I often make jewelry — not from scratch; I’m no craftsperson. Really, I just enjoy threading beads to make necklaces and bracelets and earrings, not to sell, just to wear and also give to (foist on) friends. As well as making something pretty, it helps me with my writing, believe it or not. I’ve found that fiddling with something small, concentrating on something that has nothing to do with my writing but is also creative, often helps me work out a knotty plot or scene problem. So, in the middle of making a necklace or a pair of earrings I will have a “Eureka!” moment about my current wip (work in progress.)
In general I like my accessories on the plain side, but my mother loved cloisonné, and I think I’ve inherited her cloisonné gene, as I find it hard to resist also. Cloisonné is an ancient technique where a design is outlined in gold or silver or copper wire and then inlaid with precious or semi-precious stones or colored enamel. Mum fell in love with it when she and Dad lived in Penang (Malaysia) and Mum started collecting Chinese antiques. She came home with lots of beautiful Chinese cloisonné bowls and vases and ginger jars and dishes.
Cloisonné also comes in beads, and the other day when I was browsing through a bead shop, I came across these cloisonné beads. Pretty, aren’t they? So I strung them together, and while I was doing it I realized what I needed in a scene I was revising. So as well as fixing my scene, I have a pretty new bracelet. Double the reward!
If you’d like to know more about cloisonné, click here.