Tolkien, artist

100 People 1/100


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She was rather bland - mousy hair, about 5 ft 4 inches tall, average weight, perhaps mid-50's to mid-60's in age. She was holding a single seed bead in between her fingers. A bead of this size is approximately one millimeter around, so this was extremely tiny. She was looking to find a color match for the bead. (E = Erulisse, C = Customer)

E - "An exact color match will be difficult. How old is the item you're trying to match with?"

C = "It's 74 years old. I'm trying to match the beads that were on my mother's wedding dress. It featured hand-beaded Belgium lace."

E - "Well," after checking out a couple of possibilities and a couple of different possible sizes, "you're not going to be able to get an exact match, the chemical formulas and methods of manufacture have changed over the past 3/4 of a century."

C - "It doesn't have to be an exact match, but I really want it as close as I can get."

E - "Well," pulling a sample from the wall, "I think this may be the best possibility for you. Let me pull a bag from the back and we can compare them bead to bead."

I strung some of the new beads along with her single old bead onto a wire to show her the similarities and differences.

C - "I'm making five shadow boxes for my sisters and myself. I have some of my mother's wedding dress, a few other things of hers, the backdrop is a hand-colored art deco picture that was made of my Father and Mother on their wedding day. They were married in 1934 and all of their pictures are black and white except for this one picture. I would never have known about it at all except I had to put my Dad into Assisted Living a couple of weeks ago and I've been cleaning up his house. I came across this picture...well, it will mean a lot to all of us, but I needed some more of the beads."

E - "Well, this is how they will look. Is that close enough for you?"

C - "Yes, I think that's close enough. Now, the dress was hand beaded Belgium lace, made in Belgium. Do you think the beads were...?"

E - "No, the beads were Czech, actually made in Jablonex."

C - "Really? You know that for sure? I'm sure that beads were made various places."

E - "At this time, beads of this color were Czech. There were some made in France and others in India, but not with this size or color."

C - "Marvelous, I learned something today. Now, I really don't need as many as comes here, can I get a smaller amount?"

E - "No, I'm afraid you'll have to buy the entire amount, but it's only $3.95 plus tax, so it won't break the bank."

C - "Oh my goodness. Is that all it will cost? That certainly isn't expensive."

She left, holding her single bead and a bag of the new color, a broad smile on her face and the combination of possibilities and memories dancing in her head.
I'm glad you're recording these conversations. It's the small moments in life that are the most important, I think.
Well, I'll see what the next person I find interesting has to offer, but I just loved her story. Thanks for the thumbs-up.

- Erulisse (one L)
Wow! her project sounds like it will be a wonderful and gorgeous undertaking too. I'm glad you could help her and I'm glad she was nice!
I have great customers - those who have never done beading before and those who are expert. All can be fun. I loved her project and was so pleased that I could help her.

- Erulisse (one L)
How lovely - even more so that you are a bead expert and able to give her the in depth help she needed.
I am a bead expert, more than 25 years in this industry as well as classes to learn about the antique beads have taught me a great deal. I am delighted that I was able to help her. I hope my other ninety-nine people will be as interesting/fun.

- Erulisse (one L)
Thanks, Ann. I love most of my customers, they have such wonderful ideas and great creativity.

- Erulisse (one L)
Wasn't it fun? I hope my next ninety-nine are equally interesting.

- Erulisse (one L)
It's remarkable that you can identify a bead so precisely, just like that. She must have been pleased.
Well, I've been operating the store for 25 years and my primary art form for more than 20 years was beads. So I do have a pretty good feel for what gets presented to me for matching. The difficulty with this was the age. A lot of the processes that were used 75 years ago were not 'environmentally friendly' and are not used today so the colors and depth of color won't match.

- Erulisse (one L)