Wood beads
Re: I figured as long as I was going to be buried with my chevrons... -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Mail author
04/10/2015, 10:12:52

A fellow Forum member inquired about the wood beads used in the chevron necklaces.

The 19x9mm fat disks and small spindle-shaped beads are olive wood, made at least 40 years ago (I bought them second-hand in the early 1990s from a retiring designer), probably by the same Bethlehem factory that is still making olive wood beads today. Alas, the factory now seems to be focused only on small rosary-type beads, at least according to what shows on a Google search for olive wood beads. I only have a handful of the large disks left.

I like the spindle shapes because they seem to fit well into the big holes that a lot of old trade beads feature. I used them with the old wound blue glass beads on the moon beads necklace. As well as keeping the beads straight on the stringing line, they also function as pivot points to increase flexibility and relieve pressure on the edges of glass beads.

The grain in olive wood can be enhanced with an application of linseed oil, but the stuff is stinky and sticky and takes a couple of weeks of air-drying, it seems, to evaporate into a nice surface.

The little disks are coconut shell from the Phillippines.

Wood beads seem to work well with heavy trade beads, I think, to make the finished pieces more comfortable to wear as well as protecting the ends of beads from abrasion or pressure flaking.

For the past couple of decades the mother lode for wood beads seems to be the Philippines - a Google images search on "Philippines wood beads" trawls up some very attractive examples.

Wood_beads_001.jpg (140.9 KB)  

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