Abacus Bracelet


 (I got this image from the web some time ago and forgot to add the creator’s name to its file name, as I always try to do. So, if anyone out there recognizes it, please let me know so I can attribute it.)

This piece is a great example of the geometric metalwork that a number of contemporary jewelry artists are producing in workshops around the States.  It features a technique called “cold connections” along with hot soldering.  The rectangular and round frames were hot soldered to make their edges seamless, but the pearl and gold abacus beads were strung on wire that was then cold connected through holes drilled in the sides of the frames.

I took a jewelry metalworking class a few years ago, so I can appreciate the work that goes into a piece like this. Working with this weight in precious metals is an expensive endeavor, too. If sold, this bracelet could garner a hefty price, probably in the vicinity of $1,000, considering the fine workmanship.


Silver Cuff with Copper Rivets

Image Copyright Connie Fox 2013

Image Copyright Connie Fox 2013

I have been a fan of Connie Fox’s jewelry for some time. A designer and instructor, Connie is at home in the medium of wire and fabricated metal. I often get inspiration browsing her website, Jatayu.com, even though her style is quite different from what I wear and create. A lot of jewelry has passed my gaze over time, and one thing has become crystal clear. A true artist is immediately recognizable in her work, and that reality crosses all boundaries of preference.

For some reason, I always think that this style of jewelry is what the sophisticated cave woman would have worn if it had been available at the end of the last Ice Age. Visit her gallery page and prepare for a lesson in great design.

Purple Leather Wrap Bracelet

Image copyright BraceletBangleCase 2013.

Image copyright BraceletBangleCase 2013.

Even though I sometimes wonder if I am too old to wear such things, leather bracelets always attract me. There is a boho earthiness about them, even when they are in startling colors like this purple one from BraceletBangleCase on Etsy. I decided to feature this bracelet, not just for itself, but to attract attention to this shop. Their workmanship is really nice, they use real leather, they have a large selection and, best of all, their prices are extremely reasonable. People who run their business like that deserve to be patronized.

Layer this bracelet with pearls or chains and wear it with jeans or a casual little black mini dress. The color kicks it up a notch, but the materials keep it down to everyday suitability.

“Something for everyone” seems to be the motto of this shop. Find your next bracelet there, or even two, because you won’t have to break the bank to do it.

Ivory Beaded Bracelet

Copyright 2012 Another Country BeadWorks

Copyright 2012 Another Country BeadWorks

Although I love color, I can also appreciate a beautifully executed monochromatic look. This bracelet by Another Country Beadworks is handwork at its best, from the peyote tube and bead to the hand stitched fringe balls. In fact, this designer seems to specialize in beaded ball components. Labor intensive!

The lampwork bead with a hint of aqua provides a serene tide pool effect, and the single black bead anchors and grounds the design. The handmade clasp also works well here.

I would feel very pretty wearing this bracelet, but I understand it is long sold. Visit her shop  at ArtFire to experience the unsold variety of ACB’s talent.

Rose Pink Crystals Bracelet

Image copyright Martaky Art 2013.

Image copyright Martaky Art 2013.

My grandfather was red-green color blind, and it makes me sad to think that he would not have been able to appreciate the stunning rose and fuchsia hues in this exciting bracelet by Martaky Art, on ArtFire.  This designer from up over the border in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, says she creates all her designs “with one thing in mind: to make every woman attractive, elegant and beautiful.”

The bling in this bracelet is off the charts, and I can feel my whole inner being opening up with joy when I look at it. Speaking of bling, Martaky uses “bling beads” in this design, along with sharply cut crystals and twisted sterling wire that splinter light and color like a strobe. Her favorite materials are crystals, gemstones   and other natural stones, assembled with findings of sterling silver and other metals.

When I buy or make jewelry, I want it to have this same quality of eye snatching appeal. If you feel the same, visit her ArtFire store and collect an exquisite bauble or two from her collections.

Cleopatra Cuff


Image copyright Yael Falk 2012.

The precision work in the netted wire creations of Israeli designer Yael Falk is breathtaking. Equally breathtaking is the thought of how much perseverance and patience was required to establish this technique, which is not quite crochet or knitting. Her pieces are lightweight, distinctive, and easy to wear.  Constructed of gold, silver, or copper wire, they also combine well with one another, as the visual aspect is similar across elements.

