Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kantha Cloth Jewelry

I've dabbled in jewelry making for many years but only seem to produce one piece a year.  

Why then do I have three drawers full of jewelry making supplies?  The passion runs deep but has not been fully unearthed.

But a box full of kantha cloth scraps has focused my attention in the new year.

Since I've made so little jewelry I don't have a lot of skill or know how, particularly in connecting the pieces.  I feel like they are a bit fragile at the joins and might fall apart on me any moment.

Plus, I've spent a lot of time hunting around the internet for the kind of findings I like; antique brass and flat black, with not much luck.  Hence, my pieces are a hodgepodge of several types of metal.  Not horrible but not want I want in the future.

Here is a piece I made that also used some goodies I've had stashed for years.  Beads from Morocco, Turkey and Mexico, Sari cloth scraps, old eyeglass chain, kimono cording and other chains.

I found the long bars that hold the kantha pillows on Etsy and I like them very much for fabric.

The other thing I need instruction on is which thread to use in different applications.  I used a beading thread I had on hand...make and model I can't tell you because I threw the info away (I'm curing myself of that habit).  I don't know if it will stretch in the long run or not.  We'll see.

I made all three strands separate, not because I wanted to wear them separately, although I could, but because I didn't know where I was going with each strand and I didn't have any way of knowing how I would want to put them together.

I sure would love to take a class on jewelry assemblage, not really a formal jewelry class but one that uses found objects and instructs you how to affix them to one another.

Here's my second attempt.  It's weird but looks pretty good on.  It's made of various champagne  wires, bicycle inner tubes, kantha cloth and a beautiful pendant from Morocco that my pal, Lisa, gave me.

Lisa and I were lucky enough to spend a day in the studio of a dear friend and artist, Daniella Woolf.  Right now she is working on the most gorgeous paper pieces; they're like jewels!  She wanted to make paper jewelry, and has before for many years, and invited us to join her in a play day.

Wow, wow, fun.  So inspiring to just play with no outcome in mind.  Good for the soul.

More jewelry, please.


  1. Oh, Gayle, these are utterly charming. I am sure they look even better on you. After seeing your kantha beads here on your blog. I clicked on over and bought some of those kantha pieces. There are just lovely. Thanks for the idea. So far, I'm using one as an add-on patch pocket to the inside of my latest jacket. I can see so many uses for these kantha pieces. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  2. These are great! I like all that color in the first piece.The visual texture supplied by the prints and the kantha stitching adds a lot to both pieces. Nice work!

  3. With a fun way to combine treasured fabric and other wabisabi things. I love the whole collage effect.
    I have a lot of kimono bits that I will have to try this with. A great inspiration.
    Are you going to Puyallup?

  4. You've led me into sin! First purchased some kantha scraps, then was on Etsy and...

  5. Looks to me like your affixing is plenty good!

  6. Jewellery has been playing a crucial role in our social, personal and professional lives for a long time. Every accessory, in its own way, has influenced us and our surroundings.

  7. Lovely jewelry. love it. I think your girl friend will be very happy when she will see your gift. It's simple but gorgeous. It makes a woman so pretty.

  8. Love your work: the varying shapes, the upcycled cloth, the concept.

  9. These pieces are absolutely beautiful. You are incredibly talented. The pieces are so intricate and complex. It’s amazing that you used scraps of Kantha cloth, many of which you can only find on the Internet. It’s a wonderful mix of the traditional and modern. Keep up the good work! I hope to see more creative items in your collection soon.

    Brandi Bradley @ Rotax Metals

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I had fun working with Kantha.