I sometimes enjoy a good trend. The last couple years I have noticed a rise in rustic, ancient looking jewelry and components.
Things that look like they have a history have always made me want to look closer, to touch them, to create with them.
I first fell in love years ago with rustic ceramic beads by Lisa Peters Art:
Rusty Crusty Raku Beads.
Then fossils seemed to start creeping into the bead and jewelry world a bit more. Ammonites in particular. They bring that ancient esthetic to a piece right away!
I always love browsing through Kim Rogers shop to see what antiquities and odd pieces she has collected on her travels to share with us.
However, recently, rustic beads and jewelry have taken off, like wild fire. There are new people on the scene, like Ragged Robyn, who take this earthy worn look to whole new level. She puts a very tribal spin in everything she does!
Or Grey Bird Studio- the detail on these beads is amazing, something you can only get from layers and layers of color- added and removed and added and removed
Or Nikki Zehler of Love Root- who uses a variety of art beads in her designs, and who has recently begun to make her own as well. She spins the beads into fabulous pieces that seem to tell a story!
or Kathleen Van Kleeck- whose high end silver jewelry, has a worn organic look to it, that takes work to achieve.
Maire Dodd- her deliberate thoughtful pieces always have the look of things long worn and loved. She thinks out each strike of the hammer, and soft touch of cloth and fiber.
Even glass artists have brought some rustic into their work. Let me tell you this, it takes twice as long for them to get a rustic appearance then the traditional shiny one.
I love Genea Beads rustic coins. I could use them in every piece I make!
I adore the new beads from Donna Millard as well.
Some ceramic artists have taken a more natural rustic turn in recent times, like Diane Hawkey
And our own Marsha Neal
And of course there is polymer...........
Happy Fish hand sculpts most of her beads- and uses paints and things to give then a rustic appearance. Her new designs are endless, and always spot on
I too have dove into the world of rustic and ancient looking beads. Here are some of my newer creations.
I listed a few in the shop as well
I do have some concerns with this trendy new style though.
I have found that many items listed as rustic, that are not rustic at all. They are messy, or unfinished, or seconds. This really makes me sad as a jewelry maker and a consumer.
When you try to make something rustic, or look old, it is not easy. It doesn't mean to slap on some paint messily and call it rustic. It takes time to create a look of old worn treasures. They should be assembled or created in a way that appears rustic, but is sturdy, will last and is comfortable to the wearer.
So I leave you all with a warning, to be sure that if you partake in this new style, to create with longevity, and comfort in mind. To treat each piece as you would a more finished style. It is not easy to create a natural, rustic piece, and make it sturdy and wearable. It takes practice and work.
We don't want customers to be turned off by the word rustic, thinking it means, not well made, or unfinished. We don't want them to associate it with bad craftsmanship.
So with that thought, I leave you to enjoy exploring this new style!