Long an admirer of Anne Choi’s fine silver art beads, I finally just ordered some and WOW- are they gorgeous! The urge to order now came both from seeing them in Andrew Thorton’s designs and past blogs, and a little something that’s been happening closer to home lately.
Red-tailed hawks started nesting last year in the small redwood groves near our house. But lately, mysteriously, they are no longer around. Coincidentally timed are the presence of large ravens in and around the same groves. Hmmm… where did you come from? Are you here to stay? We’ve always had hawks, crows & such, but the ravens are nubbies to the hood. Suddenly it seems time to explore these amazing creatures and find something ravenesque to start with. (More on the Ravens soon).
So I was thrilled to find one very special raven artbead in Anne Choi’s inventory. On the sides it says “See, how the lilies flourish white and fair! See, how the ravens fed from heaven are!” by Thomas Dyches, 1800
As you see- Anne’s work is amazing; gorgeously detailed and breathtaking in depth of design. I was pleasantly surprised by the generous proportion of each bead- quite large as beads go; hefty in size but light in weight (they are hollow), each sterling silver piece is patinated and polished to accentuate the fine detail and shadow in the design. I’m enjoying keeping them close; on display, or in my pocket- but close to soak up the sweet charge of each one! On her website, Anne tells a bit about each- what inspired them, the image (elephant, raven, mandrake, butterfly, lilly, crow-or a new creature morphed of two), and its symbolic meanings in different cultural contexts-all enriched with a personal tidbit of discovery, meaning, or irony. Engraved on most of the beads is a sweet literary quote (Elliot, Shakespeare, Cummings, Swift…). The quotes are written in gorgeous fonts- in either English, or Latin, or French, along one beadface. Just exquisite.
My favorite bead & quote this week is the calaveras- a sugar skull in the Mexican Dia de Los Muertos tradition that says “It’s All Life Until Death”! Miguel de Cervantes. Tis the season, and I can’t wait to see Anne’s other designs.
You can read details and see pictures of Anne’s process here.