My Country of Thee I Bead


Nan Smith created this Blog Hop /Challenge for people to design and make a piece  of jewelry that reflected a country where they lived or were born in.

I was born in Kassel, Germany. Kassel is now in the middle of the country. My family moved to the United States when I was 3 years old, but we frequently went back to visit relatives. My mother moved back to Germany when I was 20 years old. She lived in a part of Kassel called Kirchditmold that is at the edge of town and a 5 minute walk from the forest and beautiful green fields. Kassel is ringed with green hills. It is a lovely city full of green spaces and some interesting sights. My mother has passed away, but I still have family and friends there and visit often.

Bombing raids of 1943 destroyed 90% of the city centre. The downtown was rebuilt during the 1950s.

Wilhelmshöhe Palace is on a hill above the city, was built in 1786 by landgrave Wilhelm IX of Hesse-Kassel. The palace is now a museum with Graeco-Roman antiques and  paintings including a large collection of Rembrandts. It is surrounded by the beautiful Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe.                                                                                                                                   The Hercules monument could be seen from my mother’s house. It is an octagonal stone structure with a huge statue of Hercules on top. Cascades of water run down from there to Wilhelmshöhe Palace during the summer months twice a week. Nearby is the Löwenburg (“Lions Castle”), a replica of a medieval castle, also built during the reign of Wilhelm IX.


On the other side of town from my mother’s former house is another large park, the Karlsaue along the Fulda River. Established in the 16th century, it is famous for the Orangerie, a palace built in 1710 as a summer residence for the landgraves.

There are many museums in Kassel including art museums, science museums, and the Brothers Grimm Museum. The Grimm brothers wrote many of their fairy tales in Kassel.

Every five years Kassel hosts a huge art exhibition, the Documenta. I wrote a blog about last year’s Documenta 13.

All this green, including the green hills and forest, surrounding Kassel inspired the bead I made my pendant out of. I used dichroic and adventurine glass so it is more sparkly than the picture shows.


The dangles are all things that remind me of Germany. The tiny house is ceramic and was made by Diane Hawkey. The steep roof reminded me of German houses. The heart and dachshund are sterling silver. The cow is by Zarah and is enameled sterling silver.

Please check out the other jewelry inspired by countries:

Nan Smith (host): Canada
Dini Bruinsma: The Netherlands
Stephanie Weiss :  USA
Ana Cravidao (ACBeads) : Portugal
Vera:   Germany (USA)
Delilah:             Romania
LiliKrist:                            Indonesia
N Vakentine Studio :  Canada
Karin:                                Calgary, Canada
Diah Anggreni :         Indonesia
Karen :                                 Australia
Cath Thomas :                    Switzerland
Asri Wahyuningsih :     USA
Crysalis Jewelry Design                                              Denmark ( Canada)
Jasvanti Patel:         USA
Lola:              USA
Beccy Peterson           Sweden (USA)
Paula Hisel :    USA
Inge von Roos:                Germany
Laurie Vyselaar:     USA
Toltec Jewels:    USA

About ingetraud

I make lampwork beads and jewelry. My other interests include traveling, reading, hiking, and collecting art and handcrafted items, especially pottery. I have always loved handmade things and have collected hand-thrown pottery since I was a teenager. I have done stained glass and weaving. I had been stringing beads into necklaces for a while when I attended a clay and glass show in Palo Alto. There was a beadmaker there whose work I fell in love with. I bought one bead to make into a necklace and decided I wanted to learn how to make glass beads. I took my first beadmaking class from Jackie Marr in Santa Cruz. After taking another class from Katie Stuart in Santa Barbara I set up my own studio and have not looked back. Beadmaking is like meditation for me. What has kept me interested is that there is always some new technique or color combination to learn or try. I have taken advanced classes from Sally Prasch, Marjorie Langston, Holly Cooper, Shirley Cook, Dolly Ahles, J.C. Herrill, Kristen Franzten Orr, Amy Waldman Smith, Claudia Trimbur-Pagel, Astrid Riedel, Amanda Muddimer, Melanie Moertel, Angela Meier, Gay Massender, Kris Schaible, and Jennifer Geldard. I love combining my love of beadmaking and traveling by taking classes away from home. In September, 2016 I got to attend a bead symposium in Wertheim, Germany. I took a bead lining class and watched many demos. I am married and have one son, age 26. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Los Gatos and Scotts Valley, California.
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9 Responses to My Country of Thee I Bead

  1. I will check back 🙂 There are a few others to visit later, as well. Have a good day!

  2. Cath says:

    Your art bead is very beautiful and I love how you turned the pendant in a landscape scenery! Awesome!

  3. Inge, you’ve written a lovely post! Kassel Germany sounds like a beautiful place of enchantment and such a happy home of your mother’s. The castles turned into art museums and the Brothers Grimm — I love the fairy tale aspect of the city, the forest and green fields. Your lampwork is gorgeous! The dicroic glass scene adds to the magic, and the adventurine lampwork must sparkle so in the sunlight. The green colorway is rich and nurturing. I love Diane Hawkey’s work; the charms you’ve created with her ceramic cottage as well as your beautiful beads, and the additional silver cow and heart and doggie all come together so well. I feel happy and at home looking at your jewelry. What a beautiful tribute you’ve created!

    Happy Blog Hopping. Bravo Inge! 🙂

  4. LiliKrist says:

    The pendant so reflect the castil and the view.

  5. Hi Inge! You’ve written a very interesting post about your mother’s hometown. I love the way you’ve included the green areas and the river in the lampwork glass bead you’ve made, I think I can see a pinetree too, depicting the nearby forest. The pendant with its adequately choosen dangles is also full of meaning. In all, It’s a gorgeous piece. Have a nice week, Ana

  6. I’m fond of castles and history, and that’s what you are telling me about in your post, I just love that! Great Pictures too, all those green colours… The design of the necklace is your story in a nutshell, and so beautiful♥ it’s very special!

  7. Jelveh says:

    I love it Inge. The story and the bead pendant with the charms. I love love Grimm fairy tales. You grew up where they were written that is awesome.

  8. Pingback: My Country Blog Hop | Inge's Blog

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