A few months back Eske Storm premiered a collection of beads designed by his apprentice, Alex Cramariuc. Alex has been studying at Eske’s workshop for the past year and introduced his first pieces this last spring. Predominantly inspired by Japanese motifs, these beads are incredibly beautiful and right up my alley. These designs remind me of the famous Japanese artist Hokusai, and his best known work “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” as well as his cherry blossom paintings. I have to say I was beyond impressed when I first saw these charms and I’m honored to be presenting a preview of the collection.
The cherry blossom themed charms were on point for the jewelry trends in the springtime. Wonderfully exquisite and delicate, the cherry blossom (or sakura) is heavily symbolic in Japanese culture, often used to characterize mortality – its beauty and fleeting nature. Alex has captured the essence of the sakura in his 3 beads dedicated to this motif: Cherry Blossom small, Cherry Blossom 3D, and Cherry Blossom large. Lovely in the extreme, each bead expands upon this theme to create an amazing tapestry. The Cherry Blossom small starts as the most simple of the three, the heavily oxidized background offsets the the few cherry blossom flowers for contrast. Cherry Blossom 3D is almost twice as large as the small bead and features more blossoms and branches of the tree for an intricate textured charm. The Cherry Blossom large is arguably the star of the collection, as the biggest piece in this set, and I would certainly label it a focal piece. These flowers are carved on top of Japanese waves giving the charm a definite oriental flare and is an incredible piece of art; it’s at the top of my wish list!
Following this theme, the following beads in this collection take from the iconic Japanese waves and are just as gorgeous as the Cherry Blossom set. Being an island, the country is surrounded by the sea which can be giving and destructive. The stylized waves are characterized by half circle shapes almost creating a fan-like appearance. The smaller of the two beads is the Japanese Wave and Cherry Flower, a beautiful integration of these two motifs, half of the bead shows the waves and the other half a large ornamental blossom. The Japanese Wave large is another focal charm and features the beautiful Japanese wave designs all around the bead; simple and elegant, this charm will be versatile to wear with any bracelet.
The next couple of charms depart from the Japanese inspiration, but instead are more in line with the rest of the Eske Storm collection. From Danish and Viking history, the Binding Men beads are inspired by the Jelling Stones of Jelling, Denmark. Covered in runes, these stones are one of the oldest landmarks in Denmark, and they mark the Danish transition to Christianity from Norse paganism. The larger (and younger) of the two stones depicts Christ on one side and a serpant wrapped around a lion on the other. These charms definitely reflect that history that inspired them.
I have literally run out of positive adjectively trying to describe this collection. I adore these beads, especially the Japanese Waves & Flower and Cherry Blossom large. The long cyndrical style of the charms is idea for either bracelets or necklaces. These pieces can be purchased online at Eske’s shop from Denmark and do keep in mind that they are small core and will only fit Trollbeads or other bracelets without threading. What do you think about Alex’s first collection? I’m eager to see what he comes up with next!