Saturday, May 9, 2009

Studio Saturday: Beadmakers Unite to Save Our History

Welcome to Studio Saturday! 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 free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Last weeks winner is Kwiken! Congratulations! You have won a heart charm from Lynn Davis of Expedition D! Send us an e-mail with your address and we will get it right out to you.

Welcome to the studio of Cindy Gimbrone and Studio Saturday! Today I'm in the studio working on a reproduction of an ancient bead. It leads me to think outside of myself and about the beadmakers throughout history who have created these small works of art.

Art Bead Scene is a collective of beadmakers of all media, clay, glass, polymer, etc. Like you, dear reader, I'm a bead lover of all types, modern, vintage, Czech, artist made, ancient. I have a small collection of ancient beads and have blogged about "what came before." In the beadmaking community, it's important to acknowledge and preserve the work of the beadmakers who came before us. As a collective community, we are in danger of losing the one museum dedicated to the bead - The Bead Museum. (Photo below courtesy of The Bead Museum website.)

The Bead Museum in located in Glendale, Arizona and since the closing of the Bead Museum in Washington, DC is the only existing museum dedicated to the bead.

As beadmakers, we need to save our history and honor those who came before.

How can you help?

The Bead Museum shares 20 ways to love the Bead Museum.

On the homepage is a PayPal button so you can donate to their fund.

If you don't have the extra cash to donate, you can think about putting up an auction or an etsy item for sale and all proceeds are donated to the Bead Museum.

What about you? Do you believe it's important to honor those who came before? Do you have other ideas on what we can do to support The Bead Museum?

Tell me your thoughts in a comment and you'll be entered to win my Red, Yellow and Green Spiral. I look forward to reading your ideas and thoughts!


Alice said...

Yes, I've been reading about this. Many people have put in a lot of hard work to keep this going. It's a sad situation, but I do hope it works out in the end.

I just recently stumbled on ancient beads at Lost Cities bead shop in San Diego. I was both excited and a little nervous to shell out big money for a strand of pre 1500's carnelian beads. They are just beautiful-their smooth, matte finish brought about by generations of fingers rubbing against the beads. These beads have a story to tell with all the things they've seen.

I am a little more than worried that I will not do them justice, so they sit on my table waiting for just the right design to spring into my head.

Gail Whitehead said...

Hi Cindy!I Dream about that spiral,but I love your blings and rings equally.
My Aunt lives in Arizonia,just outside Phoinex and has been on the committy board,She made Stain Glass many years to support her love of beads.She's told me about what we may lose,I donate a small amount of money each year.I'd like to do more.I'm pretty sure she could tell us many ways.She lives in Atlanta now,I visit often,it's like a bead and glass musium,and,I love you,Aunt Anne!

cindy said...

I think it's important to educate the general public. Get the information out about this. I did not know about this bead museum, and I'm glad you've done this post here. Other articles, blogs, or even putting a little note or post card type item (showing the bead museum) in with your orders when you ship them would help put the information in other's hands.

EmandaJ said...

I think it is absolutley essential to honor those that created before us. I'm an art historian and find that the art I love inspires and informs my own art. It is too bad about the closing of the bead museums, what a loss.


Sarah said...

Living about 40 minutes from the museum myself, the easiest thing here would be to go there and to ask my friends to go along. Knowing that it is there and spreading the word could be the best way to encourage interest - and donations.

Jeannie said...

You have to get the community and city involved. Get the word out, let people know what you need. I organize a lot of community events and the city would be open to this and be willing to help. Just ask!
Have a 5k run and donate the entry fees.
Have the local artisans organize a art fair in the park and donate the proceeds.
Sell buttons and t-shirts at participating retailers and donate the proceeds. Have local artist design them.
I got a million of them.
If I have to go down there myself to save the museum, I will.

Clara said...

I went last weekend and took my 11-year old daughter. She really enjoyed the permanent exhibit and the special exhibit. The staff are friendly, gregarious and interesting. The museum store there is wonderful and full of interesting finds.

If you are in the area, please go, if not, consider a trip! Fabulous weather down here, even when hot!

Summer said...

It is just as important to know of and acknowledge the history of beads as it is every other subset of art history. But perhaps with us beaders such a small group, a wonderful place like this devoted only to beads is not sustainable. Art museums are great because you can see several mediums side by side within the context of an era of change and technological improvement. For most people, it's hard to see beads outside the context of adornment, which itself resides in historical context.

What I'm thinking is that perhaps if the museum expanded beyond the bead, perhaps to feature jewelry or adornment, it might draw more attention, more people paying to get in, etc.

I would love to come see the museum, though! Too bad it's on the other side of the US. Maybe some day :)

ChezChani said...

Remembering the past is important in all things (that whole, doomed to repeat it thing convinced me.) It's wonderful that you are making us aware of this. I will have to visit the museum someday. I have no idea where Glendale is but I have a brother in Phoenix and if I can ever stand his wife long enough to visit them, perhaps I can take a side trip to Glendale.