Trollbeads Inspiration: Art Nouveau


In this bracelet design we took inspiration from a few exceptional beads whose stylized swirls and peacock hues bring to mind the elegance of the Art Nouveau.

art-nouveau4It began with the bead at right… isn’t it gorgeous?!  The silvery grey base layer of glass allows the light to pass though, and light up the surface patterning from within.  The patterns are layered, one upon the other, with little shadows that offer depth, even just in the top layer.  The softly rounded forms are in the distinctive Art Nouveau style.

art-nouveau5 “Art Nouveau” refers to a style and philosophy of art and design that took place around the years of 1890 – 1910.  In different areas of the globe this same style was given various names… Art Nouveau was the French phrase, but a similar style was termed “Jugendstil”, “Secession”, “Modernisme” and “Stile Liberty”, depending on the country.

art-nouveau2Of course, Trollbeads collectors are familiar with two of their designs that offer an homage to this style:  “Jugend”, and newly retired “Art Deco”.  We included both of these silver bead designs in this composition, as well as a grouping of other silvers that feature fluid, ribbonlike, modern and sleek forms.

art-nouveau8Art Nouveau was the birth of a progressive aesthetic that rejected the overwrought fussiness of neoclassicism.  This hugely influential style was made famous by artists such as Gustav Klimt, Rene Lalique, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Alphonse Mucha.  Their work paved the way for Modernism.

art-nouveau-9Architects such as Antoni Gaudi and Hector Guimard changed European streetscapes with their fluid, organic forms.  However, the asethetic was applied in a comprehensive way, to objects both large and small:  jewellery glassware, tiles, fashion, furnishings…

art-nouveau7At the heart of this bracelet we placed this “Blue Tigers Eye”, which we find particularly beautiful as it has a distinct swirl pattern running through it.  Stones are difficult to photograph accurately, but I think you will be able to spot it across the left side of the stone….


Clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Universal Unique”, “Lucky Knot”, “Moon Ocean”, “Universal Unique”, “Frames”, “Labradorite”, “Universal Unique”, “Jugend”, “Blue Tigers Eye”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Universal Unique”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2012”, “Three Siblings”, “Universal Unique”, “The Eye”,”Art Deco”(retired), “Universal Unique”.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Feeling the Teal


The last few weeks I’ve been feeling a bit blue – actually, not so much blue as teal…

DSCN5206I’ve always loved teal. My favorite sweater as a kid was a comfy, teal cable knit pullover.  I remember a windowpane check, teal and white handkerchief linen dress that I adored, and when I moved out and bought my first sofa, it was a familiar shade of teal.

DSCN5207So it makes sense that some of the first beads I picked for myself are that distinctive shade of green-blue.  The beads in that colour family remain some of my favorites… “Silver Trace, Green Turquoise” is perhaps the richest of the collection, but

DSCN5209in my bracelet its’ brilliance is tempered with lots of grey, olive and softer teal notes.  The limited edition “Christmas in Australia” bead above combines a bright teal with olive, which allows me to introduce “Deep Bubbles” into the composition.

DSCN5205“Blooming Sakura” from the Japan World Tour series is a bit of a stretch, but it’s so pretty that I just had to make a spot for it on the bracelet.  Hopefully there are enough different shades of turquoise, teal and grey that it plays nicely and doesn’t stand out.

DSCN5210One of the beads that helps to settle it in is this “Turquoise Prism”.  It’s one of a few beads that are on loan to my bracelet from my sons… they each wear a necklace, but only with one bead at a time – so they’ve kindly let me play with the remainder of their beads!


Beads such as “Labradorite”, retired “Wildcat” and “Organic Bubbles” help to keep the overall feel of the bracelet earthy and warm… while personal favorite, retired “Blue Green Feather” and superstar “Green Lilac Armadillo” firmly mark this as my ode to teal.

What colour has been with you since childhood?


Trollbeads Inspiration: MB’s Delicious Necklace (Six Days to Go…)

The impossibly glamorous and irrepressible MB recently came in for a total redesign of her collection… (which was SO much fun)… and left with fresh new bracelets and a necklace that feels as delicious as a scoop of gelato.

It’s so easy to create beautiful compositions when one has such lovely beads to play with… this glowing “Baby Girl” is such a delicate shade of rose, and it brings out the pink in the dichroic glass heart of its companion, “Three Flowers”.

This sorbet coloured trio are pure joy… their frosty pastel tones are perfectly complementary.  How satisfying to see the slight difference in texture between the smooth simplicity and the budded.

MR has a few wonderful retired items in her collection, including this retired,  limited edition, lavender Chinese Jade.  By its side we placed a retired “Green Dot” that is very au courant, with its ivory background and subtle green dots.

One can’t underestimate the impact that yellow has in this composition… don’t miss the buttery yellow amber in the photo above, and of course the “Power Chakra” and “Beige Blue Trace” pop on either side of  this luminous “Blue Agate”.

Sometimes the simplest gestures have great effect… We completed the composition by placing two different Prisms, one on each end.  I favor Prisms as a way of finishing designs, as they taper down in size from the other beads in the collection, and all match each other for size so well.  Here we’ve used her very reflective “Green Prism” opposite a “Light Turquoise Prism”.

It’s always satisfying to work with an existing set of beads and edit and redesign the arrangement to create fresh compositions for their owner…  It’s part of the joy of Trollbeads that they are truly a design kit from which countless numbers of pieces may be created.  Don’t hesitate to drop by with your beads for a consultation, we’d love to play and help you make something new and wonderful.


PS  Six sleeps until the Tapestry of Trollbeads Trunk Show at Tartooful!

Trollbeads Inspiration: Ruby berries….

Today I was admiring this Ruby Trollbead and dreaming about how I would use it if I had it in my collection… I started experimenting with it, and was amazed at how much of a chameleon it really is – playing beautifully with everything from reds, to pinks, to purples and browns.

This composition is an unexpected blend of soft grey-blue and plum, with just a touch of charcoal.  Beads such as Milan and Khaki Stripe, with their subtle hint of blue,  are key elements that pull it all together… but of course, it is the Ruby at the centre that is the real heart of the design.

Clockwise from clasp: “Double Lobster Clasp”, “Purple Prism”, “Silver Mountain”, “Two Sides to Everything”, “Purple Flower”, “Plait”, “Milan”, “Wine Harvest”, “Ruby with Gold Core”, “Large Berry”, “Khaki Stripe”, “Royal”, “Light Blue Shadow”, “Buttons”, “Purple Bud”, “Grey Prism”.