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The rosary rush continues around my house with the new favorite being rosary bracelets. It started innocently enough with a request from Daniel to make bracelets with his class for Mother’s Day. Since it was right after May crowning, I suggested a rosary bracelet. I ended up making something different with the kids (cost and supply availability were the issues) but this is my prototype which is currently gracing my mother’s wrist (glass rondelles with moonstone spacers):
While making the Mother’s Day bracelets with the Kindergarden class, my son’s teacher commented on how nice they were. Daniel heard and quietly asked me to make her and her assistant rosary bracelets as end of year gifts. The two ladies in question are fairly young so I had to really think about what to make for them. This is what I ended up doing:
Daniel’s teacher is young and dressing fairly traditionally with a slight urban vibe. I wanted to stay traditional and girly but make the piece interesting at the same time. I ended up using dyed faceted jade for the Aves, a carved jade flower for the Pater, a sunny Japense seed bead mix with pinks, yellows and greens and bronze components.
The assistant is younger still and dresses very similarly but slighly more edgy. I was going for urban and fun but still traditional. For her my choice was rough faceted sapphires for the Aves and Pater, a really fun custom seed bead mix and bronze compenents.
The last bracelet I had been struggling with for a few days. This one was for my eldest son’s teacher. He wanted red, so I knew I would use the dyed jade beads. I happened to speak with her today and she told me she was going to be praying the Our Lady Undoer of Knots novena. I raced home and this is the bracelet that I had been waiting to make.
The Aves are dyed faceted jade with messy wrapped loops signifying the knots in our life (or in someone elses) for which we are praying for assistance. I added a jade tube with brass accents for the Pater and used a bronze crucifix and miraculaous medal. I hope that she will find this useful when she prays this novena.
There are even more rosaries going on in my house but I will save those for the next post. Thanks for reading.
Until next time,
As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have been feeling very uncreative and haven’t been at my craft table much for the last few months. With Easter and spring has come a few renewed creative spark and I have felt compelled to make rosaries. I have been posting a few on Etsy and thought I should take a few minutes to show them off here.
This first piece is a commission for a First Communion. The request was for white glass pearls and gold components. Given the buyers budget, 14K was out of the question. We decided to go with gold plate over sterling. While I don’t ordinarily work with this, it was exactly what the buyer was after – a mostly white, very feminine First Communion rosary.
As I mentioned, the components are gold plate over sterling and are from Bill’s Beads. Bill himself was nice enough to help me pick them out. I used 6mm glass pearls for the Aves, 8mm x 12mm AB Czech glass ovals for the Paters which are dressed with pretty floral bead caps and fluted spacers. The seed beads are a custom mix – white, clear, peach, pink, clear AB, clear with bronze and clear with gold. As always, this is double crimped for security and finised with fluted spacers.
Here’s a few others that I made over the holiday, all of which can be found in my Etsy shop.
Semper Virgo – Czech glass and bronze
Our Lady of Grace – Sapphire and sterling silver
Mary Full of Grace - Czech glass, artisan lampwork and bronze
and my personal favorite, Queen of Heaven – Czech glass and bronze
Until next time,
Actually these rosary beads do. For me, the biggest factor in choosing prayer beads is not how they look (although that is important), but it is how they feel. A good set of rosary beads should be smooth to the touch and almost put you in a trance when you pick them up. My Great Grandmother’s mother of pearl set has that feel and when I make rosary beads I am always trying to create the same feeling. These beads totally hit that mark.
I found the Ave beads for this set at the Gem and Jewelry Show last spring. They are 6mm faceted grey moonstone and while this is not my usual color palette, I couldn’t not buy them because they feel so good to the touch. This color is incredibly hard to photograph (I tried on almost every background color imaginable!) – they are a soft, translucent grey and have a very serene look about them. The Paters are 9mm Czech glass rondelles with sterling silver bead caps and 3mm Czech glass rondelles topping them off. The Scrolled crucifix and Miraculous Medal center are sterling silver and can be found at Bills Beads. The entire set is hand wrapped in 22g artistic non tarnish wire.
- Julie Anne
We learn in Genesis that all things begin with God. Therefore it seems rather fitting that my jewelry making journey began by making rosaries.
This particular piece is not my first project. My first rosary, a strand made in honor of my son’s first communion, will be the subject of another post. I learned how to make that rosary from a master, Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio. It is actually at her urging that I am blogging this piece and blogging my creations at all. Cindy seems to think I have some talent; I think she just likes me. But, I trust her taste enough to know that if she thinks that my creations are worthy of being blogged about and shared with the world, then they can’t be terrible (or maybe that is just wishful thinking, who knows?) And seeing that today is All Saints Day, a day of prayer and reflection about those who have gone before us, it seemed fitting to start blogging (which I have been promising Cindy I will do for months!) with a rosary.
Last spring, Cindy taught me how to wire wrap and I quickly learned how to wrap with military precision. Over the summer, while Cindy was away with her kids and I was going crazy at home with mine, I decided I needed to learn another technique. Basic stringing and crimping looked easy enough so I thought I would give it a whirl. This is the second strung piece that I made.
The rosary itself is made with 6mm round lapis lazuli beads. They are a beautiful intense blue with gold inclusions that shimmer in the light. The paters are 8mm lapis lazuli crowned with vintage bronze bead caps. Between the stones you wll find size 8 Japanese seed beads and the ends are finished with vintage bronze spacers.
The rosary findings are from a (somewhat) local rosary supplier – Vintage Rosary Supplies in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Budded crucifix and Ave Maria center are hand cast in solid bronze using the lost wax method. They are reproductions of antique pieces and are really beautiful. I like these pieces so much that I have already made another rosary out of the same set (stay tuned for that post).
In honor of All Saints Day (and all those who have gone before and inspired and awed us), I hope you say a rosary with your favorite set of prayer beads. I will be using these. Never said a rosary before? Here’s a handy how to.
- Julie Anne