Click here to read this mailing online.

Your email updates, powered by FeedBlitz

Here is a sample subscription for you. Click here to start your FREE subscription

"Art Bead Scene Blog" - 5 new articles

  1. August Monthly Challenge Sponsors + Prizes
  2. August Monthly Challenge
  3. July Monthly Challenge Winners
  4. Inside the Studio with Mary Harding
  5. Hello Art Bead Scene!
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search Art Bead Scene Blog
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

August Monthly Challenge Sponsors + Prizes

Our Wonderful sponsors for the August Challenge.
We will have 2 Lucky Winners this Month!

Kathy Lindemer of Bay Moon Design creates beautiful, stylish, unique, handmade necklaces, earrings and bracelets. 
She also makes jewelry components.
Bay Moon Design is located in Lewes, Delaware.

Kathy is donating a $50 gift certificate.

Visit Kathy at her Etsy ShopBlog, and Facebook.
: : :
Barbara Hanselman of BH Claysmith creates hand formed ceramic clay beads, pendants and plaquettes which can be used to make your own wearable creations.
Her components are great additions to your jewelry designs!
BH Claysmith is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Barbara is donating a $50 Gift Certificate.

Visit Barbara at her Etsy Shop, Website and Facebook.

: : :

Submit photos of your wonderful Jewelry creations using one or more Art Beads here.
Submit photos of your wonderful Bead creations here.

Summer Thunder by Hosteen Klah has many different elements that can be used for inspiration: Symbolism, texture, weaving/fabric, figures, red, purple, green, yellow, black and white.
We can't wait to see where your creativity takes you with the art for this months challenge! 
**IMPORTANT** Please remember to put AUG ABS in the title or tag of your submission(s).  Pinterest doesn't keep Pins in the order they are posted.
Provide us with the artist of the Art Beads used and we always love to know all the materials you used. 
***Art Beads MUST be used in your entry.***

August Monthly Challenge

Summer Thunder
BHosteen Klah
Weaving, Wool

About the Art
In 1919 Klah began to weave sandpainting rugs which were based on the chants he was qualified to sing. His first sandpainting weaving was a whirling log design from the Nightway ceremony.
Klah’s last sandpainting weaving, The Skies from the Shootingway ceremony, was done in 1937 and was not complete at the time of his death. The work was finished by his nieces, Gladys and Irene Manuelito.
It is important to know that initially the reproduction of any of the sacred images was looked upon by most Navajo with apprehension and fear. To the Navajo, a ceremonial sandpainting contains multidimensional power. This power is both visual and conceptual, metaphorical and literal, aesthetic and therapeutic. For the Navajo, it would seem strange and inappropriate to view a sandpainting as two-dimensional art because, in its proper place, the sandpainting is the powerful and sacred center of their universe. Many stories have been told of terrible consequences - including blindness and crippling - for offending the Holy People. It is not unusual, therefore, to hear that a particular sandpainting weaver has had a healing ceremony. To avoid curses, weavers frequently omit a detail or otherwise modify a design.
Fear and apprehension of weaving a sandpainting were, for a time, allayed by an extraordinary circumstance when the weaver and the singer were one and the same. Historically, the best-known sandpaintings were by "Left-handed" or Hosteen Klah. Klah was both a weaver and a Medicine Man. He was known to the Navajos by a term that means transformed. His acceptance in both male and female activities was due to the special status and prestige bestowed upon a transformed male. His orientation placed him in a class of "man-woman" which, in Navajo mythology, is thought to possess special powers in the real world. Klah and his nieces, Gladys and Irene, wove more than 70 sandpainting tapestries between 1919 and 1937.
Klah was asked why he did not weave a rug with a ceremonial design. He said that sacred symbols should not be . . . placed on the floor to be walked on all day. He was assured that . . . [it] would never be used on the floor, but would be hung on the wall of a museum. . . . After talking it over with his family, he decided it would be all right. . . . He had logs brought from the mountain and built a loom that would hold a rug 12 feet square. Then came the problem of finding the right wool. A rug of this size would require about 20 pounds of raw wool, and as the proper background tan color was only found on the underside of the brown sheep, it did not seem possible to collect this much. . . .
Sandpaintings of five Chantways are represented in Klah's and his niece's weavings, including 49 tapestries from Night Chant, 9 from Hail Chant, 10 from Shooting Chant and 1 each from Mountainway and Eagleway Chant.
To weave a sandpainting textile requires a strong sense of autonomy, self-confidence and physical endurance. The Navajo's respect for autonomy is reflected in many facets of Navajo culture, including language structure, family relationships and particularly religious beliefs. Even though family and friends might disagree with a weaver for producing a sandpainting weaving, they would say nothing.
In addition to a strong sense of individualism, a weaver must be confident. An extraordinary level of technical skill and special weaving expertise is required to carry out a sandpainting textile. A weaver must be confident of her ability to weave circles, curves and a wide variety of animals and figures. The ability of sandpainting weavers to solve technical problems and accurately translate intricate designs to their weavings places them in a special category of weaving excellence.
Lastly, the weaver must have the physical endurance to weave a large tapestry. Sandpainting weavings are often much larger than other styles, which means the weaver must spend more time and effort constructing an oversize loom and acquiring more wool prior to carding, dyeing, spinning and weaving. Sometimes, the wool needs to be dyed in unusual shades such as pink or light green.

