My latest project and creations are that of the Mala bead necklace. I discovered them a few months ago when a friend of mine came back from India and was decked out in 1-2 Malas made out of rudraksha and sandalwood beads. Then I started noticing other people wearing them as well. They are a beautiful and personal adornment for one's neck or wrist, that has meaning beyond just simple body adornment.
Malas have a long history, you can find all sorts of information on the web of course but the simple explanation I like is that the necklace is used for thousands of years in meditation for hindus and buddhists alike. The mala is a strand of special beads strung in multiples of 9: 18, 27, 54 or 108 are the typical bead count. The owner uses the mala to help them keep track of their mantra chanting. The beads themselves do not have to be seeds or wood but can be gemstones as well, and thats where my creations come in. It is said that stones carry vibrations and can transfer all kinds of energy to their owners. This is one of the reasons I love working with gemstones!
The malas I've created have 108 beads, some with tassels or gemstones to complete the look and others with a unique Nepalian wish locket! The lockets are of mixed metal, Chinese silver, copper, bronze and brass. Since they open, I've rolled up a piece of paper with a mantra written on it. I love the idea of owning a necklace that has such a long and meaningful history.
My favorite malas use turquoise, blue lace agate or carnelian. What calls to you?