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Jewelry as Art

Jewelry as Art

The making of good jewelry is truly a fine art form.

When you look at a finely crafted piece of jewelry you feel as though you are looking at a painting, because it represents the time and imagination that was used in the design and compilation of the piece. No two pieces can ever be exactly the same.

My cousin Pat has learned to make her own glass beads. This apparently is an art form that is not widely used today. She purchases “sticks” of glass from all different sources locally and from other parts of the world. The colors are amazing. Pat sits with a tank of propane gas with a burner attached and slowly and meticulously touches these hot sticks of glass to a piece of fine wire covered with a special coating while holding the two pieces in the fire. The fire burns so hot that she must wear welder’s goggles to protect her eyes.

As Pat slowly twirls the wire, a small ball of liquid glass begins to form the bead. She can manipulate the bead and make it take different shapes. She can also gently touch the bead with different sticks of glass and create shapes, stripes, dots, and other designs on the bead.

After the bead cools, Pat takes each bead and gently threads it onto whatever material she plans to use to make the piece of jewelry.

Sometimes she takes these special hand-made beads and combines them with other beads she has purchased or pieces of metal (silver or gold) or wood to make each piece unique and special.

The time and love that is given to produce this jewelry is why good jewelry should be considered ‘art’. These experts are professionals and expend a great deal of time and effort into the production of each piece.

Jewelry that is made from plastic beads and trinkets should be considered ‘craft’. It may take time and effort on the part of the individual making the piece, but in no way can be compared to the making of fine jewelry.