By Brigett Johnson (guest blogger)
The Trollbeads People’s Bead always generates a tremendous amount of excitement and interest, but 2012 is truly special. The collection of 11 beads and a Fantasy Necklace designed around the theme of “Spirituality” embodies the symbolism and personal meaning that make Trollbeads unique and wonderful.
From over 10,000 designs submitted from around the world, Trollbeads selected 100 finalists, and online voting determined 11 final designs for production.
Trollbeads Gallery Forum had many members who submitted designs: 14 were in the top 100 finalists. Congratulations to everyone who participated, whether as designers offering a glimpse of something important to themselves out to the world, or as viewers and voters, giving thoughtful consideration.
Since it is the first year glass has been selected, the two glass beads, Chakra Colors and Spirit Light, stand out. They are contrasting opposites: one a rainbow of colors, the other crystal white.
In Hindu and Buddhist belief, the seven Chakras are the focal points of life energy in the body, each connected with the other. Designer Jolanda J. Hos explains her design: “I was inspired by the spirituality of the rainbow. The different energies are swirled together in one single bead, so you always have the color you need at that moment.” This bead is a natural focal point for a bracelet featuring the Chakra beads released in 2004, with gorgeous bands of 22 carat gold leaf highlighting the chakra colors. But its bright, rainbow colors will also blend easily with many other beads.
In describing the inspiration for her glass bead, Spirit Light, designer Marta KubeŠová, speaks of “light, water, air, thought, creativity, imagination, faith, unity and infinity”—things that are abstract, invisible and pure. It is a perfect description of this bead, which will complement Dichroic Ice and other white beads in the collection.
The 8 silver bead designs are as varied as the beliefs that inspired them.
World Within, one of the design winners, was created by Trollbeads Gallery forum member, Linda Karuso. Many congratulations!! It is fast becoming one of the most loved and popular beads from this release. Linda says “Spirituality is a way to move beyond the most surface understanding of life and to begin to focus on the depth of meaning behind our lives. Outside it is reflecting the outward appearance of everything like a mirror. Inside you find the core, representing the search for inner meaning, the essence of spirituality.”
Stay Positive is beautiful in both the simplicity of its design and its encouraging message. As designer Maria af Rolén suggests in her description of the bead, everyone can use “a reminder to stay positive and focus on the good things in life.”
Designer Maria af Rolén will be attending TrollbeadsFest 2012 (October 5-6). As another special surprise for TrollbeadsFest 2012 Louise has shared that Trollbeads Gallery is having 18k gold versions of World Within and Stay Positive specially made--another reason to get your tickets right away if you haven’t yet done so!
Heaven’s Gate represents the peace of a garden, and designer Yumi Shimizu includes an invitation to “create your own spiritual and beautiful garden by putting the beads you love around this bead.” When I see this bead, I cannot help but think of the rainbow bridge that leads from this world to the next, and the many loved and missed pets who have crossed it.
Dream Catcher and Feather reference Native American beliefs and traditions. Dream catchers were originally made by the Ojibwa tribe, but were adopted by other tribes and are now part of popular culture too. Like the spider’s web it represents, the dream catcher is believed to trap dreams sent as messages from the sacred spirits. The good dreams slip down the attached feather to the sleeper and the bad escape through the hole in the center and are banished by the morning light, or “into the wind” as designer Silvia Iacurto explains.
Feather echoes the beautifully detailed design found also on the bead Angel Feathers. According to designer Carolyn Brettell, “in native America the feather is a symbol of spiritual ascension and evolution and is used by the chiefs to symbolize their ability to communicate with the spirit world.”
Designed by Allan Bayer, Happy Dragon is “associated with a new beginning, growth and energy. “ From a cultural perspective, dragons are associated with the Orient, and especially China. Chinese dragons are benevolent creatures, associated with wisdom and long life, and often have magical powers. If you look closely you can see the smile.
The two beads Loving Light and Rosary have Christian meanings. Designed by Canadian Kevin Powell, Loving Light represents “the relationship between humanity and god.” A small heart decorates the cross it features. Rosary, designed by Elisabetta Marini, “is a chain of ten small grains and a hanging crucifix.” As an additional detail, the words “Ave Maria” are engraved on the center of the bead.
Last, but by no means least, is the bead Prayer, designed to adorn a Trollbeads Fantasy Necklace. Its designer, Daniele Celani speaks to the thing that brings us all together. He acknowledges that “we are all different. We think, we do and we believe in different ways. But what is common for all cultures is the spirit.” He invites us to customize his bead “with the stone that most reflects your soul.” Here it is adorning the new Fantasy Black Onyx Necklace released with the Spiritual Collection, holding a faceted Amethyst.
No matter which beads from the Spiritual Collection speak most to you, Trollbeads has done an amazing thing: it has brought together people from around the world and given us a little insight into what others think and believe.
Shop the complete collection at http://www.trollbeadsgallery.com/.