According to Accessories Magazine, hearts aren't just for Valentine's Day. They'll be popping up throughout the spring on shoes, handbags, clothing, and yes, jewelry.
Heart-themed jewelry can be a tricky look to pull off past February 14, especially with traditional designs like the sterling silver and pink crystal earrings shown here. Symmetrical hearts in standard tones of red and pink can look too young or overly sweet. This might be why some jewelry designers opt to make heart-themed jewelry only in late January and early February. Others ignore hearts entirely. And that's fine. You don't need to embrace every trend or symbol that comes along.
But if you want to try using hearts in jewelry past the romantic holiday, how do you do it? Try pairing traditional hearts with new materials or using them in a slightly different way. For example, Fossil makes a glitzy heart bracelet that mixes a peach crystal heart with brown leather cord, a nice mix of elegant and casual. Stella & Dot offers a number of love-themed pieces, including a heart pendant hung from its side, rather than the normal top. You can also use heart pendants or beads that don't fit the "regular" mold. Think asymmetrical hearts, broken hearts, hearts with jagged edges, bright hearts in green or blue, or hearts sporting darker motifs like skulls.
Still not feeling the love? Sometimes changing materials or colors is not enough. You might need to do some soul searching first.
As Susan Lenart Kazmer writes in Resin Alchemy, "When I was in art school, using a heart shape to symbolize your work was considered too obvious and trite and was looked down upon. Because of this training, I steered clear of using heart shapes. But a few years ago, many abrupt changes occurred in my life, and I found myself being drawn to and embracing the heart shape and all that it signifies." The hearts she makes now in her mixed media jewelry are deliberately imperfect.
Jewelry artist Staci Louise Smith understands how you can change your mind about a symbol over time. She recently confessed on her blog that she isn't into cute things, but prefers natural items with an edge. She discovered that she could make hearts that were grungy and edgy. She writes, "I realized that they don't have to be all cute and sunshine. They can have holes in them, be made of stone, stripped down to a bare state, and they can be rebuilt. They can be bright and radiate, fun and whimsical -- and they can represent us all and our heart's journey."
How do you feel about using heart beads and pendants in jewelry? Love them? Hate them?
Photos: Heart earrings by Michelle Mach with rose Swarovski crystals and sterling silver heart posts by Nina Designs. Polymer clay pendants by Staci Louise Smith of Staci Louise Originals. You can find her handmade hearts in her Artisan Accents shop.