From Glass Sculptures to Artistic Glass Beads
If a tiny bead could talk, it would tell you many stories you could not have imagined. From ancient times, when glass was first created, to the moment when glass becomes a bead, a piece of glass has gathered on its crystal body many stories of those who touched it, felt it or saw through it. These small pieces of glass that shine in your jewelry will keep your mind entangled with inspiration because they follow a lineage of magic and art.
Do you want to know why I say magic?
My grand uncle* was a famous Mexican artist named Feliciano Bejar, who was best known for his Magiscopios. His sculptures are made of glass and metal, and have been exhibited in many different countries. Interestingly, I heard about him only a few years ago, and even though I never met him in person, we shared a very similar love for glass.
My discovery of him as family became the missing piece of understanding why my professional life turned towards working with glass. I became the bead designer of Nirvana Beads just by being in the right place. It was as if this love for art and glass was already in my blood. My grand uncle and I were the only two family members whose professional lives started in New York, and glass became an important material in our lives. From glass sculptures to artistic glass beads, art has managed to continue their story.
If you ask me to describe how I see our beads, I would use almost the same words my grand uncle used for his sculptures. “They are instruments to see magically, to see the magic and poetry that exists around us every day but that our indifferent eyes do not want to see.” Even before I came to know about him, I always felt the same inspiration when designing our products: to reflect the beauty of this world on glass, because glass is magical.
The next time you have some beads or buttons in your hand, please look at them, look through them, and tell me what you can sense. You will be surprised that you will hear something; you will feel something because this magical world is just a mirror of our internal being. Once they have inspired you, your story will become fused onto their crystal body, and their story will continue. It will continue through you, through your art, your designs.
Each of our beads and buttons have their own story and inspiration. They are our little treasures.
Frida Kahlo captivated the attention of many people due to her exotic look, art and way of life. I used to have this picture on my wall when I was living in New York; it is one of my favorite pictures of her. Frida's use of bold colors, flowers and traditional colorful clothes are an expression of the culture where I grew up. The colors of this picture are very beautiful; they were my inspiration to design these Czech flower buttons, a Mexican Bohemian blend. This button was also created out of home nostalgia; I see nostalgia (or longing for something), like a flower that grows in the heart.
I found this old vessel in the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. The colors of the vessel are just magical, almost like an opal stone. Most likely this vessel was ancient Roman glassware. For me, such artifacts are like the ancestors of our beads. This rondelle was the first bead I created with this beautiful finish; from there I applied this enchanting color to more bead shapes. Every time I see them, they remind me about the beauty of time. They are some of my favorite beads.
This melon bead was inspired by my trip to Jaffa and Akko, Israel. In the evening the limestone walls of the city glimmer like gold, while the ocean sparkles in tandem below. People there find ways to integrate the ocean into their life; colors of sand and turquoise decorate the floors, walls and doors of the streets. Everywhere you go, you feel as though your walking on the beach. I love going to places where nature inspires local decor and architecture. The impression of these cities are imprinted on the beads
The combination of the colors blue and gold has always given me a feeling of royalty. These flower beads have a very beautiful combination of softness and elegance, a sip of Rococo style. The Rococo style emerged in France in the 18th century, and it was a new wave of light-hearted art. A few years ago I visited the Chateau de Versailles in Paris and got to see how the furniture and interior decor were influenced by this style. The tendency was on the ornamental, but it was full of light and pastel colors. When I saw these chairs, I felt inspired to borrow those colors so I could recreate those feelings of royal softness in our beads.
MORE STORIES WILL BE ADDED EACH MONTH
*He was my grandmother’s cousin, but my father referred to him as uncle.
CYNTHIA SHANTI MORALEZ
Shanti is the bead and button designer of Nirvana Beads.