March 13, 2013

Year of Jewelry Week 11 - Rescued from the Scrap Bin Earrings

Broken clay beads maybe trade beads

This week's theme for The Year of Jewelry is "Rescued from the Scrap Bin" and I found just the piece to rescue.  I picked up a necklace a while back at an estate sale because I thought the beads were interesting.  The piece was in really bad shape.  The knotted leather holding the beads together was cracking with age and several of the beads were chipped and broken.  But I still thought it had potential.

Estate sale necklace with clay beads

I did a little asking around online and the most common opinion is that these are trade beads.  Apparently clay beads like this come from Africa, Asia, and Central and South America and the metal beads with them are common of North Africa and India.  No matter where they came from, I like them.  I thought I'd do a quick pair of earrings with a couple of the beads.  Something a bit rough around the edges and unrefined like the beads.  And since my metal working skills aren't that great, that's exactly what I got.

Earrings by Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame using handcrafted brass findings, trade beads and cord.

I bent some scrap pieces of antique brass into horseshoe shapes and then beat the heck out of them until they were fairly flat.  I hung the beads at the top of the arch using some scraps of cord left over from a bracelet project and added little bits of wire to the bottom to hold the cord and the top to hold everything in place.  I made really simple ear wires to match.  Easy peasy and very different for me.  And I still have quite a few beads left from the necklace:)


  1. What an incredible find and equally incredible pair of earrings!! I love the trade beads - I think that's why I loved your piece w/the matte/rustic seed beads the other week - very old looking beads hold mystery in history!! These especially - very cool!!

  2. These are wonderful! I love these rustic beads, and the way you used them in the earrings are so fitting with their style! Just fantastic!!


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