saam is the Afrikaans word for together
These artisan strands contain a curated selection of collectables from around the world. They feature unique vintage objects, recycled African Krobo glass and ancient Hebron trading beads. The beads have traveled through many countries and cultures; gathering a collective history along their journey. Like the beads themselves; every strand is crafted with organic materials and is a unique piece of art.
Their journey continues with you...
Thoughtfully strung together, these journey beads present a unification of the past, present and future.
Allow their connective energy to remind us of our shared journey through family, friends and the human experience.
:: beads ::
Made from the salts and sands of the Dead Sea, Hebron beads date back hundreds of years. As trade routes opened up between the Middle East and Africa, these beads became a valued form of currency. They have traveled their way around the world and through many vibrant trade cities. Their distinct shape is attributed to the tribes in Kano, Nigeria where they ground down the sides to make them easier to wear. Each one is unique and has its own fascinating history.
Crafted by the Krobo tribespeople in Ghana, these magical beads are produced from recycled glass bottles and scraps. The glass is ground to a powder and then placed into handmade vertical molds. Cassava leaf stems are used to form a hole and the molds are then fired in a kiln. The uniqueness of their shapes adds to their beauty. Today these come in a variety of sizes, but the largest are the hardest to produce and rarest to find. They reflect centuries of time-honored artisan bead making.
These beautiful beads are made by centuries old traditions passed down amongst generations of female potters. The women in Tunisia were recently given cultural recognition by the UNESCO for their unique pottery and technique. The women in South Africa produce these exceptional beads as a means to support their families. The artisans in Mexico have been producing these gorgeous terra cotta beads for centuries. They are all handmade, unique and fascinating in their individuality.
These intricate metal beads have been forged over the centuries throughout Africa. The lost wax technique begins with beeswax and the hand molding of the shapes, including all details. The wax beads are then encased in clay and fired in a kiln. The wax melts, creating empty space and molten metal is poured into this void. The clay is fired again and when cooled, the beads are chiseled out, cleaned and polished. The beads take hours to produce and have a mesmerizing quality.
Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
With a lifelong passion for the visual arts, Stefani embraced an opportunity to combine her wanderlust with creativity. Her collegiate studies of archeology and fine art fueled a fascination with the historical importance of beads. Acquired throughout diverse cultures; beads have retained constant significance as a form of trade, worship and beauty. She is especially drawn to vintage rosaries, mala chains and prayer beads.
Stefani's interest solidified when she began collecting the ancient Hebron trade beads which are featured in her strands. Hundreds of years old and made from the sands and salts of the Dead Sea, these beads were prized throughout the Africa and Europe. Most have traveled thousands of miles and through several continents which adds to their mystery and allure.
Each unique strand contains a mix of rare and collectible beads, organic materials and fair-trade sourced components. Whenever possible, female artisan produced products are used. The curated selections are thoughtfully strung together; allowing their combined history to continue in someone else's story....
Stefani lives in Park City, Utah. She sits on the board of the Kimball Art Center and is currently teaching art at McPolin Elementary School. She thrives on living in a mountain resort town and getting to meet residents and visitors from all over the world. She especially loves to travel.
@ Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty.
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New Orleans, Louisiana
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