There is something more personal about jewelry that is worn on the hands. Perhaps that is because the wearer can see it do what jewelry is designed to do — to be in and interact with the world. You can see how your bracelets move and how your rings break the light. I am sure that seeing your jewelry behave as mobile art changes how you feel about those pieces.
While rings are by far my favorite type of jewelry, bracelets have a special place in my heart as the first type of jewelry I tried to make as a child — friendship bracelets and bracelets made out of coiled wire, to be specific.
Bracelets are very expressive and different bracelet styles contribute different things. Cuff bracelets add a visual break and can foreshorten the arm — much liked cropped pants do for the leg. Bangles can be musical and dramatic as they orbit around a wrist adding movement. Then, there are chains with focal points and charms. They swing and sway and add length to arms and hands. In addition, each type can change a great deal depending on materials. A leather cuff, for example, is very different in overall effect from a beaded cuff.
Blue Keum-Boo Cuff -- by Judy Parady
Twisted Sterling Silver Bangle Bracelet with a Gypsy Set Blue Sapphire - by Two Trick Pony
As I have mentioned, I am in the early stages of learning metal work and jewelry making. One of the unintended effects of this education, is that I notice the quality of metal work on jewelry more than I previously did. I turn my nose up a messy solder or uneven prongs around a stone — even though I am still working on doing these things properly myself. I find I also try to guess what techniques were used in pieces that I am admiring.
I noticed Jewelry by Francine on Etsy today and felt compelled to mention her work for two reasons. First, she is making beautiful pieces and using an impressive array of techniques. The stone setting is well-done, the enameling is judiciously used, and the designs are well-composed. Secondly, I had to give Francine Ruth a shout-out because she’s from Cleveland. My husband is a born and raised Clevelander and I, myself, have done two tours of duty in that fair city. Always nice to see lovely artisan pieces coming out of Cleveland.
Keum Boo Bracelet – Francine Ruth
Tile Me a River Necklace – Francine Ruth
Tiny Bubbles Earrings – Francine Ruth
I love the polka-dots on the bracelet and earrings. I can imagine these being great jewelry staples — professional, casual, quirky yet understated. I am not familiar with the technique, Keum Boo, which was used to make these pieces. (I’m sure I’m showing my newbie status now.) The effect is striking. I like how the technique appears to allow the addition of another metal to a piece while being able to keep it flush.