When a piece of jewelry has sentimental value, it becomes more than just a piece of jewelry. It connects you to a place, a time, or a person. Yet even the most timeless of pieces can get lost in the changing of fashion trends and personal tastes. When my Godmother asked me to breath new life into her Grandma's pearls, I was tasked with not only creating something beautiful to her tastes, but also with creating a masterpiece befitting such precious pearls.
I began with looking at theme/style seen in her other pieces. The best way to sum her up is a petite body with bold, yet elegant tastes. A lot of her existing pieces fell into the art deco style, so I decided to play off the inherent vintage feel of the pearls with an art deco/modernized fusion.
If you've shopped Bead Twins before, you know I have a love affair with crystals and handmade made beads. I decided that we would work in some gorgeous Swarovski crystal into the necklace, letting it hang just above the bust. As my Godmother is allergic to most metals, I opted for silver to provide balance to the one-dimensional warm tones of the pearls.
While I instantly knew what to do for the necklace, I struggled with the bracelet. It needed to compliment without overshadowing the necklace, while having enough pizazz to stand on its own. Then it hit me: interwoven bands with crystal centerpiece.
It was essentially done, but I know my Godmother. If it doesn't sparkle, she won't sparkle. One last eureka moment: insert some of the silver chain into the gaps between the pearls.
I love the final product! Both pieces can be worn on their own, but as a set, they truly sing. One of the big requests was not to make either pieces too heavy, which I was able to accomplish by balancing pearls with crystal and the sterling gives a light quality.
Any piece of jewelry can be revived with careful planning and a cohesive vision. I'd love to do one of these projects again, so if you're interested in breathing new life into Grandma's pearls (or ring, earrings, etc.) get in touch! What does sentimental jewelry mean to you? Let us know in the comments!
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