Continuing with the story line of buying beads from Jacob March at Nomad Beads it was really an honor to acquire these Nila beads from Djenne I wrote about in this post. It was an even bigger honor to handle them and restring them into this necklace, “Talisman for the Earth”.

"Talisman for the Earth", necklace with Djenna Beads, Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for the Earth”, necklace with Djenna Beads, Kathleen O’Brien

Most of these beads probably arrived in Mali around 1000 years ago,  via the ancient trade routes to Djenné from other areas of Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Many have been buried beneath the Sahara Desert sands for centuries. The result of being buried is that a white coating of calcium, dentrification, forms over the glass. When the coating is removed, the color of the glass, often blue or green is revealed. The center piece is an old bone hair-bead from Mauritania.

"Talisman for the Earth", detail of Djenne bead necklace, Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for the Earth”, detail of Djenne bead necklace, Kathleen O’Brien

In the detail above, notice an amazing hand carved Agate tube bead and hand carved quartz stone as well as the Nila beads, some with the dentrification, some without it. They are so small, about the size of seed beads. I can’t imagine the skill it required to drill holes in the stone beads.

And since our little house wren, we call “Brown Betty” is still around, I was inspired to do yet another Wren drawing…

"Little Big Wren", drawing detail by Kathleen O'Brien

“Little Big Wren”, drawing detail by Kathleen O’Brien

…to collage onto this painting, another sort of “Talisman for the Earth”:

"Little Big Wren", mixed media collage by Kathleen O'Brien

“Little Big Wren”, mixed media collage by Kathleen O’Brien

%d bloggers like this: