by Jamie Smedley, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®
Pearls are Number One!

In an abundance that hasn't been seen since the days of Coco Chanel, pearls are being used to create extravagantly clustered, twisted ultra-long lengths, multi-strands and floral-inspired designer jewelry and accessories for spring and summer.

Mostly seen in white, cream, mauve and peach colors, pearls are seen strung between gemstone and glass pendants, or paired up with fine and chunky chains. Chain tangles and pearl knots--not to be confused with knotted pearls--are the new status quo.
Woodn't It Be Great

The great outdoors is bursting into everyday life with wood, seen stacked in necklaces or layered in earrings and bracelets. Wood is quickly becoming a popular way of bringing the great outdoors into your jewelry. Natural and faux wood grain patterns are huge.

Faceted wood and multiple hues are combined into mosaic patterns. Inlaid designs with shell and unusual shapes such as bamboo and carved surfaces all play a key role in bracelet, necklace and earring designs.
Hope Floats

Decorative materials encased in resin and acrylic become the new recovery and recycling movement as fragments and pieces of shell, mother-of-pearl, wood and other various items are rescued and embedded into liquid acrylic and shaped into fantastic ''floating'' beads. They are called ''floating'' because that is how the encased materials appear--weightlessly suspended to float forever within the acrylic.

Layered, melded and bonded, these humble materials can be used to display unpredictable and distinctive patterns in jewelry designs.
Kaleidoscope Color

Updated bead colors transcend to super style with reflective rainbow materials and metallic AB coatings on glass and crystal beads. Rainbow colors are naturally found in materials such as paua and abalone shell, along with amazing and often startling color variations in gemstones such as labradorite, rainbow moonstone and created opals.

Design with:

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Top Jewelry Design Materials," featured in a newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Loved this article. For those of us who are "at home" jewelry designers trying to find their style and niche, this article was an absolute "gem". (sorry for the pun, but I just had to do it) :)"
- Phyllis

"Encouraging article as I am presently making decoupaged on acrylic wetlands creatures which I combine with wood beads. I'll be sure to try ideas with the other mediums suggested as trends in the article. Namely pearls, shells and abalone shells. Thanks,"
- Jerilyn

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