Georgia O'Keeffe and the Three Bears

Now that the Bead Journal Project has come to an end (as far as the beading of pages goes), I decided to take a huge chunk of what I learned over the past twelve months and apply it to the making of a bead-embroidery/beadweaving collection of jewelry revolving around a central theme - this place where I live, this desert, this gorgeous Southwest. I've taken all my impressions, dreams and perspectives, thrown them all into a Southwestern bead stew and slowly my meditations are taking shape. This cuff is one of my first pieces in the series. Pearls for wisdom, spirals for growth, bears for power and healing, desert colors for warmth and energy. I love this one. It filled me with joy during the making.

This is the O'Keeffe side of things - with a slightly disturbing, almost-not-quite anatomical/organic element, a la Georgia, introduced in the bead-ruffled pearls.

Just a bit off center is this gorgeous chunk of pink jasper, in the depths of which I see the colors of all desert sunsets and sunrises.

There's a trace of Navajo influences on this side with the inclusion of the aventurine bears. Bear Fetishes are a symbol of power, solitude and introspection, as well as being reputed to have healing properties.

The little copper snap works as a pivot point, allowing the cuff to adjust to the flare of the arm.

I've seen a lot of Southwestern jewelry during my time here, most of it bearing the strong imprint or influence of Native American craft. That's not my heritage and would be a huge presumption on my part to try to imitate it. What I want to do is represent my own feeling for this place and interpret my impressions through the lens of AnotherCountry.

I'm pulling together a freeform peyote bracelet next. I'm very excited about this project!

Now on a completely different note; while I was waiting for the glue to dry on the backing leather for that cuff, I made some little fun things for my Etsy shop (the links go to the Etsy listings).

This one is Spa-Lashy!
This one's Joocee;
A L'il French Garden:
And something for the Gun Moll:

Time to get back to work - I have the luxury of an unexpected day off tomorrow - I'll be able to make a large start on my next piece.


  1. Beautiful cuff! I just finished listening to a biography of Georgia O'Keefe. Fascinating woman.

  2. Never let it be said that any beader's hands are ever idle! Beautiful design, Morwyn.

    I have started a series of work, too -- the BJP was a great jumpstart for so many ideas!

    Kathy V in NM

  3. I had no idea about the bear symbology. May have to do a piece for myself that includes bears to help facilitate the healing I'm trying to accomplish.

    You've expressed precisely what I've felt in the past as I've admired the decorative artwork of other cultures and wanted to do something similar but "my own."

    I can just imagine how that pink jasper reflects the colors of the desert. {sigh}


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