Bead Necklaces Can Represent Memories
Joan Coor could be considered a goodwill ambassador for beading. She brings beads from the Czech Republic, Poland, Yugoslavia, Austria, Ghana and Egypt to Paradise Valley Estates where she teaches fellow residents how to make necklaces and spreads the joy of jewelry.
The beads have cultural significance and are stories in themselves that she shares with four to six participants in each class. The imported beads come from her daughter, Merry, who travels extensively to buy inventory for Talisman, her bead store in Eureka. Joan chooses the beads, wires and large decorative clasps so her students’ projects will look professional.
Bead shapes can be round, disc, square, cube, triangle or tubular. Joan favors glass or semi- precious stones, especially the faceted Czech varieties.
A current trend involves ash beads, or memorial beads, in which cremated ashes are mixed with molten glass and swirled to create globes that resemble celestial galaxies.
“This adds an extra dimension to the art and gives beads a purpose,” Joan says. “Such sentimental keepsakes allow people to feel connected while honoring lives.”
She also vets and repairs jewelry donated to The Store at Paradise Valley Estates. Pleasure and reward abound in the Main Dining Room when Joan sees women wearing the jewelry they have made, or she has fixed.