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Beaded Jewelry, a Summer Staple

Did you see the January 7, 2024 article in Vogue, focusing on the “twenty year rule of fashion”?

There are few things that can conjure nostalgia as quickly as the sight of beaded jewelry.

At the turn of the century (2000), people tended to get more nostalgic for their childhood and incorporated more handmade jewelry into their wardrobes. With the 20 year rule in mind, here we are. We are stacking jewelry into all kinds of interesting combinations. Why not add some color to those combinations with beaded necklaces and bracelets?

"If you have ever spent your summers stringing together multi-hued beads on a string, rejoice in knowing that this childhood relic has now been given an adult-friendly makeover,” said Vogue.

But beaded jewelry is so much more than that. With the enormous selection of colors available in glass beads, the options are endless. I have been told I have a great sense of color, and I enjoy using that skill by combining beads to create depth and texture in a beaded rope or bracelet.

Some years ago I fell in love with those tiny size 11 seed beads and have learned many ways of combining them into beaded ropes to complement a pendant. The pendants I have collected come from many sources:

  1. artisans working with lampwork glass and copper electroforming,

  2. ceramic and porcelain artists that use the medium to its maximum potential in terms of textures, shapes and finishes,

  3. natural gemstones of many varieties, some with very interesting shapes,

  4. beaded pendants (mostly made by me) and

  5. larger stones of all varieties, including bone, nuts and other natural materials.

Adding pendants to a beaded rope is another great way to include silver or bronze (an elegant and less expensive alternative to gold) into your wardrobe. My work with metal clay in both pure (.999) silver and bronze has resulted in several pieces that you will find on my website.



While beaded jewelry may not be as fickle as certain metals, it can be subject to wear and tear over the course of time. It helps to schedule regular maintenance to secure any loose beads and polish its shine. Vogue leaves the reader with advice on how to clean beaded jewelry:

  1. Gently rub the surface of the beads with a soft cloth dipped in a mild cleaning solution.

  2. Wipe off with a dry cloth and allow to air-dry.

  3. Avoid abrasive sponges that can scratch the beads.

  4. Clean your beaded jewelry pieces on a regular basis.

Stacking jewelry is still very popular, and you can now add a spot of color to your combination of gold and silver chains.

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