Beaded jewelry is an easy and fast project that anyone can undertake. Bored and don't know what to do with life? Get your hands on leftover beads and start making your jewelry. The type of beads you choose will determine whether the piece will be formal or casual.
Beaded jewelry such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings complete a jewelry collection perfectly. When did this art of jewelry-making begin?
Let's explore the origins of beaded jewelry.
History of Beaded Jewelry
Some believe that this art began more than 70,000 years ago. When humans found gems and bound, they were intrigued by their beauty. Since then, beaded jewelry has been used in different ways. Self-adornment is one of the popular uses of beads. Another is money-making and value. People used to trade beads or beaded jewelry.
Handcrafted beaded jewelry is made from different materials, including bone, gemstones, glass, ivory, wood, paper, shells, clay, and porcelain. Beadmakers kept their techniques a secret. Hence, mass production only began after the 1800s when glass became available to ordinary citizens.
In France, beaded art became popular in 38,000BC. Ceramic beads, worry beads, and Filigree originated in Greece, whereas Italians specialized in glass beads, famously known as Murano glass beads.
Self-Adornment and Storytelling
Beads gradually became a means for self-adornment because they were no longer used for trade exchange. Nonetheless, their charm as a form of art persisted. By the urban civilization, beaded jewelry became a sign of adornment and status symbol.
Ancient Egyptians introduced and mastered the faience art and used beads as accessories for hundreds of thousand years. Cherokee Indians made rich use of beads. They used it for storytelling and creating patterns using beads related to their heroes' histories, clans, or mythical tales.
Materials and Techniques
Beads have been created from various materials throughout the ages. Seashells, gemstones, wood, glass, bone, plant-based substances, clay, and ivory are materials used to create beaded jewelry.
Faience is the oldest method invented in Mesopotamia. Egyptians mastered this art by mixing silica, soda, clay, and later heated lime. The heat caused the materials to melt and glaze. As a result, a bluish, hard, glass-like bead is formed.
In South and Central American cultures, the raw material, art, and method of bead-making were guarded and only handed by through long apprenticeship and word of mouth from one generation to another.
The industrial revolution made beads affordable, easily available, and simple. You'll find plastic beads at negligible prices. However, elite bead masters guard the methods as a trade secret. Murano glass beads are one of them.
The glass masters follow the ancient technique of glassmaking to produce different designs and sizes of beads. These glass beads come in different colors to make earrings, rings, pendants, necklaces, and bracelets.
You can buy women's glass pendant necklaces at our store. At MuranoNet, we take pride in directly working with glass masters in Murano. All of our beaded jewelry comes with an authenticity certificate. You can also explore and buy other Murano glass products online. Reach out to us for unique corporate gift ideas.