Fall is officially here and I’ve been busy switching over my lightweight pastel sweaters to chunky knits, my barely-there sandals to low heeled suede ankle boots, and my bead jewelry to… more bead jewelry! For years now, I’ve had something of an obsession with the beautiful Murano glass bead. My charm bead bracelets (which command an entire drawer in my jewelry armoire) run the gamut from well-known names such as Pandora, Trollbeads, and Chamilia, to wonderful, artisan creations that are truly one-of-a-kind pieces.
Why do I love glass bead jewelry so much? Glassblowing is a fascinating art! The history of glass jewelry dates back to 3500 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia, where it was used in place of precious gemstones because it was easier to carve and shape.
Creating beautiful glass begins with some truly humble ingredients including sand, lime and sodium carbonate. These are heated up to an extremely high temperature. The artistry comes in because a glassblower has to keep heating the mixture and shaping it to make sure it fuses together as one solid piece. And, when complete, the final product cools quickly, hardening into the final shape. It’s quite a transformation!
One of the most talented glassblowers I’ve met is Jen Pitts of The Velvet Box. In her Ohio art studio Jen creates works of art that celebrate the beauty of glass including beads, pendants and sculptural pieces that are truly stunning.
A perfect example is the orange “gourd” bead, shown. Just in time for fall, this gorgeous bead brings to mind the best of the bountiful fall harvest. The bead is handmade by The Velvet Box artisans and features a sterling silver core. This bead is compatible with Pandora, Trollbeads, and Chamilia bracelets and jewelry.
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