Beadwork Tells a Story with the Mythical Beading Collection
Mythological stories have inspired artists through the ages, and today is no different! We’ve put together some beading patterns that are inspired by mythology in the Mythical Beading Collection. I’ve picked out my favorites to highlight and give you a little history about their inspiration.
Jewels of Atlantis
The Jewels of Atlantis Bracelet by Yasmin Sarfati features underwater hues paired with sparkling crystals and shimmering gold that whisks one off to the lost city of Atlantis, from Greek mythology. It’s said that the precious metal Orichalcum, second only to gold in value, was only found in Atlantis. What other gems have been lost with Atlantis?
In European folklore, sprites are magical creatures like fairies and elves that inhabit all of the realms of the world, including the deepest, darkest woods. The Forest Sprite Bracelet by Barbara Falkowitz has all the earthy colors and sparkles that fairies and beaders are drawn to.
The Three Graces
Also from Greek mythology, the Charites—or Three Graces—inspired Jill Wiseman’s Three Graces Collar. They are minor goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility. They were patronesses of amusement and festivities, so wear this elegant necklace to your next fancy-dress party.
Nothing was more important to a Spartan, Athenian, Theban, or Trojan hoplite soldier than their battle shield. The Grecian Shield Pendant by Beth Moser pays homage to the intricate designs that warriors proudly displayed on their shields, many of which included symbols from mythology. Carving or painting Medusa on your shield would surely strike fear into your enemies’ hearts!
So named for its strength, this shape is also known as the reef knot or marriage knot (affiliate link). This knot originates in ancient Egypt but is best known from Greek and Roman tradition, as a protective amulet and in wedding ceremonies. It is likely where the term “tying the knot” comes from! The Hercules Knot Bracelet by Carole Horn is a beautiful beaded rendition of a knot rich with lore, history, and tradition.
Dragon-like creatures were first depicted in the mythologies of the ancient Near East and Mesopotamia as early as 2344 BC. The winged, fire-breathing dragon we’ve all come to know and love swooped onto the scene during the High Middle Ages (1000–1250 AD). Now they are more popular than ever, with books and movies like The Hobbit and How to Train your Dragon, and TV shows like Game of Thrones. There’s two dragon-inspired patterns in the Mythical Beading Collection:
- The Dragon Wing Necklace by Sally Boehme has the European styling of bat-like dragon wings. The architectural detailing and the colorway that Sally chose give it a very medieval feel.
- The Dragon Dance Bracelet by Csilla Csirmaz has an Eastern flair, reminiscent of the brightly-colored dancing dragons of a Chinese New Year celebration.
History was never one of my best subjects in school, but I’ve found that it’s my favorite thing to learn. I love reading about Greek and Norse mythology (affiliate link), watching YouTube videos on how people lived in the middle ages, or documentaries on the treasures found in Egyptian tombs and why they were placed there.
The stories of mythology are like magic that transport you into the shoes of a person who lived in a different time. The creative storytelling of myths and legends gives you a glimpse into the values and ideals of cultures whose day-to-day life is lost to the ages. You can start to see the world from a different perspective.
Get the Mythical Beading Collection and start stitching your tribute to your favorite mythological being or creature!
Technical Editor, Beadwork magazine