One of my favourite things to make is Charm Bracelets. They are complex and weighty, and have a tendency to make my fingers cramp up. But the end results are so pretty, and every one is completely unique thanks to the beautiful natural stones I use. In many ways the charm bracelets are the backbone of my practice as a jewelry maker; they are the things I never tire of making, the ones that best showcase my style and my skills.
When I make a charm bracelet I generally start with a theme in mind for the completed piece, often inspired by a single charm that I’ve spotted while placing an order with my supplier. Sometimes I will set out to create one for a particular sabbat or esbat, or an element. And of course there are my Bracelets of the Month, created with birthstones coupled with charms that represent that month to me. Very occasionally I start with the stones instead, as with my recent creation, the Flower Fairies Charm Bracelet, which features Morganite, a stone in cute pastel shades and with such a delicate, contented energy I knew straight away I wanted to use a big load of it on a bracelet.
Once I have the design in mind, I wire the gemstones for it. This is fiddley work involving threading the tiny gemstone chip beads onto head pins and winding them tight. Each bracelet requires around thirty or forty individual stones of stone clusters, depending on the size of the stones and the quantity of charms I’m using. Then I lay out the charms. I try to always use odd numbers, most commonly either nine or eleven. I use my trusty gizmo (no idea what it’s called. It’s a thingy with crocodile clips and a maginfying glass on a little stand, and I love it dearly) to hold the ends of the chain while I carefully hook on first the charms (carefully counting links to ensure even spacing) and then the stones go on last. I find it so satisfying watching the whole piece slowly but surely emerging from the little heaps of chaos on my desk, and building up into a loaded bracelet with a whole story behind it.
I also make charm bracelets to order, and am always happy to work alongside customers to create a meaningful item for them. Earlier this year I made a charm bracelet for a widow, using stones that would help soothe her sorrow and help her move forwards, and charms signifying remembrance and also things that she and her husband had shared and enjoyed. It was a beautiful piece to work on and such an honor to be trusted with such a meaningful assignment. If you would like me to tell your story through a charm bracelet, or to create a piece that celebrates or commemorates an important person or event in your life, please get in touch through the contact page.
Thanks for reading, have a blessed week!