About the Artist
Many Indian cultures accepted – and in fact, celebrated – the fact the some people could fill both male and female roles in their society. One such individual was Hosteen Klah (also spelled Hastiin Klah) who became well-known as a Navajo weaver and as a Navajo singer (medicine man). Among the Navajo, weavers are usually female and hataalii (singers, chanters, or medicine men) are usually male. Hosteen Klah filled both of these roles.
Among the Navajo, Klah was known as a nádleeh which can be translated as “one who is changed” or “one who is transformed.” There are some who feel that Klah was born as a hermaphrodite while others report that he was emasculated in a childhood accident. There are still others who simply say that he sometimes identified himself as a man and at other times as a woman.
In the 1880s, Klah began to learn weaving from his mother and from his sister. He first began to learn the Navajo medicine ways – chanting and sandpainting – from his uncle. In learning the Nightway ceremony, Klah worked under the guidance of Laughing Singer and Tall Chanter. While most Navajo singers can master only one or two complete chants, Klah mastered at least eight. Among the ceremonies which he mastered were the Hailway, the Mountainway, the Nightway, the Windway, and the Chiricahua.
Among the Navajo, the purpose of the chant is to cure the sick. For the chant to work, it must be repeated exactly by the singer. Learning a chant takes a considerable amount of intellectual work: each one is like memorizing hundreds of lines of song or poetry. When a singer contracts to perform a ceremony, he undertakes a great deal of responsibility for not only the patient, but also others who are present at the ceremony.
In 1917, after 24 years of study, Hosteen Klah performed his first Nighway Ceremony (Yeibichai). The nine-day ceremony was perfect in chant, symbol, and ceremony and established him as a great singer.
As a part of the Navajo ceremonies, the singer produces a dry painting (known as a sand painting) which calls in the power of the Holy People. The sand paintings are made on the floor of the ceremonial hogan and blessed with pollen and corn meal. The sand painting serves as a temporary altar on which the patient sits while the ceremony is performed. Following the ceremony, the singer destroys the painting. If there is no ceremonial need for the painting, the power of the Holy People can be dangerous and even fatal. Therefore, Navajo culture does not allow for the images used in the sand paintings to be produced outside of their ceremonial context.
In 1911 Hosteen Klah wove a blanket of yeibichai dancers which portrayed sacred masks. Local singers felt that this was sacrilegious and demanded that Klah have a ceremony to expel the evil and that he destroy the weaving. Instead, Klah sent the weaving to Washington and experienced no negative effects.
In 1917 Klah took Franc Newcomb, a trader’s wife, to a Nightway ceremony. After the ceremony, she attempted to draw from memory the designs from the sandpaintings which were used in the ceremony. She was unsuccessful and Klah sketched them for her in pencil. Newcomb then made these into watercolor reproductions and hung them in her bedroom so that the other Navajo would not be offended. After seeing that no punishment occurred, Klah then did an additional 27 paintings for her.
Over the years, Klah worked with a number of non-Indian scholars and allowed them to record his songs, ceremonies, stories, and sandpaintings. His only Navajo student – Beaal Begay – died suddenly in 1931 and so much of his knowledge was not passed on in the traditional Navajo way.
One of the Anglos who worked with Klah was Mary Cabot Wheelwright who founded the Museum of Navajo Ceremonial Art in 1937. She had been permitted to record many of Klah’s songs and erected the museum to preserve his medicine knowledge and his sacred objects. The museum is now known as the Wheelwright Museum. Until recently, the Museum displayed many of his drawings and paintings of sandpaintings as well as his sandpainting weavings. However, the Museum has restricted the display and reproduction of these items based on the recommendations of the Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department’s Traditional Cultural Program Committee.

