Black Tie Gems

ImageLast week, we kicked off an exciting new season of events at the Headley-Whitney beginning with a class in bead weaving, creating a “Black Tie Gem.”

Bead weaving is an ancient technique found in many cultures, and uses weaving techniques to weave together tiny seed beads into intricate patterns or pieces.  In our case, we created pendants to take home!

The Black Tie Gem pendant was created by Kelly Graves of Whimsy Beading.  A native of Versailles, Kentucky, Kelly is a self-taught bead-weaver and has run a successful Etsy shop for three years.  She instructed our class with ease and guided us through the initially-daunting craft of stringing the tiny seed beads into a beautiful pendant!


There is truly an element of magic in this pattern–the inner ring of Swarovski crystals and tiny gold seed beads is strung first, then an intricate mesh pattern expands around the ring of crystals.  However, the magic happens when the center gem is put into place–a few tugs of the string and the entire piece transforms from a pretty design to a stunning, elegant pendant before your eyes!

All of our workshop participants left with a completed pendant and instructions to follow at home (and at least one participant has tried to recreate the magic at home!)  Kelly also unveiled her design for her next workshop for September 22:  Nouveau Pearls!  Be on the lookout for more workshops with Kelly this year!

About Headley Whitney Museum

We are a decorative arts museum located in the heart of the Bluegrass. Opened in 1968 by George Headley III, a noted jewelry designer from the mid-twentieth century. Our permanent collection includes the Marylou Whitney Estate dollhouses, Library, Jewel Room and galleries for temporary exhibitions.
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