Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace

Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace

Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Aleut Sunset Earrings

Aleut Sunset Earrings

The price for this Aleut Sunset Trade Bead Necklace, including Earrings is $275, free S&H in USA.

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings

Princess Cut Diamond Wedding Ring for a Princess

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings

Nicole wanted Walker Goldsmiths to make her a Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring so Walker Goldsmiths went shopping for her and Jake.  Owen found the perfect Princess cut diamond for Nicole.  She wanted it set up high in a crown so Owen found a sturdy 4 prong 14 kt white gold crown to protect all 4 corners on the Princess cut diamond and did as she asked.  She also decided that a delicate melee diamond band with bright cut borders all in 14 kt White Gold would be the perfect Engagement and Wedding Ring Set.  Nicole has beautiful smooth long fingers and this set looks spectacular on her. (She should actually be a hand model!)

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings

Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings

Jake wanted a nice big-but-not-too-big chunky Sterling Wedding Band.  This we could definitely do.  Walker Goldsmiths were honored to accommodate these great kids with the Princess Cut Diamond Engagement and Wedding Rings  to celebrate and seal their marriage adventure.

Nicole and Jake 2018

Nicole and Jake 2018

 

Trade Bead Elegance

Trade Bead Elegance

Trade Bead Elegance

Trade Bead Elegance, ancient authentic Trade Beads collected and strung by Janet Walker.  This beautiful composition was wonderful fun to string up.

Hand faceted Red Venetian Glass Trade Bead

Red Venetian Glass Trade Bead

The center Venetian Red faceted bead is the fantastic centerpiece.  The interesting story about these ancient Red Venetian Glass beads, other than individually made and hand faceted by little cottage industries, is that they were originally made with glass colored with real gold chloride, of course, that made them very expensive.  The alchemists of the late 1600’s in Bohemia, especially one fellow named Kunckel, the son of a glass manufacturer, discovered the addition of gold chloride to clear glass made it turn this gorgeous red. The stories of intrigue and theft of secret recipes for glass during those centuries are really amazing!

Similar stories are rampant about the Hand faceted Cobalt Blues, later known as Russian Blues.  They weren’t made in Russia and are only called that because the Russian Fur Traders discovered the appeal they had for trade with the Inuit natives on the North Alaskan seacoast trading for Sea Otter pelts… more intrigue and theft with every other horrible coercive technique you can think of.  But the beads are so beautiful, and were traded by the natives among themselves and every other tribe on the Northwest Coast, then all across the continent with the North American Fur Trade.

The Chevrons have a wonderful history also. Chevrons are also known as “rosetta” beads, owing to the distinctive star-shaped design around the perforation hole. The first Chevron beads were made in Murano, Italy, in the late 15th century and were characterized by their unique rosetta or star design made by alternating layers of glass.  Chevron beads were made for trade throughout Africa as well as the Americas.

Trade Bead Elegance Earrings

Trade Bead Elegance        Earrings

Trade Bead Elegance is one of the most formal looking necklaces Walker Goldsmiths makes that are steeped in history and color.  I love making jewelry with these wonderful bits of history. Every bead seems to have a soul or at least have touched one once upon a time.

 

Trade Beads – Grizzly In the Cedars

Trade Beads - Grizzly In the Cedars

Trade Beads – Grizzly In the Cedars

Grizzly In the Cedars, Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Silver Grizzly Bear Pendant created by Walker Goldsmiths.  The authentic, antique Trade Beads in this necklace are Carnelian, Coral, Orange Padres, Jasper, Jet, Onyx, Jade, Horn, Amber, Watermelon Chevrons and Venetian Fancy’s, all strung up with a Black Lip Pearl Shell button for a clasp. I used green Jade and Chevrons, brown Horn and Venetian Fancies to give the feeling of the forest with Black Jet and Onyx to create shadows, but the wonderful variation of red cedar colors in the Carnelians, Amber, Corals, Jasper and Horn ruled the day. Any Grizzly in his right mind would live in this colorful cedar forest!

Owen Walker Handcarved this Northwest Coast Style Sterling Silver Bear Pendant. Sometimes in this style of art it’s hard to tell the difference between a bear or a wolf, but the hand/paw is the definitive design aspect that helps you know when you’re looking at a bear.  A wolf has that wonderful tail that makes it different than the bear.  Grizzly In the Cedars, Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Silver Grizzly Bear Pendant created by Walker Goldsmiths. Pendant measures 1″ x 2″.  This necklace length is 24″ and can be custom made to the length you want…  $ 525.

