One of my bead sisters loved the lamp work bracelet I uploaded on our Bead Sisterhood site. She was intrigued with the title I gave the piece - the Warring States Lamp Work bracelet. She had never heard of the term before. So thanks for inspiring this post, Tami!

The Warring States Period (476- 221 BC) was a terrible one of turmoil in China when warlords battled for supremacy until one strong leader eventually emerged to unify the country and start the Qin Dynasty. If you've heard of the oldest military strategy guide, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, you wouldn't be surprised to learn it was written during this time.

Yet, out of this chaos, new philosophical schools of thought like Confucianism, Taoism and the Yin/Yang principles emerged. Artistic endeavors include lovely bronze and jade artwork like these bronze mirrors, artifacts from an archaeological dig of a horse and chariot chamber tomb and the very first Chinese eye beads.

The beautiful lamp work beads above are modern versions of ancient Chinese eye beads. The geometric patterns include mosaic flat eyes, "dots" and protruding horned eyes with distinctive concentric rings as you can see from this picture here. The beads start off as solid colored ones which were then covered with succeeding layers of colored glass.

The Warring States eye beads are still popular today. Larry Brickman is a modern master of this ancient art form. Check out his gallery here or see pictures from his workshop.

Eye beads occur in many ancient cultures. They were believed to protect the wearer against evil caused by the envy of others - probably along the lines of staring down or deflecting negative effects. See more eye beads in my past posts on Tibetan Dzi beads and Nazar Boncugu or Turkish eye beads.
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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