In this Workshop, Learners will make beautiful rings out crystal and glass beads.
Beads are treasured and revered in Ghanaian culture, as they play a significant role in the rites and customs of its people, their use going beyond mere self-expression. The majority of beads in Ghana are made by the Ashanti and Krobo people, in the Krobo region. Beads still play a very prevalent role in modern Krobo culture. For example, beads are used in ceremonies of birth, coming of age, marriage, or death and are generously displayed in festivals and parades.
Among the Asante's culture, where I'm from, mothers present waist beads to their daughters to mark their coming of age or first menses, protection, seduction and wealth. Traditionally, multiple strands of colored beads made from glass beads are worn around a woman's waist to draw attention and enhance her femininity. When stones are added, waist beads take on healing qualities. Depending on the ailment or what needs to be enhanced (i.e. love, psychic powers, balancing), various semi-precious stones can be included in the design of waist beads.
These Ghanian waist beads, which are one of the most commonly replicated items of personal adornment worn by Ghanaian people, is where the inspiration for these rings emerged. While the majority of beads produced in Ghana are used for celebrations and festivals, others as spiritual objects, or even as a trading currency in times past, these rings are mostly used as a fashion accessory. I had the idea about ten years ago, when I thought to myself after making my first waist beads, if I could make beads around my waist, then why not my finger? It was then that the design for these rings was born. Over the past decade, many locals began to consider beads as slightly old-fashioned. Crystal and glass beads have successfully changed that notion, as they appear more fashionable and modern.
I look forward to meeting you, and to making some pretty beaded rings together!