Springtime Inspiration = Lovely Romantic Jewelry
As jewelry makers, we truly wear our passions and hearts on our sleeves. Our lovingly created bracelets, earrings, and necklaces invite compliments–and it’s common for people to ask where we got our ideas and inspiration. This spring, breathe in the fresh air and bring on the romance with jewelry and beading projects that will be fun to make and wear. Try a new technique and find your passion or polish your favorite skills on a sweet new romantic jewelry project.
Zelda Fitzgerald said, “Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.” I know it sounds corny, but I like to imagine that she’s referring to everything it’s possible to love. And, we can follow our hearts into metalsmithing, wire working, bead weaving, or wherever our creativity leads us. Here are some of my favorite love-themed romantic jewelry and beading projects to get you started. The color palettes and techniques are inviting and may inspire you to find something new to love.
I love the way Abbi Berta’s punk influence finds its way into her jewelry designs, including this Battered Heart bracelet. This is such a cool introduction to fold forming, and a great way to learn a basic metalsmithing technique with stylish results! Create a uniquely shaped and textured copper heart, then mix it with colorful beads and wirework for romantic jewelry. I once took a class on fold forming and we all had a good laugh about taking our aggression out by hammering the metal. So, this one’s a winner whether you’re in love or breaking up.
Abbi Berta co-owns BeadPlace.net with her mom and aunt and they have a retail shop in Southern Illinois. Abbi has made many, many instructional YouTube videos and loves to work with wire, metals, and seed beads. Check out her Love Knot wire rings for a quick and easy last-minute gift and her Speak to Me bands for statement making, cigar band-style rings that you and your friends will love.
Whimsy Hearts Earrings
Simplicity meets elegance with this pair of Whimsy Hearts Earrings by Jodi Bombardier. Use coiling to add some dimension while keeping the design uncomplicated. Then, dangle a crystal drop for a touch of shimmer. Try different versions of this design: copper with green amethyst drops or sterling with garnet and pearl drops. Or, make them with the recipient’s birthstone drops to add extra meaning to your gift of romantic jewelry. If you love beadwork but have never done much wire wrapping, this project will leave you very satisfied with your new skill and a pretty pair of earrings.
Jodi is the author of two wire-working books and has contributed many projects to jewelry making magazines, but her main focus is her wholesale line of leather jewelry available at JodiBombardier.com. Jodi lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she’s inspired by the desert landscape and Southwestern style. Her Wire Frame Peruvian Opal Bracelet is great wire working practice and would also be lovely in rose quartz or another romantic stone.
Queen’s Heart Necklace & Earrings
Michelle Leonardo’s Queen’s Heart Necklace & Earrings is a sweet combination of seed beads, SuperDuos, and fire-polished rounds. The romantic jewelry pattern is a dramatic, colorful spin on a beaded heart using circular netting, peyote stitch, and tubular right-angle weave. The earrings are a simpler, more diminutive version. I love bangles and could see making a few of these Color Block Bangles to go along with the Queen’s Heart Necklace & Earrings. The bangles are a little chunkier, but the colors would be amazing!
Michelle Leonardo is the founder and principal designer of the all-female, Chicago-based jewelry company, Michelle Leonardo Design. She specializes in incorporating exquisite beadwork into stylish jewelry and draws inspiration from her creative experiences in all aspects of advertising. She has created several beading projects for Beadwork, including the popular Ouroboros Dragon Cuff.
Heart to Heart Silver Agate Pendant
Here’s a beautiful project to work on at your bench. Jeff Fulkerson’s Heart to Heart Agate Pendant combines several techniques in one dramatic romantic jewelry design. Jeff took an unexpected approach to creating the heart with offset teardrop and semi-teardrop shapes. You could build something similar with stones from your own stash by making the heart-shaped base plate and creating bezels for your stones. The toggle clasp adds a lovely finishing touch to the design.
Jeff started metalsmithing in high school. He still has the first ring he made and his love for jewelry making has grown ever since. Take a peek inside Jeff’s studio in Jewelry Studio Artist Jeff Fulkerson and check out his jewelry, gemstones, and tools at ArtistJeffFulkerson.com. Jeff frequently contributes projects to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and you’ll find his inspiring projects and videos in the Interweave Store.
Fast & Fabulous Modern Romance
The pretty necklaces in Fast & Fabulous Modern Romance are quick to make for yourself or for gifts. The pink and coral color palette is a breath of fresh air with its modern twist on traditional red and pink designs. Plus, I love the way the designers use ribbon, leather, beaded chain, and other unconventional bead stringing materials to make lovely, eye-catching necklaces. Deb Floros, Debbie Blair, Anne Perry and other regular contributors bring the romance in this inspiring collection of romantic jewelry.
For the Love of Romantic Jewelry
Maya Angelou said, “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” I’d say the same applies to jewelry and beading: try, try again. Hearts provide inspiration in so many different ways. Enjoy experimenting with wirework, metalsmithing, beadwork and all of your favorite techniques to make your own lovingly handcrafted romantic jewelry to wear or share.
Plus, if you need a little motivation, why not challenge yourself to create a masterpiece for the Interweave’s Jewelry, Bead and Gem Arts Awards? There are five divisions, so you’re sure to find one that suits your style. Read 5 Tips for Winning Beading & Jewelry Competitions for advice on how to win $1000 and other prizes.
Katie Hacker, interim managing editor of Beadwork