Lampworker Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan sells her art under a peculiar name: Grama Tortoise Beads and Jewelry. In African myth, Kopechele, or the grandmother tortoise, offers a downtrodden young woman a necklace that causes her divine gifts to be appreciated by everyone around her. It’s a story Cleo knows by heart, and it informs her glass beads and finished jewelry. She says, “Owls represent night vision. They are my connection to my own insight, as they see an entirely different world, though that world is
here about us, everyday.” Each of Cleo’s glass birds, beasts, fish, and frogs carry meaning to be internalized by the wearer, as does
her collection of god and goddess beads. Visit www.gramatortoise.com
to see all her inspirational pieces. Necklace by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan.