Sometimes, when I need a little break during the day, I find myself admiring Nasa‘s “Image of the Day.” It’s nice to tune out, imagine the endless silence, and observe things I may never be able to see outside of photographs. Outer space is emotionally moving and elicits many feelings for me. The far away beyond has inspired many forms of art: music, poetry, theater, dance, and painting. So, it should come as no surprise that outer space has even influenced, and been incorporated into the art of beading.
Ok, as you know, beads don’t come from outer space. However, some beads are made from materials that can be linked to outer space.
One such material sometimes used to make beads is iron. While iron can be found in abundance on Earth, it is also known to be found in some meteorites. Meteorites come from meteors, which are basically giant rocks floating in outer space. When meteors get close to Earth, they are pulled in by Earth’s gravity. As they enter Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up. If they don’t burn up completely, they fall to Earth (and are then called meteorites). Some meteorites are made largely of iron, and pieces from these meteorites can be used to make tools, knifes, and of course – beads.
Another “space material” sometimes used to make beads is tektite. Tektites are pieces of glass formed when a large meteorite impacts the Earth’s surface. They are like pebbles formed from the melted sand and rock surrounding a meteorite’s impact site.
Outer space has not only influenced the type of material used in beading, it may also be inspiring jewelry making in general. Fashion jewelry and handmade jewelry alike incorporate themes, designs, and other inspirations from outer space. From beads in the shape of stars to glow in the dark beads – outer space’s influence on the art of beading is apparent.
Whether we have incorporated outer space into the beading world deliberately and intentionally, or whether it’s sheer wonder has inspired our use of material and process unconsciously may be something we’ll never know.
What I can say with certainty, though, is that if you ever find yourself with a case of “beader’s block” and need inspiration for your next beading project, you are sure to find it from browsing the Nasa website. The unique colors and shapes of the planets and stars combined with the wonder and mystery of the formations are likely to get your creative juices flowing.