Jewelry Trends and Beyond: How to Make Statement Pendants

We have all heard of the “statement necklace”–massive bibs full of beads, sparkle, chain, and charm. Now, among current jewelry trends is the “statement pendant.” For spring and summer, pendants of all shapes, sizes, and configurations of materials, on very long strands of beads, chains, or leather cords, such as the pendant below, by Betty Stephen.

jewelry trends: Statement pendant by Betty Stephen

Statement pendant by Betty Stephen

The length isn’t new; opera length strands of 30-34 inches, and even 48- to 60-inch ropes, have been trendy for a while. What is new is seeing so many pendants, and hanging down so low, on runways in NYC and Paris. Personally, I like the look of these jewelry trends. They carry the viewer’s eye all the way down the length of the body, allowing for a fuller view of what is being worn.

Jewelry Trends Born From Haute Couture

We can all agree that what fashion designers sometimes put down the runways isn’t anything we’d be caught dead wearing. You know what I’m talking about. Oft times they are just plain weird looking, something you will see only as part of a runway show, added for impact to create visual drama in the show itself.

Statement pendant jewelry trends: Persephone’s Jewel designed by Helena Tang

Persephone’s Jewel designed by Helena Tang

High fashion and haute couture jewelry trends have a way of trickling down into our world, into our jewelry-making marketplace. Sometimes they come as a more affordable, reinterpreted version for retail chains. Luckily, those of us that make jewelry don’t have to settle for cheap knock offs. We can make our own versions that are far superior to anything you can find at the department stores. Not to say that we create with someone else’s designs in mind; but we’re talking jewelry trends here. Creating for a popular theme is different from copying.

Types of Pendants: Amulets, Talismans, Lockets, Medallions

The word “pendant” derives from the Latin “pendere” and Old French “pendre,” both of which translate as “to hang down.” Historically, there are many types of pendants, including the amulet, which is a defensive object of beauty meant to protect. The talisman is supposed to confer special benefits or powers upon the wearer. The locket, which opens to reveal a secret space for a photo or a lock of hair, is to be worn close to the heart. Let’s not forget the medallion, which are generally coin- or shield-shaped pendants granted as awards, recognitions, or religious blessings.

jewelry trends: statement pendant designed by Lesley McKeown

Pendant designed by Lesley McKeown

Statement pendants don’t have to be oversized, though many are. The pendants just need to be fascinating and hold their own, so that as the name implies, they make a statement. Part of the statement is having the pendant strong and worn on such long strands, fitting for jewelry trends. This look is powerfully beautiful.

Make Timeless Statement Pendants Beyond Jewelry Trends

You might want to consider placing or making a bail with a large enough loop that allows you to change the pendant out, from chain to bead strand or leather cord. Consider whatever you choose to string upon, according to the look and color scheme you are going for. This simply lends more versatility.

jewelry trends:" Bee and Sunflower Pendant designed by Suzanne Williams

Bee and Sunflower Pendant designed by Suzanne Williams

When you begin to think of what you’re going to have on your project board or at your jewelry bench next, think about pendants. Develop the story behind them as you go along in your pendant design process. Let your imagination run wild! Create your one-of-a-kind pendant or follow a pattern. Either way, you try to imagine the future long from now. Think beyond jewelry trends to what these pendants will say to those who find them or have them handed down through the generations. Imagine in big picture, historical terms. Think big and create lasting treasures.

Jill MacKay has been a professional jewelry designer for her entire career. Sharing inspiration and creativity with others is not only how she makes a living, but a wonderful life.  

Find more jewelry trends and statement pendant projects in the Interweave Store.

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