Necklace of 15th century Afghani lapis beads, accented by my beads in Argentium silver and 18k gold granulation.
Beads in this shape are common throughout the Islamic world, and the complex geometry they showcase is considered an expression of the sacred in material form. The mathematical knowledge and technical skill required to cut these beads would have been offered from the artisan as a tribute to the Creator, giving back a human expression of the beauty received through artistic inspiration.
My own granulated beads complete the offering, decorated with a pattern based on one I saw in an antique Islamic prayer rug. I so enjoyed creating these beads; they are heavy in weight and dense in decoration, with a great tactile feel from the patterns of wire and granules. They are wonderful to touch and fidget with, and the lapis of the ancient beads is also very responsive to touch and skin wear, and will become more beautiful as it interacts with the body.
Necklace is 19.5 inches long. The largest central granulated bead is 21 mm across, and the smallest are 10 mm. The lapis beads range from 6-11 mm.