Designing Jewelry: a quest for inspiration

Roslyn Our Journey hand blown glass beads, Inspired, Necklace set

How do you design a necklace?

How long does it take?

What inspires you?

How did you learn to make jewelry?

and so on and so on. Some of these questions about designing jewelry or my inspiration  I can put into words, while some are easier to show in pictures. To start with and an important element are the beads themselves and the combined materials used  to create the design.

A few years ago

At a prestigious craft fair, a gal came into my booth, admired our jewelry and told me she made beads. I was impressed as I  hadn’t thought about the art of bead making; I just bought  beads, was nspired by beads and created with beads. This contact led me to a Facebook group and shortly I was drawn to one particular artist, Judith Billig. I started purchasing her beads  as I was always inspired by the uniqueness and beauty. Almost all the hand blown glass beads, or Lampwork beads as they are called that I use are created by her.

Whenever I order a new strand I can’t wait until it arrives. I am like a kid with a new toy. I unwrap the tightly wound tissue paper used to protect the hand blown glass and hold the beads up to the light. Judith, the designer of these beads does great photography but cannot completely capture the subtlety and blending of colors, the refracting light or how silky  beads feel. The same ends up being true of our necklaces designed with Lampwork beads. An image cannot completely capture the beauty.

When I saw the turqouise and grey beads I knew I had to have them. They were so different- mostly because of the matte finish. They looked so organic. I had never worked with a matte finish and I couldn’t imagine they were also hand blown glass.  I was eager to touch them and wanted to design a necklace using them.


Hand blown glass beads

The strand only had about 8 beads

I had to decide what  was in my stash that would compliment these beads. This is sometimes the most fun. All my turquoise semi-precious beads came out  so I could chose the right shade and texture and after an extensive search, I  discovered different shaped Hematite beads. I had a visual image to start with, was satisfied with my selection and excited to play around with the position and placment of the variety of beads.

Choices, Choices, Choices

Choices, Choices, Choices


Lastly, came the finished product.

Before finishing with a clasp,  I put the necklace on to see where it rested on my neck and loved the asymetrical placement of the putty looking beads. With warmer weather coming, lower necklines and slight tans I knew this necklace would look great on just about anyone and become a frequent flyer.


An eclectic standout that will flatter you in any season.

An eclectic standout that will flatter you in any season.


Naming the necklace

We decided to call this necklace set Persian Princess. See how the earrings convey the same organic quality? For additional views, details, and purchase, go to :

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I loved going to work each day for 30 years as a professional career counselor. When I retired, I explored my creativity and regard for crafts until I discovered beading. At age 68 I turned my new found passion- jewelry design, into a business. At age 72 I took on learning about social media marketing and developing my computer skills. I am sharing my journey from inception, to frustration, to elation -in the hope of inspiring others that 'it is not too late to start again'. Welcome to my re-invention!

Comments 21

  1. Beautiful creation. I love the colors and design. These colors go so well together and stand out in a soft , gentle way. You are very gifted in creating such beautiful pieces. I would love to have one of each.

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      I would be honored if on a special occassion you decided to own just one of mine. Then of course take lots of photos wearing it Meryl and I could have a ‘celebrity’ sporting my gems.

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      Thanks for these words Alexandra. This was a diffeent kind of blog for me. I do like telling stories and writing about the design process and inspiration was challenging. Now I have to remember to take photos BEFORE I start, during, middle & for the end my daughter does the great photography. Glad you liked it as it will suppport future blogs.

  2. What a great blog! You are so talented. I could never do this … and I love the fact that you can do this for someone like me.

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    Tina- I didn’t think I could ‘do this’. I’m assuming you mean write the story of the design. I truly believe you can because you have creativity in you and it can be expressed in words. Writing is not my preference but I’m beginning to think from the readers perspective. You see the end product. How did that happen? What was the process? Help the reader feel what you feel as you look at flowers, or gift baskets. What thought and emotions goes into it..

    Keep it simple and each time it will get easier. Last week I would have said I can’t do this and look, I did!

  4. You are right, those beads are inspiring all by themselves. So beautiful! When I saw the first picture I was thinking they would be nice strung on leather but then I saw your completed necklace and earring set. That was perfect! Thanks for sharing your inspiration. As usual if money was no object for me I would instantly order this set before they went away. They have a Southwestern feel for me.

    1. I agree Pat- this necklace does have a Southwest feel to it. You sound like a friend who sent me a note saying she went through our entire websie and couldn’t believe how many necklaces she wold buy if she had the extra money. Thanks for your kind words.

    1. I see the artistic side of you in your graphics. Now I know you are a secret beader Norma Doiron@Savvy Biz Solutions. I agree the entire process of pairing beads is facinating and accounts for no two looking the same.

  5. Loved to know the behind the scenes of the Persian Princess’ design, it is a good surprise how the little pieces put together made a piece of art come out! You are an inspiration Roz, by the way, the colors are beautiful!

  6. Thanks Meire and I hope to write more about behind the scenes. Have to remember to take photos of the process , then I have a new blog. Thanks for compliments.

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  7. I love the turquoise and the darker color metal – if that’s what it is! What fun it must be to get cool packages in the mail that are filled with something new and exciting. That’s a really good picture of the beads (the first one). Thanks for sharing.

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      Laurie, all the beads in the first picture are handblown glass, and some look like metal but none are. So right that I love getting the packages. My husband often says, “More beads”. And I smile with anticipation.

  8. Roz,

    Thank you for taking us on a tour of your process with added notes on your view. I think it’s cool how you name each piece

    Beautiful jewelry, cool post!


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      What’s interesting Angie Current is that every jewelry designer has a different process, inspiration and when given the same stash of beads, will come up with different designs.

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