Some Pearly Creativity

I think I previously mentioned my love of pearl jewelry, if not, I love pearl jewelry. I love how diverse it can be, simple, traditional, or modern. And the white pearls go with just about anything in your wardrobe as long as the styles match. Without really trying, I went on a pearl kick over the past week or so, and I thought I would share my results.

This first necklace was created with freshwater pearls and sterling silver components strung on a leather cord. I saw a similar idea at my local bead shop, but I created my own version of it. This is a great jeans and t-shirt necklace, but the pearls dress it up a little.

I designed these earrings to match the necklace above. I always sell my pieces separately so people can mix and match or not feel locked into sets if they don’t want them, but I think these two are a great set to keep on hand. The earrings alone can work with about anything you can think of. (Yes, the earrings hang on an angle.)

I think I showed off the earrings that match this necklace previously. I made a set of these earrings and necklace for my mom so I thought I would add the necklace to the earrings I had as well. Again, it is perfect for dressing up or down. It is simple and elegant, yet it’s different enough to create its own little “oohs and ahhs”

Lastly, this is my pride and joy. I have wanted to create a straight strand of pearls for quite some time, so I finally created it. At some point I will create earrings to match it, if it doesn’t sell first. This necklace is 32-inches long, which is long enough to create a nice dramatic effect without getting in the way if you wear it as a single strand, or you can wrap it around your neck twice and get a double-stranded choker look. Both looks are very traditional and elegant, yet they can have a modern flare to them at the same time.

 

Side story…

For those who don’t know, I have a mannequin head which I use at shows.  At my last show, a gentleman asked me (with a slight laugh in his voice), “Does she have a name?” I responded, “Yes, her name is Pearl.” He looked a little surprised (I’m guessing he thought I was too old to name dolls). I continued, “It is easier to ask ‘Where is Pearl?’ than to ask ‘Where is the mannequin?’” With that, he nodded and continued on his way. I reference that because I used Pearl to take these photos (even though you can’t see her face). That makes these pearls on Pearl.

 

Anyway…thank you for stopping by!

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Every Girl Deserves Pearls

Is it just me, or is there an allure about simple white pearls that makes every woman desire them in some style of jewelry? I know I do! Pearl stud earrings, a knotted pearl necklace (choker or long length), a simple pearl pendant, I love them. They aren’t even my birthstone!

Before I get carried away, let me formally introduce you to this month’s (June) birthstone, the pearl. Pearls are produced within the soft tissue (mantle) of shelled mollusks (a type of marine invertebrate animal such as oysters). They are formed when an irritant, often organic material or parasites, gets into the mantle and the mollusk produces a substance called nacre to cover the irritant. The nacre builds up and becomes a pearl.

Most pearls in the jewelry I create are cultured freshwater pearls verses naturally created pearls.  These pearls are created by human intervening and placing an irritant inside the mollusk to force it to create a pearl. The majority of pearls come from China and Japan. There are some pearls produced in the United States as well.

Cultured pearls are less valuable than natural pearls and should not be considered natural pearls. However, they are much more common than natural pearls, so they are not completely discounted.

Although it is unknown how far back pearls were collected, it is believed that pearls in jewelry date back to the fifth century B.C. From that time until the development of cultured pearls, pearls were reserved for the wealthy because the only pearls available were natural pearls and they were very rare and expensive.

All jewelry should be treated with respected and gentleness, but pearls should be especially taken care of. While pearls are a solid material, they are very soft. They can chip and crack easily if they are not handled with care. It is not recommended to wear pearl jewelry in layers because the jewelry pieces can rub together which can cause the pearls to become scratched. Pearls should also not be exposed to chemicals such as jewelry cleaners because it can ruin their finish. I have read several places that it is recommended to store your pearl jewelry wrapped in a soft cloth.

Below are two photos of a pair of pearl earrings I made recently. I absolutely love these earrings for their simplicity but also for their modern flair. I think they can literally be worn with any outfit (okay, maybe not if you are going to explore abandoned buildings or in the woods). I think I might have to make a pair of these for myself!

What do you think about pearls? Am I right with my assumption that most women desire pearl jewelry in some style? Is there a style of pearl jewelry you really find beautiful?

Thanks for reading!

All tied up in knots

I think most ladies in this world either own or dream of owning a pearl necklace. Not just any pearl necklace, but a traditional pearl necklace that has knots tied between each pearl. I could be wrong, but I know I dream of owning one. I suppose I should contact my local jewelry designer…

Traditional pearl necklaces are strung on silk cord with knots tied between each pearl. If you have pearls strung next to each other, the beads can rub against each other and affect the appearance and strength of the necklace over time. By tying knots between the pearls, they rub against the silk instead of each other and the silk does not damage them.

Flash forward to modern jewelry. Not only do we see knotting used for pearls, but it is also used with gemstone and glass beads. Knotting works well for several reasons. As I mentioned, knots keep the beads from rubbing against each other. They can also help if the necklace happens to come apart. The knots will stop the beads from sliding off the cord if the cord breaks. They also help to accent the beads and provide some separation between them. This is especially nice if you have unique beads you want to call attention to.

I find knotting to be simply elegant, but I do not see it done very often outside of high-end jewelry shops. For this reason, I have been teaching myself the knotting technique. At first it was frustrating because it is quite challenging to get the spacing just right. Now, I almost find it enjoyable.

In anticipation of my first show a few weeks ago, I decided to create a new jewelry set for myself. I have been wearing the same earrings and necklace to each show for the past four years! I wanted to create something bright and perfect for spring, but when I pulled out the beads I wanted to use, I only had 15 inches of them. That’s a tight necklace! I wanted to keep it in a traditional style and stay away from shiny metal, so I decided to use some silk cord and knot the beads together. This is what I came up with:

You may have seen these beads before. They are left over from another set I created. I love the look of these beads, so I have been taking my time trying to figure out exactly what to make with them. What do you think? I think the necklace looks like something out of a vintage jewelry box. That was my intention for it. I chose the off-white cord to really make the beads stand out.

Do you have any knotted necklaces? If so, what type of beads is the necklace made from?

I’m really in love with this necklace. It might be hard to sell it.

Thanks for reading!

PS: This weekend I will be at Manheim’s (PA) train station for Artist’s Alley. This event will feature our local glass blowing operation as well as several of the best local artisans. The show is from 12-5PM on Sunday, May 27, and we will do it again on the last Sunday of every month through August. If you are in the area, stop by and check us out! Thanks!