Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Small Scale, Huge Impact

[Bead in hand, Jeffrey Glover, GSU Faculty, via Fernbank Expedition Journal.]

"Timeless pattern" is probably what comes to mind when most design enthusiasts glance at this 16th-century glass bead with chevron decoration unearthed recently in Telfair County, Georgia by Fernbank's lead archaeologist, Dennis Blanton, and his team.

It's hard not to think of textiles. As old as the chevron pattern is,  contemporary designers continue interpreting it in fresh ways. Marlon, one of  Lulu DK's  earlier hand-prints is currently available through her fabric bazaar. (In case you missed it the other day,  discounts of 60-70% are being offered to the public. Click here and here for details.)

 [Interior design by Molly Luetkemeyer. Photo by Justin Officer.]
  [Interior design by Molly Luetkemeyer. Photo by James Merrell as seen in InStyle, April 2010.]
 And just a few months ago, in April,  InStyle published the chevron-injected bedroom Molly Luetkemeyer designed for her sister Julie Bowen.

But when scholars and archeologists look at the tiny multicolored trade bead,  they think of the notorious 16th-century explorer, Hernando de Soto. As reported in ScienceDaily, distinctive chevron beads that date to the Spanish exploration are often dubbed De Soto "calling cards" in part because they were limited in production.

[Bead image via Fernbank Expedition Journal.]

Obviously glass and metal can outlast many textiles and other perishables. Specifically, though, archaeologists look for these materials for possible evidence of exploration because Native Americans did not have them before the arrival of Europeans. Right now, the south Georgia bead find is causing archeologists to rethink de Soto's route through the region.

[Photograph of St. Catherines Island by Jason D. Williams via The New Georgia Encyclopedia.]

In addition to its research and public education program known as The Santa Isabel de Utinahica Project -- an endeavor that was initially launched to search for traces of a 17th-century Spanish mission in the Telfair County area -- Fernbank is also responsible for a vast archaeological collection, The St. Catherines Island Foundation and Edward John Noble Foundation Collection.

[A six-year-old's valiant attempt to get a clear shot through the case.] 

Only a very small number of artifacts are on view yet but the other day I did pop in to see some Native American pottery and Spanish majolica, part of the exhibit Conveyed in Clay: Stories from St. Catherines Island. It's worth a peek if you happen to be visiting.

This is fun: beads and zig-zags.  David Hicks' Hippie Beads. Click here for details.

[Detail from Coastal Living's October, 2009 issue.]

Related past posts: Beadazzlers and
Angie's Coastal Cottage, and also,
Living with Art.


Anonymous said...

St. Catherine's Island has to be one of the most enchanting places on our coast. I go there every year with my Grandmother, and look for sea finds...this year I'll keep a keen eye for beads.

Paris Hotel Boutique said...

Courtney, just peeked at the latest Lonny and your editorial is fab! I literally have some pimento cheese sitting in a shopping cart!

Take care :) Lynn

Style Court said...

Hi Lynn!

Thanks so much! I haven't even seen it yet :) Just got back from the Apple store. Having a little work done on my macbook. Enjoy the pimento cheese.


Style Court said...

Heather, let me know if you ever find any beads :)