Sometimes, the coincidences pile up so fast you think to yourself – there’s a trend here. And I’ll tell you what we are seeing in terms of what people are interested in right now in jewelry crafting!
Matte – Matte finish comes and goes, and right now – it’s in. Matte, particularly in stone – which adds an extra step to the process – as the stone is polished, and then matted. I’ve always been fond of matte in particular colours – i.e. Black – I like the contrast it provides – and rose quartz looks particularly nice in matte, primarily because you see more of the pink colour and less of the reflection.
Wire Weaving. Wowsers – this was starting to speak to me, and apparently – a lot of you too. I’m blown away with what people are doing with wire. This is not your grandmother’s wire wrapping, or even the wire wrapping of a decade ago. There is a level of innovation and sophistication happening that will take your breath away. We just added Sarah Thompson’s book on Fine Art Wire Weaving, to our wire book selection. Sarah’s book recommends Fine Silver Wire as the easiest to use for the type of wire weaving she does, she likes the thin 28 gauge wire – which is the .32 mm thickness for the weave part. She also mentions that she prefers bare copper wire for patina’ing – which is certainly a budget-friendly place to start.
Organic and Naturalistic. For now – it seems folks are relaxing away from the very formal and very polished looks, eschewing symmetry, and trying out new, softer looking materials. Wood has been very big lately, free-form cabochons, and interesting new combos. These are looks that work well for work and casual social occasions. The organic forms, like the flowing forms of the Art Nouveau style, also lend themselves to surprising levels of complexity, not just in wire weaving but also in seed bead weaving.
We just added a big selection of wood beads in a variety of woods and sizes, because we think it fits well with this. There are some fun choices, including Ebony, Tiger Ebony, Palm, Bayong, Madre de Cacao, Nangka, and Rose Wood. Also they are really nice to look at and to wear, being nice and light if you want to do a big drapey necklace. Wood is also nice for summer – lighter and easier to wear, and goes well with the casual summer look and feel.
These three trends play nicely together – the matte-finish fits well with the natural forms, and the flexibility in the wire-weaving techniques allows for the use of free-form shapes and natural materials.
In addition – here’s a few more observations:
Mixed media hasn’t gone away, and while some big leather seems to have faded from the scene – we are still seeing a lot of cord; leather, hemp, cotton, etc. being used. Bling is not the main theme at the moment, although it still pops in for an accent here and there. We just added new colours in the C-Lon Micro Cord and the Tex 400 Bead Cord.
Including three shades of grey – so you can pick the one you like the best.
Eastern Spiritual influence. Mala- and prayer-bead inspired looks are still very popular. Tassels and Buddhas, oh my. Guru beads – a bead set with a cap or tower bead, and a larger bead with a “T”-shaped hole – for a long necklace or a bracelet – are very popular. We just added a selection of Guru bead-sets – mix and match them with stone or other beads. Plus check out the Guru bead page for links to a couple of videos which show you how to get string around the corner of the T-shaped hole.
And while it is not a bead or even jewelry-related – it does fit with the eco-friendly theme – we now have Eco-Straws – Handmade Glass straws. These are Hand-blown by local artist Amber Higgins of Worn Beadies. They are made of dishwasher safe, fully annealed, lead free pyrex. Carry one in your car for those fruit smoothies, and just rinse and re-use, or run through the dishwasher. Elegant little indulgence for yourself. Great hostess gift. Cute for parties. Fun for kids. Each decorated with a unique glass colour spiral. And they never go into the land-fill for a 1000 years before they break down, or get tossed and wind-up killing some local wildlife. In straight, bendy, and smoothie size. It’s also a good feeling to support local artists. 😉
Anyway – these are the trends I’m spotting. Want to see more of what we think is hot – check out this pinterest collection.
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!
Can’t find what you are looking for? Feel free to just email us and ask!
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