Inspired by Big Bold Beads

Feb 24, 2010
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Inspired by Big, Bold Beads

I was just paging through the wonderful new Spring issue of Stringing magazine and was floored when I came across Wendy Baker’s sumptuous necklaces and bracelets. They are made with new and vintage metal flowers, beads, fibers, chain, and are even peppered with little found objects such as plastic babies. These are not pieces to wear to the grocery store, mind you. No, these are big, bold pieces that evoke seventeenth-century Dutch still-life paintings, opulently teeming with flowers. Just gorgeous! You know, jewelry designers such as Wendy truly inspire me to push the envelope with my designs. That’s just one of the reasons I subscribe to Stringing magazine.


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Stringing Spring 2010

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Big and Bold
As I was drooling over Wendy’s work, I recalled that the Fall 2009 runways had models strutting their stuff with some of the biggest, baddest hardware I’ve seen at Fashion Week in years. The pieces that were featured, some dripping with sparkling crystals, others sewn together with various fibers, and still others heavy with chains, are also meant for special, specific occasions. But, like most trends that hit the runways, I figure we’ll see a watered-down version come our way. So, I was thinking . . . as jewelry designers ourselves, how can we incorporate this trend into our work, and be able to wear our creations every day? Here are some tips:
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  • Stick with one big, bold bead in your piece. This will give a nod to the bolder-is-better trend but doesn’t go overboard.
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  • Follow the lead of one of those over-the-top runway necklaces by using its general shape to inspire your own design. For instance, you don’t have to use the same big honkin’ beads that you see on a piece, but you might like to adapt the same rope-style length or dangles-from-a-chain design.
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  • No larger-than-usual beads in your stash? Why not try incorporating some big found objects in your design, such as skeleton keys, vintage brooches, large coins . . . heck, even plastic babies, like Wendy does! Fill out the rest of the piece with your collection of smaller beads to balance the size and color.

What other ideas do you have for adapting the latest big, bold jewelry style to everyday wear? Please share your ideas on Beading Daily.

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on Feb 24, 2010 2:41 PM

I just discovered this blog - great feature and idea for creating your own pieces.

I've already discovered Wendy's incredible jewelry and am happy to see her featured here! When I get one of her exquisite pieces I just may wear it to the grocery store too ;0)

on Feb 24, 2010 7:20 PM

I saw these over the top, big and bigger style necklaces everywhere at the Atlanta wholesale gift show in January. Many buyers walking around with these statement pieces around their necks too. I don't see the plastic babies in these photos though--

Sally322 wrote
on Mar 3, 2010 5:58 PM

Wow!  Pretty much anything goes, huh?  These look like they weigh a ton but I'd suffer a little tension on the neck vertebrae to wear these beauties.  Thanks for this, Jean.  Can't wait to peruse my vintage stash.  Hope we see a lot more of this fun style.