Tag Archives: trade beads

Worktable Previews: Recycled Records

I’ve been having a wonderful time working with (and selling!) some newly designed necklaces with an African theme. People in Nigeria have managed to come up with some of the most ingeniously recycled beads we’re likely to find anywhere. They’re made of old phonograph records–either vulcanite rubber or the more modern vinyl–cut into hundreds or […]

I Find a Radioactive Trade Bead (I think…)

Just a little more than a year ago, I wrote a blog post musing about those most fascinating trade beads, the Vaseline beads. “Vaseline” beads are large, flat glass rondelles, manufactured in Bohemia in the early 20th Century to be traded into Africa. They come in a literal rainbow of colors–red, blue, green, purple–and the […]

So What’s a Vaseline Bead?

Glad you asked me–I actually know the answer. Back in the early 1900’s, and on up until the 1930’s or so, people thought that radioactivity was the bee’s knees. Marie Curie, discoverer of the element radium, was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity. (Small plug for women here.) She was the first person to […]