And these days, "heavy" is what just "normal" used to be!
I've featured the work of Kristin Giving, a true Beading Goddess, before. From the plumeria-scented air of Maui to the Arizona desert, she scouts for castoffs, using thrifted or found materials to make beautifully-composed pieces. She says, "Design is the main component of my creation—ever striving for better and better looks. Of course, I like the workmanship to be as good as I can make it."
She usually works with semi-precious materials like coral, pearl and bone, and recently expanded her repertoire to paper beads, sharing the fun by teaching two young adult granddaughters. If they have inherited her eye, they'll be lucky young women!
Her newest projects involve use of paper and fabric, still repurposing found or secondhand goods. I'd never have guessed the necklaces below were made with glossy tourist and artist brochures she picked up in Maui, strung on jute (left) and hemp (right) twine.
Kirsten sells some pieces at her local Assistance League thrift shop. I love the full circle: rescued from a thrift, transformed by her talent, and then, offered in another fundraising thrift!
Since most readers can't get to the American Northwest to score her creations, we'll dress the windows today with artistic paper jewelry that's available online.
Several Ugandan projects employ women, and provide a much-needed income.
When in the hands of skilled artisans, papier-mâché sheds it's school-project vibe. Fair-trade Ugandan paper-bead necklaces are perfect travel jewelry, or you could tuck one in your suitcase for your hostess. Price $10 each, from EkisaPaperBeads.
Bead for Life is another organization of Ugandan paper bead artists; I especially liked the handpainted pieces.
The striking blue and white "Imena" painted necklace is $51 via their web site.
You have a black jacket, and need a striking piece to lift it out of basic-ness? I suggest the graphic punch of a paper bangle from Kukula Designs in Australia, $18 via Etsy. Kukula's bold bangles are sealed and lacquered to withstand wear, but not in the shower.
Papier maché can also make beads, and in the hands of an artist, you will find arresting designs like the 32-inch necklace by BoscoeBottega, of chunky beads hand-painted with coloured enamel; price, about $18.
Bracelet by TheCreativeBee; price, $48.
Tanith is a San Francisco-based artist whose paper bead creations are both sophisticated and unusual; you really must see all of them; but here is a French text made into beads, and finished with a satin ribbon; so pretty! Price, $30.
quilling will be familiar to reader of Scandinavian heritage; artists like the Finnish artist Elina of ElinaQuills have taken the traditional craft into modern expressions, like these black and gold earrings; price, about $18. (Different colour options available on request.)
Many thanks, once again to Kirsten, who scouts for castoff components and then makes exuberant creations for a good cause, or to delight her friends and family.