 

Potlatch Ready, Let’s Go! Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Earrings

Potlatch Ready, Let's Go! Trade Beads and Handcarved Salmon Earrings

Potlatch Ready, Let’s Go!                                                  Trade Beads and Handcarved Salmon Earrings

“Potlatch Ready, Let’s Go!” Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Earrings was an inspired piece for me to create here at Walker Goldsmiths.  The traditional Hudson’s Bay White Hearts with their cheerful red glass layer over white glass, together with the Venetian Fancy Spotted Cranberries are party perfect. I teamed them up with Black Onyx and a Venetian Black hand faceted center bead.  The bone white spacers are there not only as color relief but to protect the beads from each other.  Owen carved the Sterling Salish Salmon that go so well with the red beads, kind of a hint of Salmon Eggs.

These could also be titled “Rendezvous Ready” because these Hudson’s Bay White Hearts were the beads traded by the Fur Traders to the native fur trappers. Check out this article about these beads.  All of the red beads in this piece are Cornaline d’Allepo, a name given to red glass beads by glass bead makers who were making these colored beads to compete with the Carnelian bead makers, thus Carnelian/Cornaline from/d’ the area of Allepo, Syria.  I love the names that travel with the Trade Beads as they often tell the wonderful stories of origin.

Owen was getting ready to make a trip to Alert Bay, BC, Canada for a Potlatch with the Kwakwakawak people and I was staying home to hold down the fort, but my heart was going along with him and caused me to create this necklace, Potlatch Ready, Let’s Go! Trade Beads with Handcarved Sterling Earrings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Gold Celtic Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring

Red Gold Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring

Red Gold Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring

This Red Gold Celtic Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring was a joy for Walker Goldsmiths to create.   We were contacted by the bride-to-be’s mother and her fiance’ to make this family heirloom for the bride.  It was to be somewhat of a surprise.  The diamond for this ring is a gift/heirloom from mom. The fiance’ and bride had discussed what color gold and possibly a few other ideas.  Cameron’s  fiance’ contacted me directly with pictures of rings they liked and Walker Goldsmiths set him straight about which designs were really doable for a diamond of this large size.

Mom sent us the diamond and some other gold to be recycled and I set to work carving the wax, sending pictures to fiance’, Spencer, all along the way.  Cameron has a long line of Celtic heritage so the Triskelion/Celtic Loveknot was of genuine interest.  Owen lost wax cast the ring in 14kt Red Gold ready to set the 6 prong Platinum crown with the 1.2 kt diamond in the ring.

This Loveknot symbology has immense appeal for a variety of reasons, not only their new love and plans for a life of love and eternal family together, but the Triskelion/Loveknot manages to transition across boundaries of race, religion, culture and geography with ease.  In Christian tradition, the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is often represented by the sacred number 3; the three leaves or legs of the Triskelion Loveknot.  The design is a good representation of the coming together of two people who have and want a God centered life together.

Walker Goldsmiths hurried along to accommodate the plans for an Engagement party and Photography date.  We were very blessed to be a part of this exciting family event and creating this 14 kt Red Gold Celtic Loveknot Diamond Engagement Ring  was exceptional fun.  Thank you!

Side View of Red Gold Loveknot Engagement Ring

Side View of Red Gold Loveknot Engagement Ring.

 

 

 

Handcarved Sterling Silver Eagles with Trade Beads

Nancy's Eagles and Trade Beads

Handcarved Sterling Silver Eagles and Trade Beads

Walker Goldsmiths was called upon to make a custom Handcarved Sterling Silver Eagles with Trade Beads Necklace for a friend of our friend, Monica Decker, at Crazy Wolf Gallery in Ketchikan, AK.  Monica wanted to know if Owen was willing to carve these 1 inch Sterling Eagles for earrings. and I said, yes!!!  Well, Owen did too, but they’re awfully small for carving for the guy who carves bracelets!  Owen did a wonderful job and they’re so beautiful.

The necklace was like one I’d done before that Monica’s friend loved; a pattern of Blue Russians, Chevrons, Hudson’s Bay White Hearts and Czech Cobalts.  I’ve got to say how much fun it is for me to create with these excellent carved pieces and these hugely historical, antique Trade Beads.

I’ve told the story of the Blue Russians before, but here’s the site page with the information about their history. The other beads of interest to Fur Trade enthusiasts is, of course, the Hudson’s Bay White Hearts, and here’s a big article about them.  Chevrons are one of the most incredible Trade Beads ever made.  They have 5, 6 or 9 layers of colored glass to create the pattern and are very labor intensive.  They were primarily purchased in Murano, Italy, or Bohemia in the 1600’s, traveled and traded into the south of North America by explorers, then north to the fur trade area of the continent.  Their beauty made them very desirable.  I find it so interesting to trace the paths of trade beads all around the world.

This legend went with this necklace;  Eagles are known to be powerful and organized, yet honest and kind.  Grandmother Eagle was once called upon to rescue the young fishermen if the village who were being hauled out to sea and drowned by a Sea Monster.  So Grandmother put on her feathers and danced up her Great Powers to save them all.  The Eagle Totem brings the ability to be much more powerful than one appears both physically and spiritually. Not bad, huh?

Walker Goldsmiths loves to make Trade Bead jewelry like this Handcarved Sterling Silver Eagles with Trade Beads.

Ellensburg Blue Agate and Sterling Silver Ring

Ellensburg Blue Agate and Sterling Silver Ring

Ellensburg Blue Agate and Sterling Silver Ring

Walker Goldsmiths created this Ellensburg Blue Agate and Sterling Silver Ring for a young man to give to his Sweetheart.  The Agate is a 2.5 ct stone that lent itself well to bezel setting to show off the size and natural patterns in the stone.  Brady said that he “liked the idea of a chunkier ring with hammer marks” for the textured finish.  I wanted it to be very wearable and not interfere with finger movement so I tapered the shank somewhat and left it heavy enough to counterbalance the stone and top of the ring.  He liked it!

Information about the Ellensburg Blue Agate stone can be found at this site.  “In the windswept rangelands northwest of Ellensburg, a sky-blue gem awaits the most patient and attentive seekers.  Ellensburg Blue Agates are endemic to the area, in that they cannot be found anywhere else in the world. They are a product of the 47-million-year-old Teanaway Basalt.”

Owen and I love to study and learn about the geology of Washington state and Ellensburg Blue Agates have been a favorite of ours since first seeing them.  There is really so much to learn about the geology of the earth and now your Sweetheart has a bit of treasure!  Thank you, Brady, for letting Walker Goldsmiths make this Ellensburg Blue Agate Ring for for you.

Side shank view of Sterling Silver Ellensburg Blue Agate Ring

Side shank view of Sterling Silver Ellensburg Blue Agate Ring

 

 

Hummingbird with Cobalt Trade Beads

Hummingbird with Trade Beads

Summer Memories- Sterling Hummingbird with Trade Beads

Walker Goldsmiths created this little Sterling Silver Hummingbird with Cobalt Trade Beads as a gift for someone who loves Hummingbirds.  I called it “Summer Memories.”  The Trade Beads used are the famous Russian Blues that have such a colorful and rich history.  The additional beads are faceted Blue Lace Agates, Cobalt Czechs and Venetian blue and white striped glass c. 1800’s.  I love the addition of the copper beads to brighten up the combination.  This little Hummingbird pendant is lost wax cast Sterling Silver from our Potlatch Collection.

One fact that I find very interesting about the hummingbird is their ability see color just as well as humans. In fact, they see ultraviolet light, which means their world appears even more colorful than ours.  Being attracted to ultraviolet light brings them to check out and sip nectar from blue, red-blue, violet, purple and fuchsia colored flowers more often than other colors.  I love to hang purple/pink Fuchsias from my front porch roof and sit to watch these gorgeous beings dine.  They also love to sip from all my blue Rosemary plants that are in flower.  I generally plant as many blue summer flowers that bloom way into fall as I can just to treat my lovely little friends.  They also eat a ton of mosquitoes so they definitely are my friends.

Sterling Silver Hummingbird with Cobalt Trade Beads  … $150, matching earrings are $50

 

 

Lovebird Wedding Rings

14kt gold Lovebirds Ring with golden Sapphire and diamonds

14kt gold Lovebirds Ring with golden Sapphire and diamonds

When Aina and Mike came to Walker Goldsmiths wanting Lovebird Wedding Rings we were very excited. Lovebirds is such a lovely romantic design.  They had checked out all the Lovebirds design rings and thought that these were what they wanted.  The Lovebirds design is Eagle on one side and Raven on the other.                    Check here for the legend 

My goal as designer was to help Aina understand that a Golden Sapphire was the perfect center stone for her.  She’s a golden skinned Hawaiian/Chinese beauty that can really wear a 1/2 ct. Golden Sapphire set in 14kt Yellow Gold.  Diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs scale of Hardness and a Sapphire is a 9 so we couldn’t go wrong with this choice for this hardworking girl.

I did the wax work for these rings, Owen lost wax cast them in the required colored gold, then bezel set the Golden Sapphire and set the Diamonds in the eyes of the birds from stones in a ring from Aina’s mother. In fact the gold that these two rings were cast in was entirely from Recycled jewelry.

Mike’s Wedding Ring was to be a Lovebirds three colored gold band.  This is a beauty of a ring with 3 colors of Gold; the body of the ring is 14 kt White gold, a 14 kt Red Gold Sun in the center of the design (Eagle on one side and Raven on the other) and 14 kt Yellow Gold bands around both sides of the ring. This ring is substantial and handsome and a beautiful Wedding Ring.

Lovebirds 3 colored 14 kt Gold Wedding Ring

A Lovebirds 3 colored 14 kt Gold Wedding Ring.

Jewelry is an emotional issue of tradition and symbolism.  These Lovebird Wedding Rings symbolize promises, deep love, appreciation, and they were made with love. Thank you, Aina and Mike for letting Walker Goldsmiths be a part of your adventure of life.