Our Sponsors
Our Sponsors this month are Bay Moon Design and BH Claysmith.
Please visit us tomorrow to see the prizes!

How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. You need to have a Pinterest account. Go get one ASAP if you don't have one already. It's easy, fun and inspiring.

2. Email us at to get added to the monthly challenge board.

Subject: Monthly Challenge Board Request

You will be emailed an invite to the board within 48 hours. Accept the invite and you are ready to pin your entries.

3. Two ways to pin your entry to the board.

Pin your photo from the internet (on your blog, Etsy shop, etc.)

Add your photo directly from your computer

Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.

An Art Bead must be used in your piece to qualify for the monthly challenge.

***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply added to wire or cord will not be accepted.***

Please add the tag or title AUG ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Deadline is August 31st. 
You may upload 2 entries per month.

• Beads Makers Pinterest Board-Art beads must be created by you and fit the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge theme. They can be made for the challenge or ones you have made before. 2 entries per month are allowed. 

One entry will be picked by the editors each month for a free month of advertising on the Art Bead Scene. Bead entries have to be pinned by the 30th of the month.

Beads only - do not post jewelry on this board. If a post doesn't fit the challenge it will be deleted.

Monthly Challenge Recap
• Please post at least one single shot of your creation on the Pinterest Board. This will be used to make a collage for the Monthly Challenge Gallery. Every creation will be added to the collage, regardless of a blog post. So everyone gets included!

Your entry must be on Pinterest 2 days BEFORE the recap to be included.

• Be sure to share with us the name of the art bead artist in the description of your photo so that if you are selected for the weekly Perfect Pairings on Wednesdays, both you as the designer and the art bead artist can get the credit you both deserve!

• An InLinkz button will be added to the bottom of the Monthly Challenge Recap post. Here you will be able to link up your blog post if you have one. It is no longer necessary to add your blog post URL to the description unless you want to. Be sure to hop around and see all the great inspiration and leave some comment love!

• The Monthly Challenge Recap with Blog Tour will be posted on August 31st.

Monthly Challenge Winners
• One prize winner will be selected at random from all pictures posted on the Pinterest board.

• One prize winner will be selected at random from all blog posts added to the hop for the Monthly Challenge Recap post. So if you want to be in the pool for the second prize, be sure to use the InLinkz code at the bottom of the post to share your process and inspirations!

• Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on July 1st.

Perfect Pairings :: Designer + Art Bead Artist
• Formerly the Featured Designer of the Week, our new Perfect Pairings will focus on both the jewelry designer and the art bead artist. 

• Be sure to point out all the art bead artists in your work in the description of the photo on the Pinterest Board. Links to their website or shop are appreciated. That way we can all find new art beads to love!

• From all the entries during the month, an editor will pick their favorite design to be featured every Wednesday here on ABS, so get those entries in soon.

What is an Art Bead?
An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.

***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.

Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***

July Monthly Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the July Monthly Challenge winners! 

2 winners were chosen randomly from all the challenge entrants.
1 winner was chosen randomly from the InLinkz blog entries.
Winner of a month of advertising on ABS from the Monthly Challenge Bead category.
Our First lucky winner is Sarah Raines.
She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from Humblebeads.
Our Second lucky winner is Susan Feldkamp.
She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from Celtcraft.
Our Third lucky winner is Beads Academy/Mihaela Georgescu.
She has won a $50 in Findings and Curiosities from Songbeads.
Our winner from the Bead entries of the Monthly Challenge is Katherine Thompson.
She has won a Month of Advertising here on Art Bead Scene.

             Humblebeads                                 Celtcraft                             Songbeads    
Thank you HumblebeadsCeltcraft and Songbeads for being our July Monthly Challenge sponsors!

Winners, please E-Mail with your information (Name and address) so your prizes may be sent to you.

A Big THANK YOU to everyone who entered this month using "Still Life with Shells" by Balthasar van der Ast, as your inspiration. We were so fortunate to have so many beautiful entries and experience such creativity from our wonderful readers.

Visit us tomorrow to see what August's challenge brings.