Because I was so enamored of her artistry, I ordered one of Yoola’s tutorials and set to work. Creating these wonders is a life’s work! She can afford to generously share her secrets because replicating them is daunting. (I’ll try again some day.)

To learn more about Yoola and her work, visit her website.  If you really want to appreciate her craftsmanship, get a tutorial from her Etsy shop and give it a go. Oh, by the way, good luck with that!

Thai Silk and Ribbon Gypsy Bracelet

Gypsy Bracelet

Copyright 2012 HannahRachel on Etsy

Until I saw this bracelet, I must confess that I was not that much of a fan of mixed media jewelry. Artistic execution grounded in a mastery of color theory has won me over! (The words “Gypsy” and “Thai” in its name didn’t exactly repulse my romantic soul, either.) The assemblage of colors, textures, and materials in this piece screams wearable art. I can envision some free-spirited reggae hippie chick like Naia Kete of The Voice wearing this on her ankle (I wish I could get away with that – sigh!).

This bracelet is actually not typical of Hannah Rosner’s work or her shop on Etsy. Hannah is an accomplished bead weaver and glass artisan. Many of her weaving designs are intricate and labor intensive, the kind of work that will someday be featured in art museums as examples of early Twenty-First Century fine craft. As evidence, Hannah’s work made her a semifinalist in the lampwork category for Bead Dreams 2009. She also won second place for her bead embroidered collar piece in the Treasures of Toho 2009 Contest. That necklace appeared in the February 2010 issue of Bead & Button.

If you’d like to see more of Hannah’s astonishing creations (and you must!), go visit her shop, HannahRachel.

Fancy Jasper Beadwoven Bangles


Copyright 2012 The Studio Elle

I have the utmost admiration for artisans who bead weave their creations. Because most buyers do not understand the labor and patience required in creating a work like this trio of bangles, the artisan is rarely paid what his or her labor is worth.

Combining intricate construction with quality materials, this trio was designed by Ellen Goldman, who is so passionate about her beading that she says she lives her life”‘One Bead at a Time.” Fancy jasper is a dreamy gem, and these bangles display some uber dreamy specimens of those rocks. Their surface is liquid shine.

Stackable bangles are de rigueur in today’s fashion scene. Put these next to your Chan Luu wrap bracelets, though, and you’ll whip off those Chan Luus tout de suite! It’s like parking a Rolls Royce Phantom next to a Volkswagen Jetta. The comparison is embarrassing.

It was tough to choose among Ellen’s handwoven riches. If you love quality creative handcrafted jewelry, you will be an immediate fan of her work. Click on over to her website and see what I mean.

Caribbean Ice Bracelet

Caribbean Ice Bracelet

Copyright 2012 White Tideline Designs

This San Francisco Bay area designer, Julie Wilson of White Tideline Designs, has a distinct gift for gathering disparate materials into a unique and breathtaking creation. Her work is the stuff of fairy magic. Julie describes her sea-inspired bracelet, made of quality artisan beads and gemstones, like this:

‘Caribbean Ice,’ calls upon two very different journeys. One was to the icy waters of Southeast Alaska and the wondrous Glacier Bay and the other, to the humid, exotic islands of the Caribbean where the water takes on its own extraterrestrial glow in shades of turquoise, aqua and blue. When glacier ice melts, it too takes on an unreal color, milky ice blue which also looks like something from fantasy fiction or stories of mermaids and Atlantis.

Lately, Julie’s work is garnering a burst of attention, injecting Julie with a new flood of inspiration, so this is a good time to pay attention to her work. The jewelry blog CustomMade is also featuring a stunning bracelet by Julie here. I was happy to discover the CustomMade site, as they do a great job featuring wonderful artists, something very close to my heart.

So what are you waiting for? Get on over to White Tideline Designs on Etsy. It is a virtual journey you will not regret.

Carved Jade Bracelet

Copyright 2012 Stone House Mercantile

Copyright 2012 Stone House Mercantile

This stunning carved jade bracelet is by Stone House Mercantile on Etsy.com. Materials driven rather than design driven, the piece is a simple one-strand construction. The luscious carved red beads are what make this design pop. What is it about red that makes you want to look at it forever? Or is that just me? In my opinion, this is real eye candy.

Here is a link to her Facebook page. Go on over there and check out their beautiful jewelry.