I’m very picky when it comes to jewellery. I don’t wear much of it, but if I do, I like it to match my mood (rather than the outfit sometimes!). There is this trend going on for a while now of rather chunky, geometric necklaces, very often made of ceramic, wood or even concrete. You can find a fantastic selection of these on Etsy to buy and on Pinterest to admire. And that’s were the inspiration came from for this particular DIY project.
The beautiful and charming ceramic beads I used are made by KaroArt – a very talented ceramic designer and maker based in Dublin. Recently, herself and a few fellow designers (Heather Finn, Jenny Walsh, Saba, Ursula Celano) ran a very successful collaborative open day in KaroArt’s studio. I loved the idea to get behind the scenes and meet the designers in person as well as the most friendly and furry hosting by Leeloo. Both experiences were fantastic! The studio is what you expect from KaroArt’s work – full of light, subtle colours, beautiful designs and of course stacks of ceramic in the making, drying, waiting to be shipped (by the way – check KaroArt’s Instagram for more behind the scenes snapshots).
I couldn’t leave with empty hands, so I treated myself and my friends to a few new designer pieces. Just before leaving I noticed a box in the corner filled with those beautiful ceramic beads. And I can’t express how delighted I was to hear they were free to take! I certainly like that kind of ‘leftovers’ Thank you K.
The idea for a necklace came to me the second I saw the beads, but I decided to use and re-use them in a few different styles rather than only make one piece. That way I could easily customise it depending on the mood (or outfit!).
Here are a few versions I made recently, I still can’t decide which is my favourite… As you can see it’s a simple project, a string and beads put together. But by using different types and colours of string, and most of all by the look of the beads, each of them is beautiful and special.
Check some tips below, comment and ask questions!
Beads | Where to get ceramic beads? Try Etsy, it’s full of different sizes, colours and styles. Go for a few different ones so you can mix and match.
String | Make sure the string or ribbon you are using is strong enough – ceramic beads can be heavy! And that you use a knot that doesn’t fall off! Also double check the size, it’s easier and quicker if the string is thin enough to go through the hole. If you want use a thicker one or a ribbon, then my trick is to use a little bit of tape at the end to get it through. Then you can just cut it off.
Finish | I only roughly measured the length of the string around my neck to make sure it is long enough. I also decided not to use any metal clasps because A) I’m allergic to some metals and B) little bows finish these charming beads a lot better. Plus, this option allows me to make the necklace shorter or longer depending on what I wear.