How my house turned into a bead museum

Anyone who visits my house for the first time cannot ignore the abundance of beads. In the wall to wall book cases, hanging in strands on the wall, in my side table, and in small and big boxes and containers everywhere.  Five years ago, I did not have any beads, work with beads, let alone collected beads. What on earth happened?

Five years ago I was on holiday on the wonderful island of Lesvos, Greece. The pebbles on the beach were very pretty and I kept picking up the most smooth ones. Back home I decided to see how I could make jewelry with them. It turned out to be the start of a passion for jewelrymaking. I started looking for new techniques, complementing beads and started a professional course in goldsmithing.

Because semiprecious stone beads and freshwater pearls were difficult and expensive to buy in the Netherlands, I started looking into Chinese wholesalers. In order to support this growing bead buying habit, I started selling beads online. My real interest in collectible beads started when I travelled along the Silk Road in 2007. I travelled over land from Syria to Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekis

tan, Kyrgistan to Beijing. An amazing three month trip, with an abundance of wonderful beads. Prayer beads, ancient agate beads, lots of fake ancient glass beads and Islamic period beads. I bought what I liked and was reasonably priced, but had no clue what I was actually buying. After I returned, I started looking into my new treasure of beads. I found the BeadCollectors Network online and they helped me figure out what I had bought. It was the start of my love for collectible beads.  Since then I started making jewelry with antique beads, started building my collecting and developed a special interest in Venetian millefiori beads.

The story of beads, is the story of people, of travel and of culture. Beads may be the objects that are desired by more people than any other objects, and travel more than any other objects. Collecting beads is collecting stories. And those stories, I’d like to share with you on this blog.