by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Jewelry artists are discovering the curious history and modern-day style applications of hairwork and hair lock jewelry. Representing a fiercely personal statement, along with a meaningful message, incorporating a lock of one's hair into jewelry creates a one-of-a-kind, treasured keepsake. Whether given to another for sentimental reasons, a token of admiration or worn as a remembrance of the dead, hair lock jewelry is an eternal expression of love.

Tubes and Vials A jewelry-making practice dating back to prehistoric times, hairwork was most notable during the reign of Queen Victoria in the late 1800s. Husbands wore watch fobs fashioned of their wives hair and hair locks from the dearly departed were incorporated into rings and brooches, commonly referred to as mourning jewelry. Women also filled autograph books and journals with hair snippets from their friends. Hair jewelry originally served as a substitute for a picture of a loved one and because hair survives time and decay, it represented the idea that love outlasts death. Hair jewelry has always made a unique and beautiful gift for oneself, or for a loved one.

Fast forward to today as we explore the many ways hairwork can be used in stylish and thoughtful jewelry that's sure to catch customers' attention and make meaningful gifts. Here are some design application ideas to celebrate love and remembrance in the form of hair jewelry:
  • Lock of hair from baby's first haircut
  • Lock of hair from loved one
  • Hair braided together for best friend keepsake jewelry
  • Lock of hair from pet or horse
  • Lock of hair from someone who has passed away
Lockets

ICE Resin® A lock of hair can be incorporated into a bezel cup setting using ICE Resin®. View Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' FREE video tutorial on ''How To Use ICE Resin®'' to make your own hair jewelry pendants, brooches, rings and more. Locks of hair, along with special notes, can also be enclosed in bottle components, lockets and prayer box pendants and worn as pendant necklaces or charm bracelets. Braid or weave hair together from two people, such as best friends or lovers, as an expression of togetherness.

Hair jewelry components can be designed into wedding jewelry and special gifts for mothers of the bride and groom. Hairwork designs make a heartfelt gift for someone who has lost a loved one, giving them a token of remembrance to wear and cherish. This style trend can also be captured by using synthetic hair for a similar appearance or to show potential customers what a piece would look like before creating something for them.

Prayer Box Pendants Bezel Settings

Bring this historically rich adornment to life and make meaningful and wearable art by designing, selling and gifting hair jewelry.

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