Connoisseurs of western art and architecture would know about the emotional and somewhat theatrical style of Baroque art with its flowing sinuous curves and ornate embellishments. This 17th century style of art continues to set the tone for what is considered to be grand and dressy even today. But it is a little known fact that the word, Baroque, seems to have originated from the Portuguese word ‘barocco’ meaning, irregular pearl or stone cementing its close connection to jewellery. Gold necklaces, earrings and brooches set with rich stones and luscious cascading strands of pearls came to represent the epitome of baroque elegance.
The fashion trend during this period was to wear Parure or Demi Parure style of Jewellery sets where a flowing necklace (either of pearls or gold set with faceted stones) was worn along with matching earrings, bracelets, rings sometimes even a matching tiara. The grandeur of the period and the inspiring style had led many fashion and jewellery designers (like Dolce & Gabbana SS15) to incorporate it in their collections. As ‘Neo baroque’ – a lighter and modern version of Baroque jewellery will be in trend in SS17, we show you how to make some for yourself.
- blue pacchi beads – 4
- red Pacchi beads – 4
- metal charms -4
- Pearls- 6mm ivory – 18
- Lever back ear hooks – 1 pair
- Tools – Chain and round nose pliers, wire cutters
Loop the beads
This tutorial is very simple however it is based on the mastery of one of the most important of basic beaded jewellery making which is Looping. Every aspiring jewellery designer should perfect the art of making loops before moving on to making jewellery. Here is a step by step process on how to loop a bead.
How to loop a bead
- Insert a bead in an eyepin and using your hand or pliers fold the eyepin at 90 degree angle to the bead (at the point just where the bead ends)
- Using your pliers (round nose or step nose pliers can also be used) turn the wire upwards making a mirror letter of the “C”
- Continue to turn until you form a loop, similar to the one at the bottom
- Cut excess wire and tuck in using chain nose pliers
#Tip: Position the bead that you want to loop on the middle finger of your non- dominant hand and hold in place with your index finger and thumb. This way the bead will stay put and not rotate when you make the loop.
Make the Baroque necklace
- Using the looping technique described above, convert 12 pearls into simple looped components. Cut the excess wire on the respective pearl beads but do not close the loops. Keep them aside.
- Similarly loop individual pacchi beads. I have used 2 red pacchi beads and 4 blue beads for this necklace.
- Connect beads in the following order – 1 pearl, 1 blue pacchi, 1 pearl, 1 red pacchi, 1 pearl, 1 blue pacchi and 3 pearls. Repeat for the other side.
- Cut 2 lenghts of 3 inches chain. Using jumprings, add a clasp connecting both pieces.
- Connect the loop pearls to the free end to the chain. Repeat for the other side.
- Cut 4.5 inches of chain and fold in the middle in such a way that one side us half an inch longer than the other.
- Using a jump ring connect the looped pearls to the middle ring.
- Create danglers: to make danglers add a chain to the loop part of an eyepin and close. Add a pearl on the eyepin and make a simple loop. Cut excess wire but do not close the loop. Create 4 such danglers
- Add one dangler each to either ends if the chain and close the loops. Add the remaining two in such a way that it creates a chain tassel.
- Make sure all the loops are closed fully and that there are no gaps.
Make the earrings
- Using eyepin or headpins create 2 individually looped pearls
- In the same fashion make 2 looped pacchi beads ( I have used red stone beads)
- Loop a pacchi bead with a pearl and add an earhook on top. Repeat for the other earring.
- Your baroque necklace and earrings are now complete. This is a short necklace but it can be made longer by addition of pearls, chain or pacchi beads. Similarly, studs can be used instead of earhooks in the earrings for an elaborate pair.
Do follow the tutorial to make your own variations of the Baroque necklace and if you do, post an image on social media and give us a shout out.
I hope you find it interesting.