create this blend of colors are orangey Carnelians in chunks and round beads. The opaque tabular turquoise beads are very rare glass Venetian Fancies from the 1800’s to remind me of the clouds often on the horizon at sunset. I choose various shades of Turquoise beads, chunks and heshi along with the wonderful sky blue Padres to simulate the turquoise-blue skies of the Summer Sunset. A smattering of shell, bone, green chevrons and jasper are the flavors of the beach surrounding these islands. I make Earrings to match this necklace if you’d like that.
The price for this Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace, including Earrings is $275, free S&H in USA.