Last summer, Shipwreck Beads had the opportunity to acquire a huge inventory of vintage glass beads. The whole collection features handmade French seed beads and Italian Murano glass beads from Societa Veneziana Conterie. Societa Veneziana Conterie was a consortium of 16 independent Venetian bead makers that joined together from 1892-1992. When the group closed their doors in 1992, Prairies Edge Trading Co. and Galleries purchased their entire inventory of remaining glass beads. So, last July, when Shipwreck had the opportunity to purchase their inventory we jumped at the chance. The collection contains one-of-a-kind items that exists nowhere else in the world.
I was poking around in our showroom last week and came across these beautiful turquoise rondells. Likely from the 1920’s or 30’s, they are irregularly shaped with an unfinished surface giving them a primitive appearance. Part of their charm lies in the clear hand-crafted nature of the beads as well as their rich blue-green tone. I was immediately attracted to them and wanted to use them in a project that let them speak for themselves. I paired them with silver wire, black leather cord and simple findings to let the beads do all the talking and ended up with a beautiful statement set.
19 pc – Vintage Glass Rondells, Item #SV514-A
18 in – 3mm Leather Cord, Item #30LC109
2pc – Spring Ends for Leather, Item #FI139-BS
1pc – Toggle Clasp, Item #TC6142-AS
2pc – Jump Rings, Item #FI208-TS
60in (approx) – 20 gauge Silver Wire, Item #20CW815
9pc – Glass Rondells
20in – 3mm Leather Cord
2pc – Spring Ends for Leather
1pc – Toggle Clasp, Item #TC6145-AS
2pc – Jump Rings
1) Lay out the beads as shown. Graduate them with the smaller beads on the outside and the largest bead is in the center. (Image 1)
2) 4-6 inches of wire is required to each link. Using the base of a round nose plier, create a large wrapped loop. (Image 2, 3)
3) String a rondell onto the wire and loop it around the bead. Be sure to make the loop loose enough so that the bead can move freely within the wire. (Image 4)
4) Wrap the remaining wire around the coil to secure. Trim excess the wire. (Image 5) Repeat 6 more times (for 7 links total) to create the top row of beads.
5) To connect the beads together, loop the wire through the bead and wrap it around the wire. Loop the wire through a second bead and secure by wrapping it around the center. (image 7)
6) Create two links with 2 rondells and one link with 3 roundels. (Image 8)
7) String the beads onto the leather. Alternate one bead and one link until all the links are used as shown. (Image 9)
8) To finish the necklace, slip on a spring end. Use your flat nose pliers to crimp the bottom coil of the spring end onto the leather. Complete this step for both sides of the necklace. (Image 10, 11)
9) Attach the toggle clasp to the spring end with a jump ring. (Image 12)
Bracelet (Not Pictured)
To create the bracelet, simply alternate an overhand knot and a bead until each of the 9 rondells are used. Add more or less beads to adjust the size of the bracelet. Finish the bracelet by attaching a clasp as shown in the necklace tutorial, images 10-12 above.
1) Cut the leather cord into two 4 inch pieces.
2) String 1 rondell.
3) Place the ends of the cord into the clamp end. (Image 1)
4) Use a flat nose plier to press the clamp shut.
5) Attach the clap to the ear wire with a jump ring.
6) Repeat to create the pair!
There you have it, a stunningly simple jewelry set that you can create in less than an hour! And the best part about it? All of our vintage glass is ON SALE for 40% right now through the 13th. I suggest you snatch up some of these beauties right now because as soon as they are gone, they are gone. We won’t ever have them again. I don’t get to keep the jewelry I create for the blog, but you better believe I am going to be buying some of these babies so I can make this set for myself.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have a wonderful weekend!