Bead Fair Reports, Artist Sarah Ashmore & Opal Beads

28th September 2019

See us tomorrow, Sunday 29th September at Beads Up North! Haydock Racecourse, Newton-le-Willows WA12 0HQ. A great, long-standing one-day bead festival just off the M6 and near Liverpool – not to be missed!

Then the following weekend, 5th-6th October we’re at Bath Gem n Bead Fair, Bath Racecourse.

See many NEW beads just arrived in the UK in our 800 kg shipment of 37 boxes!  Some already listed on our online shop, click New Beads.

All our shows booked so far this new year click 2019 Bead Fairs.

Late-Summer Bead Fair Report
Sarah Ashmore – Jewellery & Painting
Opal For October
Late-Summer Bead Fairs
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£5 Off Anything From MrBead

£5 or US$6 off all orders over £15. Key OPAL at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 4th October. At MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com, and can’t be used with any other discount.

Late-Summer Bead Fair Report

Cornish Bead Fair – 1st September
A little quieter than usual at Wadebridge, but a pleasure to exhibit with Tanzee Designs in this newly-renovated hall that used to be a railway station.

As usual in Cornwall, we stayed a few days extra. This time at a beautiful campsite on the hills overlooking St Ives – worth the £44 a night fee. Fantastic weather, and the new Quick Pitch tent really took just 6-minutes to set up, plus another 10-minutes to peg.

Whilst in St Ives, we visted Sarah Ashmore, one of our customers’ there. Scroll down to read about her excellent work.

Kilburn London Bead Fair – 14th September
Kilburn London Bead Fair 2019Again a little quieter, but saved by a few largish orders from regular and new customers. Always hard work in London lugging beads up and down steps and parking, but worth the hassle.

Essex MrBead Bead Fair – 15th September

Essex Bead Fair 2019

So easy at this lovely village hall after London – super-fast to unload and setup. Real pain at the cental Colchester Premier Inn though: 24 parking places for 80 rooms, and most multistory carparks are too low for the van!

Newark Gem n Bead Fair – 20th-21st September

Newark Gem n Bead Fair 2019Our first time at Newark for over a year, as the show crashed with Beads Up North in 2018. A great fair for us, only 2 1/2-hours to drive and always a good turnout. We done better on Sunday, which is unusual for a Gem n Bead Fair. Hard work setting up, but fast to take down near the exit.

Sarah Ashmore – Jewellery & Painting
Sarah Ashmore Shop

Sarah Ashmor Jewellery

Sarah, like many jewellers, trained as a designer and loves painting. In her childhood she enjoyed long walks in the Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia, so wild landscapes are deep in her mind.

See much more at Sarah’s personal website: Sarah Ashmore Art & Jewellery

Opal For October

What Is Opal?
OpalOpalAll of Natures fury can be seen in fine opal. Like a Rembrandt: fire, lightning, all the colours of the rainbow and the shine of far seas.

Australia supplies about 95% of the worlds opal from the outback. Aborigines there believe their creator came down to Earth on a rainbow to bring the message of peace to all humans. And at the spot where his foot touched the ground, opal was born.

Opal BeadsThe name Opal could have came from many places. In Greek Opallios translates as colour change, and to the ancient Romans Opalus was a stone from several elements. Pliny, a Roman author, wrote that opal combines the sparkle of Almandine, the shining purple of Amethyst, the golden yellow of Topaz, and the deep blue of Sapphire.

Types of Opal
Opal BeadsFine opals shine and sparkle in a continually changing play of colours called Opalising. Depending on the rock and location they have names like Harlequin, Peacock, Mexican, and Fire Opal. Most opal has this play of colours except Common Opal, a name give to all others, like Pink Opal.

As demand outstrips supply, fine opalizing opal is very very expensive, so is sold in individual beads for hundreds of US dollars each. Therefore, the type of opal common in necklaces is non-opalizing opal – usually pink opal from Peru (more below).

