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Advantages of Wood Jewelry and Its Growing Popularity


Wooden beads have been used for centuries. But this natural material is not strongly associated with jewelry. However, there is now a growing popularity for wood jewelry especially laser cut wood designs.

There are distinct advantages to wood jewelry. They are very light to wear. So statement wood jewelry is possible especially big and bold earrings.  They can easily be stained or colored.  Either alone or coupled with other organic material like leather and real flowers, they reduce the use of materials which can be destructive to the environment and exploitative (see National Geographic's The Real Price of Gold).  

Some designers are using reclaimed wood so there is the recyclable option to this natural source. Others like me use Baltic birch (silver birch) a popular choice for woodworkers and laser cutters because of its strength and flexibility.  The sheets commonly used for laser cutting are 3 ply or 3 layers of birch thus making them less prone to warping. We just set the laser focal height once at the beginning of a cut session so a warped sheet is a nightmare.  

The European birch is sustainable as it grows quickly. Eco-friendly is one feature people are looking for these days. The natural look is also attractive for boho styles.  Wood does have one significant disadvantage - it is not as strong as metal. 

 



Real Pressed Flower and Wood Pendant 


From a designer's point of view, laser cutting means I can also control the manufacturing process.  Size, shape, combinations and so on. I have greatly enjoyed the challenge of laser cutting designs whether for finished pieces from CraftaGems or my supply shop, Beadinggem. The latter helps others come up with their own takes on laser cut wood jewelry.

Shown above is my meditation wood and resin necklace as well as a real pressed flower creation in resin.  I can also easily indulge in more whimsical designs like this pair of earrings for tea lovers! 


Teapot Wood Earrings for Tea Lovers

Another wonderful advantage of working with wood is the lack of wastage.  Shown below is my bag of unwanted bits and pieces leftover after a cutting session.  Small pieces are wood can be composted so I add it to my green bin!


What about the leftover boards? These I leave behind at the Maker Space studio I use. There is not much wood left so it can be broken up into smaller pieces for recycling. Some of the staff there also use these as kindling for campfires during the summer!


But recently, I learned they have also been using smaller sections of the boards as templates for children's craft project kits. Clay is pressed into the cut out spaces of my boards such as the domino style pendants and the star and heart studs! Brilliant!  

Thanks Christina and Laura for sharing the idea and photos. 



Before You Go:

Disclosure 

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 

10 comments:

  1. There are many many designs that can be made with the laser cut wood pieces that are very different and unusual. Keep thinking of uses in my line. Thanks for showing all the variety Pearl

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    1. I think the possibilities are endless!

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    2. I'm particularly intrigued with the idea of using the wood pieces with resin. I tried some pieces using wire as the "mold" but was dissatisfied with the results. The wire was not firm and came apart. Any tips?

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    3. It could be because you are using regular packing tape? I find heavy duty packing tape to be better. Stick the metal frame on the tape. Then apply a little resin around the inner edge and let that cure. I once featured a video tutorial where the artisan did exactly that. This first go around with resin will ensure the next pour will be perfect.

      Using resin with wood is a little trickier than using a metal frame. I recommend an extra step. Use a bit of resin as extra glue on the underside of the wood frame as you put the piece onto the tape. Cure, then do the go around with more resin and cure. The final step is the main resin pour. You have to accept that the resin will get to the back of the wood. The extra step prevent resin from going beyond the edge of the frame.

      The extra go around with resin seals the frames. If you omit this step, the weight of the final resin pour will push the resin beyond the frame.

      I hope that makes sense? I will try to remember to do a proper tutorial on this in the future!

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  2. Thanks Pearl, yes that makes sense. I'm trying to cut back on my different techniques to be more intentional and not all over the map. That said, I love the things that can be done with resin. The winter planning, trying new things time is upon us! Bev

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    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed! Winter is the ideal time to work on new projects.

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  3. recently i made coasters as a gift for my Navy son, each representing a place he's been stationed. I had collected shells and even sand from each place to embed. One thing I didn't collect was pieces of driftwood. some of your scraps remind me of wood found on a beach, perhaps at a fire pit.
    My first thought was to embed the scraps in resin, somehow. as for the leftovers after cutting, a 4" square with the empty space filled with resin of different colors could also make a coaster, or a sun catcher.
    I love to find uses for "junk"!

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    1. Yes, resin might well be the solution to make small gifts from little scraps of memorabilia!

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  4. Great article with interesting information about your wood cut pieces. I'd like to offer another use for your portions of your leftover boards. They would make nice stencils for airbrushing painting!

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    1. That is a super idea - didn't think of actual spray stencils. Thanks, Gloria!

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