The Bead Society of Greater New York

Beadcap Newsletter

Bead Society of Greater New York
October 2013 Update

by Marie Michal

On October 30, 2013, the Bead Society of Greater New York welcomed guest speaker, Barbara Lipton, member of the Newark Museum Speaker's Bureau. We were treated to a presentation on one of the largest collections of Tibetan art and artifacts in the world which is housed in eight permanent galleries at the Newark Museum. Accompanying Barbara's talk were slides of the jewelry, textiles sculpture and ritual objects that are only a small part of the vast collection of over 5,000 items. Much of the Museum's Tibetan collection is made up from what was once owned by the farmers, traders, and nomads primarily between 1900 and 1948. Dr. Albert L. Shelton, a missionary in Tibet, played a great part in collecting objects for the Newark Museum.

The Asian Arts collection features their Tibetan Buddhist altar which was created as part of a special project, "Tibet, the Living Tradition" (1988-91). Phunstsok Dorje, a Tibetan artist, worked with Museum staff and a team of Tibetan consultants and scholars to create the altar (1989-1990). On September 23, 1990 His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama performed a consecration ceremony for the altar. Even today, Buddhist come to pray and leave offerings of food, water, books, musical instruments and coins as an expression of the practitioner's devotion to the principle of enlightenment.

It was interesting to note that the Tibetan jewelry is mostly made from silver, coral, turquoise and pearls. So similar to Navajo Indian jewelry that it is suspected there was some sort of connection between them. Speaking of jewelry, the Tibetan prayer necklaces will always consist of 108 beads as this number is sacred in Tibetan culture. Their books also have 108 pages and are unbound loose horizontally shaped pages. Barbara Lipton ended her talk with free Museum passes for everyone in the audience.


BSGNY President, Cynthia Stern opened our October 30, 2013 meeting with the following announcements:


Renovations at FIT are finally complete. Therefore, our November 20, 2013 meeting will be held in our regular meeting venue -- FIT's 'A' Building (corner West 27th St & 8th Ave), 8th Fl. Faculty Lounge. We look forward to seeing everyone at our November 20, 2013 "Tips & Tricks" event!


BSGNY would like to thank Lynne Robinson for acting as our Volunteer Coordinator while Milly Valentin is on a leave of absence taking care of personal family matters.



A Beader's Museum Experience Abroad
by BSGNY Member, Trisha Gray

ValtopinaLast year, shortly after Christmas, I received an interesting message from my sister, in Spello, Italy. She informed me that a well-known textile artist in her area noticed several pieces of my art jewelry worn by my sister at a gallery event. She wanted to know who had made them, where I lived and if I would be interested in showing my work at an upcoming event at the National Embroidery Museum in Valtapino (Umbria), Italy.

The jurying for the show would be at the end of April and the theme for the program was to be "Elements of Air, Fans of Earth, Water, Air and Fire". I was certainly feeling challenged by the concept but felt like it was the next step in my desire to create beadwork designs that represented movement, theater and history. Two pieces were required and I felt that they each needed to be radically different yet utilize embroidery, collage and foremost, dimensional beading.

Over the next few months after I agreed to submit my work, I discovered that there was actually no way of finding out if I was following the curators concepts, no insurance for my pieces and no information on when I would receive my pieces back. I wrote my profile according to the rules used by American competitions which I researched online, and wrote many letters translated into Italian to discover what was actually going to happen to my work. I was told not to worry as I was going to "have my work in a beautiful catalog!" So it goes in Italy…

Two weeks before the jury process, I received a note that one of my pieces, a bracelet with seven standing fans, had been eliminated due to the fact that it did not "move air". I had to create a third piece and send it in a business envelope to avoid delays in customs!!! Finally, in August, I checked with the catalog photographer in Rome and lo and behold, I was thrilled to hear that my two pieces (photos below) actually made it into the exhibit!

Ambassador of Zimbabwe
Ambassador of Zimbabwe
at the Show
I discovered that the show was well publicized online. So, I decided to create a four-piece beaded collection to wear to the opening of the exhibit on September 5, 2013. It was an amazing experience to view everyone's interpretations from all over the world. There were centuries of old embroidery, lace, pearl and beaded pieces alongside the contemporary fans. Best of all was the experience of meeting so many wonderful people, and I did get that truly awesome catalog!

I have spoken to several BSGNY members about my experience and I believe that a presentation on this subject might prove to be of great interest to our members.

Carol Horn's Workshop

Reminder to all members: Please be sure to let us know whenever you have some exciting news in regard to your beading efforts so we may include it in future newsletters.