Jewelry Making Makers

Hello, all! I’m Samira, another new Maker Mentor–mostly at the Ramonita de Rodriguez Branch Library!

Recently one of the makers at Rodriguez library has taken to beads for her construction projects, and even more so when I made a small necklace out of them with a crude clasp. After that, she took to them again, and made me promise to spend some time teaching her how to bead necklaces. Expanding on the previous project, the makers and I made jewelry with plastic wire, copper wire and beads from the collection available at the library. We went over, patterns, color coordination, and how to make an operating clasp to take on and off the pieces (gluing the ends of the plastic didn’t work, as they found out the hard way—they couldn’t take them off).

Almost all of the makers made beaded jewelry for other family members. One maker made a necklace for her mother, inspired by her mother’s own African jewelry.

Another maker made a necklace for a 2-year-old relative’s birthday gift, but found it unsuitable for him after a little persuasion from her mother. Then she decided she made it for herself. In the middle, she ran out of a particular bead and changed them out for similarly colored beads and continued, but after she finished, she did show concern with the symmetry and design. Although she didn’t switch much out, the finished product was closer to her vision.

Another maker made a bracelet, entirely out of small pieces of beads. She’s usually one to focus on a project, but usually its painting or drawing. She barely spoke the entire hour she was there.

Overall, it was a successful project, and I hope to make things more complex next time. The clasps could have been a challenge, but after a few injuries the makers decided it was to be delegated to the maker mentors. Perhaps, to tweak the project, we could find a more permanent way to attach copper wire to the beading thread other than hot glue.


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