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Tucson Bead Symposium

January 31, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

January 31, 2017   |   Wednesday   |   6:30PM
Open to the public
633 W. 18th Street

In association with Ornament Magazine, Sonoran Glass School presents the Tucson Bead Symposium. This evening will feature speakers and experts presenting on many different facets of the world and history of beads. 


Here is the tentative list of presenters and presentations:


Robert Liu / Author, photographer, publisher (ORNAMENT magazine & Collectible Beads: A Universal Aesthetic)

“A Critical Examination of Early Mosaic Face Beads excavated by George Reisner in Nubia.”

Building on my article Nubian Mosaic Face Beads. The Enigma of Variations, Ornament 37/5, 2014, I hope to determine if all mosaic face beads excavated by George Reisner in Nubia were locally modified or not, and if so, were mosaic face beads of Medusa as a Gorgon with stylized snake hair the basis of all early face beads. This would mean that all mosaic face beads of Medusa as a woman with long hair, bust and necklace are the result of altering the basic face cane by secondary hotworking.


Jamey Allen / Writer, artist and independent researcher


“The Albert J. Summerfield Collection – Great Glass Beads”

Albert Summerfield, who was one of the two important bead-collectors in the Pacific Northwest, over some twenty-five years, from the late 1970s until his death in 2003. He amassed a world-class collection of beads and jewelry from around the world, and of quite a few materials and cultural origins. But his greatest interest was glass beads, and particularly Venetian beads—including trade beads from West Africa. This short presentation will show some of these acquisition

Floor Kaspers / Glass artist and independent researcher from the Netherlands. 

“Beadmaking in Bohemia, The interaction between supply and demand.”

The beadmakers in the Czech region of Jablonec have been masters at a great variety of glass beads to match artefacts and materials that were popular around the world in the 19th and early20th century . Talhakimts, prayer beads, shells, coral, lion’s teeth, amber, all made in glass, were only some of their products. The presentation will focus on the way the Czechs created a demand for their beads in parts of Africa and Asia, and will show a variety of examples.


Jonathan Mark Kenoyer / American archaeologist and Professor, Department of Anthropology UW Madison, author 

“Sourcing and Authenticating Ancient Stone Beads: New approaches to bead analysis and sourcing.”

This presentation will provide an overview of recent approaches to the study ancient stone beads in Asia, with a focus on the Indus Valley Civilization, 2600-1900 BCE. Systematic studies of beads from excavated contexts in the Indus region have made it possible to define specific aspects of ancient bead styles and production techniques. This approach has made it possible to determine the trade of beads from workshops in South Asia to distant regions in West Asia and Central Asia. Beads made with Indus technology and raw materials were also produced outside of the Indus region, and this can be determined using both stylistic analysis and the geological sourcing of carnelian. Various sourcing techniques will be discussed and preliminary results presented.


Tom Holland / Glass bead maker, educator, collector, independent researcher and inductee of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers Hall of Flame 

“The string the knot and the bead”

Join Tom in an exploration of the human relationship with the knotted string and the bead. This presentation will show images of some of the earliest beads, then advance through time to the invention of glass. Along with highlighting the use of glass stringer work in glass bead history.


Paul Engle / Award winning writer and independent researcher Exploring glass coloring in Renaissance Europe for beads and ornaments . 

“Alchemy, The Alchemy of Color”


Linda Sweeney / Glass bead maker and owner , facilitator of the Sweeney collection and studio in Glorieta, New Mexico

“What makes contemporary glass beads collectible.”


Thomas Stricker / Collector, Artist, Photographer 

“A closer look at African Powder Glass Beads”
Kiffa (Muraqat), Bodom and akoso, plus a brief introduction of Billy Steinberg’s new book, “Wild Beads of Africa”



January 31, 2018
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category: