“My box of little treasures” — @saidhanrahan on beads

My mother tells a story of when I was five. One day I asked her, ‘Mum—will you die one day?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, preparing herself for a talk about mortality, ‘yes, one day I will.’ ‘When you do die,’ I replied, ‘can I have your jewellery?’

So began @saidhanrahan‘s fascination with beads. For centuries, beads have been traded across the world, for gold, ivory, land and slaves. Venetian glass workers were under the pain of death if they revealed their bead-making secrets — those star-patterned chevrons, colourful glass cane millefiori beads, miniature rocailles and bugles were little treasures, indeed.  These days beads are easier to obtain for someone of a materialistic bent, enabling one to amass a treasure hoard in miniature.

Read more in the hard copy of Materiality: PRECIOUS ($15) or download the digital version ($4.99).

Little treasures. Image by Zoe Vogels, 2013.

Little treasures. Image by Zoe Vogels, 2013.