Multi-Strand Jewelry Designs - Two Different Approaches



Boho Tribal Multi-Strand Jewelry


What is the thought process in designing this type of piece?


Multi-strand jewelry pieces are my favorite ones to design and put together. The most popular designs fall into two main groups. The first being several strands of the same stone as pictured above. This gives an added richness to the stones and accentuates the particular properties of that stone, which may be its color, texture, or in the case of the cat's eye above, its luster and almost iridescence. The second main group of multi-strand designs for me is that each strand is different. It may be that each one is a different coordinating stone, different shapes of the same stone, it may be different colors of striped seed beads, or it may be that each strand is a different material entirely (one strand of stones, one of bone, one of chain for example). Any of these types of multi-strand designs make a statement, and has a richness that makes this design so desirable.



There are also two approaches to the construction of multi-strands. The first approach is to have the strands different lengths (this applies mostly to necklaces), usually the same increase in length between, which results in a graduated multi-strand design. The graduated style is a little more defined and orderly, although it could be adapted to most any blend of materials. You can still mix it up with different sizes, shapes (as in the photo above), or wild shapes and colors if you would like a more uninhibited creation.



The second approach with the strands being more or less equal in length, which depends somewhat on the size of the beads and the type of connections one might be using. The results will also be influenced by the clasp type you choose, as well as the connecting points if they are not directly to the clasp. Generally, this style will have a more overlapping, intertwining, chaotic look to it when finished, so I keep that in mind when choosing the sizes and shapes of the beads for each piece. 


I hope this tells you a little bit about the process of designing multi-strand jewelry pieces. There are more considerations than one might think when planning these more complicated necklaces and bracelets, but the results are well worth the extra time. I have an upcoming series called "Indian Summer", that will feature several multi-strand designs. It would probably be fair to say these "puzzles" have become my  specialty.


Please keep in mind these are my theories, they are not rules, and every jewelry maker has their own way of going about their work! For myself, I would tell you to learn the basics, and after that "The fewer rules, the better."










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