Saturday, October 13, 2018

10.15.18 Back to Beading

Like so many jewelers, I started with beading...when we went to the Outer Banks for family vacations, my sister-in-law and I would take our girls to the bead shop and let them pick out glass beads or shells to string together for souvenirs.

On one of those trips, I bought some seaglass, jump rings and earwires and made a pair of simple earrings.  Next thing I knew, I had a couple of pairs of pliers and a tackle box full of beads and findings.

It was fun for a while - I made a lot of earrings; I sold a few on Etsy and I gave them as gifts, but over time, my interest in it waned. For a long time, the beads languished in in the tackle box in my office.  Then, my friend Sarah Gish put out a call for bead donations for a project she was doing with youth in recovery I sent her pretty much everything I had and she put them to great use.
Fast forward a couple of of my pendants sold at Russell Korman, and the customer wanted a pair of coordinating earrings.  She asked for simple blue glass with a silver leverback...

...I remembered - and went looking for - these earrings, made with vintage Japanese millefiori beads (one of the few beaded pairs I kept). Turns out, they are a great match to my wildflower pendants. I decided in addition to the custom request, I'd make a few more.

After going back to some of my favorite bead sellers, I cut up a lot of 21 and 24 gauge wire to make head pins and earwires (it feels a lot more "smithy" when you make your own findings) and started putting beaded earrings together again.

Because I don't have a jewelry bench or equipment at home (and I don't want to) - I can't do metalsmithing work unless I go the studio.  The nice thing about beading is I can do it at the kitchen table...once I've taken a torch to all those little pieces of wire to ball up the ends.

So look for updates to the Etsy shop that included beaded earrings to coordinate with some of my millefiori and pressed glass wildflower pendants.

Until next time.

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