*Handmade Wheat glass bead by Leah Fairbanks
*Tanzanite, Polish amber, kyanite
*Seed beads (15/o)
*Vermeil cones, gold filled wire
*14k post earrings with 5mm ball
*Necklace is signed, numbered, dated

Length: 17.5" - 23.5" (49 cm - 60 cm)
Centerpiece bead: 2.5" (6.5 cm)
Total drop length: 5.25" (13 cm)
Weight: 4.8 oz (136 gm)

Earring drop length: 1" (2.5 cm)
Earring weight: 2.3 gm ea (a nickel weighs about 5 gm)

Item #613. Wheat Necklace and Earrings (set) - Sold

Wheat Necklace and Earrings

Wheat Necklace
Wheat Necklace Detail
Wheat Necklace on model
Wheat Earrings
Wheat Necklace
Hover to zoom, Click to expand

Leah Fairbanks is one of the pre-eminent glass beadmakers working today, a member of a very small elite group of bead makers including others whose beads you've seen in my work. Her beads are gorgeous, layered botanical wonders! Just look into the depths of this beautiful bead!

Please take a moment to look at the close-up of the amazing glass bead centerpiece. It takes extraordinary skill to make a large bead like this one, and extraordinary artistry to make it beautiful. If you've never tried to shape and decorate molten glass, perhaps you can imagine the difficulty of it! You start with a mandrel in your non-dominant hand and a rod of glass in the other. You heat the end of the rod of glass until it is molten and wrap it gently around the mandrel, taking care not to break off the bead release (a clay coating that allows the finished bead to be removed easily). You must keep the mandrel turning, otherwise the glass will simply fall onto the bench in a melted lump. You must also keep moving the entire bead back and forth in the flame, while turning it, to keep it heated uniformly, otherwise it will develop stress fractures that can't be healed. The different colors of glass are added a bit at a time, the bead is gradually shaped, the thin gold foil must be applied and encased quickly to prevent it from burning off, the entire bead is encased in clear... not exactly as easy as it sounds since you want an even covering of clear without the dreaded bubbles which can appear in the depths as you work. Once the bead is finished the surface details are added. Heat control remains crucial else the decorations will melt right into the bead. When the bead is complete, it must be annealed, i.e., "soaked" in a kiln at the annealing temperature of the glass. This removes residual stress from the glass and renders it strong and durable enough for wearing. If this sounds like great fun, it is! Start practicing!! If it sounds impossible, perhaps you will consider buying the work of fine beadmakers like Leah. Why, you could buy this necklace which incorporates her bead in a complex composition which includes amber interspersed with tanzanite, and blue kyanite interspersed with amber. A collection of Russian leaves contributes to the botanical theme.

Simmons and Ahsian mention that while many stones help connect us with the Light, amber's solidified sunlight brings us warmth. The "solidified sunlight" is not hyperbole, amber is the fossilized sap of trees and other natural botanic resins. And while meditating in the warmth of the solar amber, the blue kyanite might assist in opening your third eye.

Please order this set today and enjoy a mini vacation in the amber fields of grain every time you wear the necklace.