Opals fantasy-like play of colour is caused by small spheres of silica creating interference and refraction manifestations. The spheres, which are arranged in compact structures, dissect light through the gemstone, turning it into the rainbow effect, always new and different.

Peruvian Opal
Opal BeadsOpal BeadsPeruvian Opal comes in faint pink, light blue and light mint-green tones. From the Andes Mountains near San Patricio, Peru, just like the name implies.

Although native South Americans have been using the stone for more than a thousand years, it only became widely available commercially within the last decade or so. It is usually translucent to opaque with no play of colour and often has lots of black and tan dendrites.

Opal BeadsMost Peruvian Opal beads are semi-opaque to opaque. Peruvian opals metaphysical properties are similar to other opals. Helping to intensify your traits and characteristics and deepening your personal understanding. Peruvian Opal in particular is used to activate the heart charka and to assist you during spiritual journeys.

How to Value Opal
Opal NecklaceThe most important criterion for determining the price of fine opal is the play of colour, the colours themselves and their pattern. If red appears when looking through the stone, all the other colours will also.

Opal NecklaceValue also depends on colour, transparency, and original location. Colour can be black, dark or light, or coloured. Black Opal or a dark grey body has the most brilliant play of colour. Black Opal from Lightning Ridge or Mexican Fire Opal is the best.

Crystal opal, is the next best, and should be more transparent with a deep play of colour. White or milky opals show more diffuse colour and are the cheapest.

To best bring out the play of colour in a fine opal, the stones are cut and polished to round or oval cabochons, or other softly domed shape. Only the best qualities of Fire Opal are suited to faceting. The opal cutter removes any impurities using a diamond cutting wheel, before working out the rough basic shape, fine cutting, and finishing with sandpaper and polishing with a wet leather wheel.

How does Opal Effect You?
Opal is thought remove depression and to help find true love. Opals are supposed to enhance the positive characteristics for people born under the sign of Cancer. With Black Opal recommended to Scorpios and Boulder Opal for Aries.

The opalizing effect reflects changing emotions and moods. People prefer different opals for different moods. Opals are like human emotions: each type creates different feelings.

Looking after Opal
Due to 2 to 6% water, opals easily become brittle and if stored too dry or exposed to heat over a longer period of time, the play of colour will fade. Therefore, Opal jewellery should be worn as often as possible, for then the gemstone will receive the needed humidity from the air and from the skin of its wearer. In earlier days opals sensitive surface was oiled, but today they are sealed with clear resin.

To buy our Peruvian Opal Nugget Beads click MrBead or MrBead.co.uk  

£5 or $6 Off Anything From MrBead

£5 or $6 off all orders over £15. Key OPAL at checkout now, as offer ends Friday 4th October. At MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com, and can’t be used with any other discount.

Late-Summer Bead Fairs

  • Sunday 29th Sept: Beads Up North! Haydock Racecourse, Newton-le-Willows WA12 0HQ. Full details here.
  • Sat & Sun 5th-6th Oct: Bath Gem n Bead Fair, Bath Racecourse, Lansdown, Bath BA1 9BU
  • Sunday 13th Oct: Norwich Bead Fair, The George Best Western Hotel, Arlington Lane, Newmarket Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 2DA. Full details here.
  • Saturday 19th Oct: The Big Bead Show, Sandown Park, High Street, Esher, London KT10 9AJ. Full details here.
  • Sat & Sun 26th-27th October: Newton Abbott Gem n Bead Fair, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot Racecourse, Devon TQ12 3AF
  • Sunday 3rd November: Cheshire Bead Fair, Market Place, Nantwich CW5 5DG. Full details here.

To see all the bead shows we have booked, click Bead Fairs 2019 

See our beads at MrBead.co.uk or MrBead.com

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April 2019 is the 14th full year of the MrBead newsletters, and I thank you all for such enthusiastic comments and appreciation. To see the past newsletters click here.

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