Surprising Facts About Our Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry
We're so close to our beaded jewelry that we sometimes forget all the fascinating details contained in a single bracelet or necklace. From what's involved in sourcing the materials to what happens during the production process and beyond, there's so much to share!
When we take a step back, it's sometimes hard to believe the magic wrapped up in a single handcrafted piece. We'd like to spread some of that magic to you, so you can slip into a sense of wonder. Keep reading for some of the interesting jewelry facts related to Park & Lex.
How many natural gemstone beads are in one piece of jewelry?
A bracelet has approximately 250 beads, while a necklace has about 1,000!
Millimeters don't mean much to me. Can you please compare the bead to something that feels familiar?The beads are 4mm in diameter, and we know that can be difficult to imagine. To put that into perspective, they're about the size of a lemon seed (depending on the size of the lemon, of course!). If you've ever eaten Israeli couscous, then you'd recognize the size of one pearl, which is about 4mm.
What's the difference between regular crochet and bead crochet? What's similar about the two techniques?
Both regular crochet and bead crochet require the use of thread and a crochet hook. Very broadly, for both techniques the hook is used to pull loops through other loops.
The nylon thread that Dana uses is stiffer than yarn - and very thin -, so the crochet hook needs to be tiny (1 mm). All the beads are strung prior to crocheting, and then they're incorporated one at a time into each stitch.
The piece is worked in a spiral around and around, creating a tube. If you were creating something like a scarf with yarn, then you'd work back-and-forth instead.
For experienced crocheters: The bead crochet piece is worked in the round using slip stitches that include a bead in each stitch.
Blue is definitely our most frequently purchased color. Turquoise, aquamarine, amazonite, and lapis are always popular, either on their own or together in a rainbow or ombre. Sometimes, the blue gets contrasted with an accent color. But, Park & Lex's number-one bestseller is the Ultimate Rainbow bracelet.
What's your most-requested colorway?
How much time does it take you to choose a new color combo?It really varies. Sometimes, Dana sees something in the world that inspires her - a flower, an article of clothing, a painting - and she knows right away that she's going to use that color palette in a new design.
Other times, it can literally take hours of trying different things together until it feels "right".
How do you source the beautiful gemstone beads for your jewelry?
A significant part of the process includes shopping for and sourcing the gemstones. It has become more of a challenge for Dana to find what she needs. She has a short list of trusted vendors she can contact when she runs out of something, or if a customer requests something she doesn't currently have in stock for a special order.
Sometimes, Dana will have a specific idea, but when she searches for the particular gemstones, she's unable to find them. Other times, She'll spend hours scouring the websites of her known sources looking for specific colors. This is a really painstaking and time consuming part of the process Dana doesn't often discuss.
How much time does it take you to complete a bracelet? A necklace?
Once the colors are chosen, a bracelet can take a few hours to complete. A single-color bracelet is faster to complete than a rainbow, for example, since Dana doesn't have to worry about carefully counting out enough beads for each color section. Necklaces take many hours to complete. Dana may spend a few hours one day just stringing the beads before she takes a break. Crocheting and assembling take several more hours.
How do you manage designing, making, and brainstorming/innovating at once?Dana enjoys every part of the process, so she usually has a lot of tasks happening simultaneously. While she's stringing or crocheting beads, her mind is usually wandering to other color combinations or designs she'd like to try next.
There are literally endless possibilities, so she never has “designer's block”. To the contrary, she wishes she had more time to try every idea that comes to her mind! She keeps careful notes about all her ideas, so she doesn't forget them.
What do you think? Do you feel more connected to our unique beaded jewelry after reading these little-known facts about Dana's process? If you're ever curious about one of our products, or have a question, feel free to DM Dana on Instagram or contact us via this page.