Origin, Carvings & More.
New Work & Upcoming Events
New Creations & where BeadSpirit Designs is headed next.
The stories of pipestone varies from the Sioux, Blackfoot, Crow, Pawnee & so on. The stories past down from generation to generation pay reverence to the importance of the sacred stone. Specimens of the sacred pipe making material date back some 2000 years, which were found at Mound City, present day Ohio. Digging at the MN quarry most likely started in the 17th Century & soon became the preferred source of Pipestone among the plains indigenous population. By 1700, the Dakota Sioux controlled the quarries & distributed the stone only through trade. By the time George Catlin (catlinite) arrived in MN in 1836, the simple tubes of earlier times had developed into elbow & disc forms, as well as elaborate animal & effigies. Today only people of Native American ancestry can quarry the pipestone.
When I carve a pipe, there are always pieces left & rather then waist the material I use whats left to carve into jewelry. Traditionally I do not sell pipes, but I do carve pipes for family & close friends. There is much more that goes into making a sacred chanupa then just the carving. The Spirit of the person must fit the Spirit of the pipe in order for the pipe to be beneficial.
I know there is a lot of modern machinery out there these days to make an arduous task much easier but I try to stay within some traditional boundaries. For instance many of the pipestone beads out there are done by machine, which is very noticeable by there fine cut straight lines & perfect circumference. As hard as they are to make by hand----I make them by hand. My tools for all my creations including the pipe, are; hacksaw, files, sandpaper, beeswax, small drill & small torch to heat the beeswax. I do work with other stones, which are very hard on the mohs scale of hardness & for these I do use diamond bits & high speed rotary drill but I do not use these on the pipestone. With that, below are some of the creations & on the necklace pendant pieces, I carve & shape these by hand & do any inlay work on the stone. Shauna then does her traditional beadwork & designs the gemstones to fit with the necklace. This gives you some idea of the processes we both go through in our home sweat shops to achieve the desired outcome. For us, the work we create is not about us but what is coming through our Spirit into the piece we create for someone else. It's always great to meet the person that your Spirit guided you to make the piece for to begin with, as you never know who your making in for. (Bob)
Rough Cut Pipestone, Work Bench & Finished Products
The Sweat Shop
Hand Carved Pipestone Pendant/Inlay/Sinew/Peyote Stitch/EdgeBeadwork
Hand Carved Pipestone Bracelet With Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Inlay
Spring Bloom Arts Festival
Join BeadSpirit Designs for the annual Spring Bloom Arts Festival in Bloomington IL on Sat., April 26th at the Interstate Center, 1106 Interstate Dr., Bloomington IL. Last year Shauna won first place in the Fine Craft Category for this show. Nice work Thawicu. (CLICK the picture above for more information about this show)
Cedar Falls Farmers Market Begins
Be sure & join BeadSpirit Designs May through October, every Saturday from 8:30 am until 12 noon, in downtown Cedar Falls for the Farmers Market. Plenty of local vendors & artists. Hoka! Click the pic or the link below for more information.
Dubuque Fest Fine Art Festival
Join BeadSpirit Designs for the annual DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival, May 16th-18th downtown Dubuque at Washington Park & Town Square. Hope to see you there.
Grandmother Moon-Looking Within: polymer clay face, keishi pearls. Click on the pic to purchase & for more information.
Her Spirit Soars
Her Spirit Soars-Carved Bone Beaded Pendant with Silver Feathers. Click the pic to purchase & for more information.
Green Adventurine Beaded Pendant
Green Adventurine Beaded Pendant with Feathers & Smoky Quartz. Click the pic to purchase & for more information.
Chocolate & WIne
Chocolate & WIne--Druzy Pendant with Smoky Quartz & Pearls. Click the pic to purchase & for more information.
A portion of all our sales goes to our Little Spirits Fund for abused & neglected children on Pine Ridge Reservation S.D. Ashoge/Pilamaya (Thank you)