Welcome to my "Happy Things" blog. Here I post any new jewelry items I've made
and share some of the 'happy things' I appreciate in daily life.
I hope you find something that brings a smile and please visit my online handmade jewelry shop
where my pieces are available:


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Shades of Green Kazuri Bracelet

Kazuri beads, are handcrafted by disadvantaged members of society in Kenya. Crafted from clay around the Mt Kenya area, they are a kaleidoscope of African colors and Kenyan art. An opportunity to receive training to hand make and hand paint the ceramic beads, often provides means for an extended Kenyan family of 20 or more. "Kazuri" is Swahili for 'small and beautiful'.

Every so often, I feel the need to seek out some new Kazuri beads. I've designed with plenty over time and have stashed some away, waiting for a special project or idea. They have such a distinctive look, and have wonderful colors and patterns. They're like no other ceramic beads and are as special as the story behind them. 

My latest design is this earthy green and blue bangle bracelet. I've made more "blingy" things than usual due to the holiday season, and I think I needed an "earthy" fix! I was so drawn to the soothing, and fresh but somehow warm, shades of green and blue in these beads. I carefully mulled over the display of Kazuri beads in a local bead store, looking at bead after bead, enjoying every one thoroughly. There were so many wonderful shades of greens and blues, but the elongated diamond paddles (on the sides) caught my eye. Originally, I planned to center a diamond paddle and build out from there. But then I spotted the asymmetric design of the coin, with the peacock-type teal "eye" off-center. It was perfect for the "something different and unexpected" element of the piece and I knew I wanted it to be the focal. 

At my worktable, I laid my design out and reached for the stringing wire. As I began to think about what clasp I would use, I was picturing something asymmetrical and "different". I decided to string the beads onto heavy gauge sterling silver wire as a bangle, then clasp it with some chunky chain links and a handcrafted spiral wire hook. Perfect!

Be happy and enjoy 2012!

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