I admit it - in addition to being a math geek, I'm also a
history geek, particularly when it comes to the history of self-adornment and
fashion. For me, knowing the history of a particular custom or fashion makes
creating my own beaded necklaces that much more meaningful.
For some reason, I've always been drawn to creating beaded
necklaces. They are still my favorite type of jewelry to design. My sketchbooks
are just full of necklace designs, and I can't get dressed in the morning
without picking out a favorite necklace to throw on over my t-shirt or sweater.
Probably one of the things that pull me towards creating
necklaces is that the necklace was probably the very first kind of beaded
self-adornment created by humans. Somewhere in time, an early human picked up a
seed or a shell with a hole in it, put it on a piece of sinew and tied it
around their neck. The beaded necklace was born!
The necklace fell out of fashion during the Middle Ages
(about 800 AD and 1200 AD) in Europe, mainly due to the way women and men
dressed at the time. Garments were loose-fitting and usually secured at the
neck with a large brooch, so there was no room for a strand of beads or a gemstone set in gold.
Necklaces as jewelry and adornment disappeared almost
completely between 1200 and 1400 with the introduction of the wimple, a long
piece of linen or silk that passed under the chin and then drawn up over the
head, completely covering the neck. (Those European clothing artisans sure knew
how to party!)
But thankfully, as the wimple faded from fashion (whew!)
necklaces came back as a popular form of jewelry, and goldsmiths and jewelers
became wildly creative in their use of precious gemstones in these necklaces. As the necklace developed as an art form, these four styles of necklaces gained popularity and are still used today as inspiration by modern bead artists.
If you love making beaded necklaces, you can explore all of the wonderful necklace projects available for instant download in the Beading Daily shop! Oh, and did I mention - for a limited time, all of the projects are on sale? Stock up on your favorite beaded necklace projects and get busy beading!
Do you have a favorite style of necklace? Leave a comment here on the blog and tell us what it is! Or better yet, take a picture of your favorite beaded necklace design and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery!
Filed under: Gemstones, Pearls, Crystals, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Brick Stitch, How To Bead, Bead-weaving, Necklace Making, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Beading Daily