|Snail shell beads, Blombos Caves|
Bead and jewelry making became specialized arts and crafts, much like all other activities. The more people learned about and explored metallurgy, glass making, gem finding and cutting, the more varied and sophisticated became the designs and construction of jewelry, whether made in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, or the Americas. People traded, beads, knowledge, and skills along all the major trade routes. African Americans have been in the jewelry business and in the forefront of avant garde design. An example of the former is the venerable firm, Waller & Company Jewelers, founded in 1900. Art Smith designed jewelry for black artists, starting in the 1940's, including Duke Ellington and Tally Beatty. He also designed a brooch for Eleanor Roosevelt.
BlackPast.org! Northwest jewelry artist, Susan Goodwin has generously agreed to donate some of the proceeds of her trunk show on June 30 to help fund the website upgrade of BlackPast.org. Those individuals in Seattle are invited to attend the event from noon to 5pm. For details on the event, 'like' Susan Goodwin Jewelry on Facebook.