Welcome to Jewelry Alchemy! My name is Mary Craig, and I’m thrilled to be here with you for the first part of the Build A Line Challenge from B’sue Boutiques.
This is Part One of the Build A Line series of blog hops, where I will tell you a bit about myself and my background, and why I decided to be part of this challenge.
The challenge is really a master class of sorts, and will span three months. There will be a total of three hops and we have 58 participants. All of us will be working hard to create a cohesive line of jewelry and pull our look and thought process together. At the end, we will reveal a complete line of jewelry with a minimum of five pieces all in our chosen style.
Trade Bead Necklace comprised of stylized turtle beads from Karen Hill Tribe in Thailand; antique red skunk trade beads and pale pink gooseberry trade beads; contemporary small striped red and blue beads, and satin glass barrel beads.
Although I’ve spent my career working as an instructional designer and program manager for a large corporation, I’ve always searched for ways to be more creative. This search was pretty hit-and-miss until about 5 years ago when a dear friend and I took a basic jewelry design class at a nearby bead store. An addiction was born! This bead store recently went out of business, but my drive to learn more about designing and creating jewelry has never been stronger.
I plunged into the world of beads and jewelry pretty indiscriminately, wanting to try my hand at everything. Bead stringing? YES! Wire wrapping? YES! Bead weaving, bead knotting, kumihimo? TRIPLE YES! I love it all.
But during this headlong plunge into all things jewelry, I began to develop a special love for the old beads. By old I mean not just early 20th century Art Deco and Art Nouveau, but also the really old stuff like carnelian faceted barrel beads made in the mid-1800s in Idar-Oberstein, Germany:
These tiny, exquisite black-and-white zebra stripe shell beads from Morocco:
Layered chevron beads, which first appeared in Murano, Italy, around 1500:
These beads are so special to me because they carry the stories of the ancient people who made them, wore them, and traded them.
“When one looks at a bead, it is hard not to think about who previously owned it and how far through time and distance it has traveled to reach its current destination.”
–Robert K. Liu, author of Collectible Beads
And Now for My Theme…
I plan to combine my love of antique and vintage beads with stampings and components from B’Sue Boutiques that suggest a connection to history. My goal will be to create a line of jewelry that has a definite ethnic feel and sense of history to it, yet is affordable and wearable with today’s styles.
Here are some of the B’Sue pieces that I’m playing with so far (and I’m waiting for some to arrive in the mail):
- I love all scarab designs, since they bring to mind the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt (approximately 2000BCE):
- This very cool moth pendant reminds me of motifs often seen in Arts and Crafts designs of the early 1900s. (I can’t wait for him to arrive in the mail!)
- These B’Sue components should work as links to tie the designs together, both figuratively and literally:
Thank you for stopping by Jewelry Alchemy. I’d love to read your comments, and I look forward to visiting my fellow participants’ blogs on January 23!
Please continue the hop by visiting my fellow participants listed in the post directly below.