Inside the Studio with Mary Harding

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries.

Congratulations to Amara Honeck!!! 

You have won a $25.00 gift certificate to
Please email Heather to claim your prize.

Welcome to the studio of Mary Harding Jewelry.  I am delighted to host this week's Inside the Studio post.  July has been a busy month and I have been in and out of my studio teaching classes, and participating in a craft show for the first time in several years.  Last week I posted some of the raku beads that I  made as color samples for a collaborative Raku Bead firing one of my classes participated in. You can read all about it  here.  

Now that the classes are over and no shows are on my  horizon, I have been busy making some new toggle clasps with soft solder and copper sheet.  I really enjoy soft soldering because it is such an intuitive and impromptu medium.  I have been working on some clasps that are similar in feel to one that will be published next month when Stringing magazine releases its Best Beads of 2015 issue.  I called that one Poetic Grunge.  The series I have been working on is inspired by that clasp and by the book I have been reading for Andrew Thornton's Inspired by Reading Book Club---Swamplandia.  I wanted to capture my interpretation of what the author, Karen Russell, refers to as the Sawtooth Age.

So I used a saw type motif through out this series of clasps.  For the ones pictured above I flooded the clasps with soft solder and then added the copper saw tooth wire bits by placing them on the solder and then reheating it.  

For a more lyrical effect, I wrapped copper wire around the clasp after completing the basic soldering.  I think it almost looks like some kind of exotic tropical flower, as well.

I floated bits of copper in the solder to create the texture of the  alligator hide in the two clasps pictured above.

This clasp is more 3 dimensional and has two layers of saws.  The bottom layer juts out from the surface of the clasp but the saws are soft and smooth due to filing and tumbling.

I have also been experimenting with toggle clasps made from steel rebar wire.  I was inspired by Keith Lo Bue's online class Steeling Beauty and his lessons on playing with the wire.
I have tried out a few clasps by bending and forging the 16 gauge steel wire and plan  to continue on seeing what I can come up with.  Here are a couple of examples of what I have been trying out.

There is no solder on this clasp.  All the shapes are made by bending the wire with strong linesman pliers.

 A  square toggle clasp wrought from 16 gauge rebar wire.

Now for my question: Is making work in a series something you  like to do?  Leave a comment below related to this idea and you will be automatically entered to win a $20.00 gift certificate to my Etsy shop.
Thanks so much for stopping by.


Hello Art Bead Scene!

Hello Art Bead Scene!  My name is Michelle McCarthy and I am one of the newest contributors.  I have been playing with ceramic clay for 10 years now. I started out with hand building and wheel lessons at my local art center in Englewood, Florida.  I had a wonderful instructor who encouraged
and supported my growth in making functional and decorative pottery.   

I started selling my pottery at out door tent shows through out Florida.  Well, wind can be brutal and a few shows I had more pottery break than I sold.  Not fun.  But....I soon discovered beads and jewelry design and said, "Hey...I should make beads!"  So now I make beads 90% of the time and sneak in a bowl, plate or decorative piece 10% of the time.

Here is the start to the ceramic pieces I made for a fun ruffled heart bracelet.

This is white earthenware clay that I rolled out to 1/4" thick.  I smoothed the pattern out that the slab roller cloth leaves behind and used the cookie cutter to get my shape. I then make the hole vertically through the heart with this skewer.

This picture shows the various stages of the heart and round beads.  The green ware heart at the top is still wet.  After it dries, I clean any rough edges and put it in the kiln for the first firing, which turns it into bisque.  The white round bead is in the bisque stage.  It is now ready to be glazed.  The cone or temperature for this clay is 04 for bisque and 06 for glaze firing, which is just under 2000 degrees. This teal and copper glaze is one of my favorites.  It has glass crystals in it that burst from the heat of the kiln.

I am going to make a fun bracelet with the ceramic beads I just created, along with some waxed linen, 1mm leather, aventurine gem stone beads, 2 antique copper spacer beads and a closed antique copper ring.

Waxed linen is my favorite stringing is so easy to use.  

Thank you for reading about my ceramic bead making process and following along with a finished bracelet design using my beads.  If you'd like to learn more about me and my beads, please visit my website at 


More Recent Articles

You Might Like

Click here to safely unsubscribe from Art Bead Scene Blog. Click here to view mailing archives, here to change your preferences, or here to subscribePrivacy