On the body / Just in case you’re the next lucky contestant on some million-dollar game-show, know this: The word jewel, which was Anglicized from the Old French “joule,” and beyond that to the Latin word “jocale,” actually means “plaything.”
I thought about this as I entered Kaimuki’s Bead It! shop on Koko Head Avenue several weeks ago. The store is a kaleidoscope of shapes, colors and textures–organic and synthetic–beautifully displayed like stones wrapped in pieces of hand-painted washi paper.
The people in front of the counter were twisting ideas around their hands, and the people behind the counter were assisting imaginations, providing insight into how to wrap wire, how to drill shells and how to make a pot of bead soup.
In essence, they were playing–yes!–with things that reminded me of the splendid bazaar in James Joyce’s “Araby.” (A woman, just like the girl in the story, turned a silver bracelet round and round her wrist. Beads like porcelain vases and flowered tea sets caught rays of sun, and a woman spoke to me, in an English accent, I thought, until she finished her sentence with, “yeah?”)
I stayed. I listened. I signed up for classes:
Wire Basics, starts Fri., 9/7 at the Kapolei store, 11:30am, $40
Jewelry Basics, starts Wed., 9/5 at the Kailua store, 6pm, $40
Free Form Wire Caging, starts Sat., 9/8 at the Kaimuki store, 10:30am, $50
For a complete list of Bead It!’s classes, including fusing, soldering and metal working, visit [ibeads.com].