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The Cuffs of Diplomacy
        The Cuffs of Diplomacy concept and execution have taken several years to bring to fruition; product inventories were exhausted with some of the amethyst or mother of pearl bead cuts and sizes and even after contacting no less than twenty or so North American bead dealers, including contacts with a Jaipur and a Honk Kong bead cutting company, contracting custom cut beads-the products delivered were a complete disappointment-some of the beads were impossible to find. The requisite inventory was finally acquired in 2007 and the set was able to be completed in January of 2008.
        This page includes the digital sketches conceived in Minnesota in addition to the final bead cuffs.

        The symbolics behind the set depicts in minimalist language the instances or stages of diplomacy. The initial diplomatic contact reality with the other diplomatic party is normally a somber one, or at least one illustrated by a past history of menacing silence or even war, as one or another party refuses to engage in dialogue.
        Agreeing to meet to attempt dialogue generates hope, and in the cases of a successful outcome to the diplomatic initiative, full dialogue is achieved, begetting solutions and even a working peace. All persons and things benefit if not rejoice at the reestablishment of accord and peace.
 
        This is the inspiration behind the cuff set, conceptually centered on an historically Iroquois method of diplomatic communication through the wampum idiom. 

        The materials used in this set include amethyst, an occasional fluorite-it replicates nicely the striation found on the quahog clam-mother of pearl, antique European-made Gumbah trade beads used for many years by members of the Maasai tribe of Kenya and likewise traded with various Native American tribes by European or American traders, white deer skin and synthetic sinew. To give the cuffs an older look, the beads and leather of the entire set was lightly swabbed with a blackening made from charred cedar and gum arabic. Each piece was beaded using white gloves to protect the red raw silk liners from being soiled. No staining touched the silk.
        Beautiful 2mm beads of Sleeping Beauty turquoise are integrated into the seventh cuff, the Cuff of Great Peace.