Cloisonne beads 101: Everything You Need to Know is Here
Have you recently fallen in love with Cloisonné beads? We’ve got all the information you want to know about Cloisonné designs. These intricately detailed, elegant beads have a long and storied past and continue to remain popular today. Several well-known artists specialize in Cloisonné jewelry designs. Should you add it to your repertoire?
The Anatomy of Cloisonné Design
Cloisonné is French for partitioned or compartmentalized, each section housing various colors of enamel-like tiny stained-glass art. Enamel is applied and fired within raised portions of soldered wires, similar to a filigree. The fine detailing housed within traditional Cloisonné designs showcasing patterns of flowers or other elaborate art. Artistic and colorful, these unique beads are perfect for use in a variety of jewelry designs, each individual bauble showcasing a distinctive beauty.
History of Cloisonné Beads
The cloisonné technique is believed to date back to Egypt around 1800 BC when gold ornaments were inlaid with small pieces of gemstones. Later, as it spread throughout Europe, goldsmiths and glass workers substituted colored glass for precious stones. In the 14th century, the Chinese improved the technology, using their casting, glass production and glazing skills to improve the enameling process. Cloisonné jewelry designs became popular in America much later, in the mid-1800s, and continues to be admired for its unique beauty
The lovely gold detailing of Cloisonné beads pairs beautifully with gold-filled beads and findings and makes them suitable for a variety of jewelry designs, such as:
- Beaded necklaces and bracelets
- Bangle and cuff bracelets
Shopping for Cloisonné Beads
When selecting Cloisonné beads for your upcoming project, look for premium beads with a smooth surface, free of rough edges or protruding wires. Each section should be filled with enamel, featuring a uniform appearance with no divots or high spots. Look for beads crafted with precious metals, such as copper, that advertise their content.
Cloisonné Wear and Care
Cloisonné jewelry looks spectacular when showcased against simple swaths of dark colors, which allow the precious metals in the beads to shine. Wear Cloisonné jewelry alone or pair with a simple metal chain or bracelets. Don’t overdo it, avoiding busy fabric patterns, or overcrowding the beads with too many accessories.
When you’re not wearing Cloisonné designs, store them in jewelry bags to keep them free from scratches. If jewelry becomes dirty, do not soak the beads, as small holes in the design could absorb liquid. You should also avoid chemical and abrasive cleaners that can etch the glass, and ultrasonic jewelry cleaners. Instead, simply polish jewelry with plain water and soft, lint-free cloth.
Cloisonné Bead Styles
Crystal Findings offers an extensive selection of Cloisonné bead styles, including round, flat round, oval, tube, and heart shapes, as well as clasp cloisonné beads and fancy drop bead designs. Shop our affordably priced Cloisonné beads options, uncovering the beauty of Cloisonné in your next beading project today.