Julie Rofman's modern friendship bracelets are made using an old art form. Tiny Japanese glass seed beads are hand-loomed into colorful designs.
American Plains Indians have made and used shell, bone, and antler beads to decorate clothing and objects for centuries. With the introduction of European glass trade seed beads, Plains Indian beadwork underwent a drastic transformation. Using both specialized stiches and handmade bead looms, artists could create elaborate, intricate patterns that would often cover entire peices of clothing or objects.
See examples of American Indian beadwork in our McGovern Hall of Americas.