Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Designing Beads and Jewelry for Men

When it comes to jewelry, if it isn't a wedding ring or a watch, the men in my family don't wear it. My teenage son won't wear jewelry even though I see other teenage boys wearing it all the time. This means my designing for men "muscle" is pretty weak. However, I have been trying to create some jewelry designs geared specifically towards men using leather and heavy chainmaille etc.

I have not been making beads specifically for men because I tend to make what I like, which involves lots of pink, purple, and blue like these (also, the men in my household have told me beads aren't for men and I guess I believed them....big mistake!):

However, I have a male customer who loves the Nightmare Insomnia series, thinks it's very masculine, and has requested I try to make them specifically with men in mind. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to not pick up some of the "girlie" colors? Well...for me it's very difficult.

Before I even started my first torch session, I had a plan so I didn't grab for the pink or purple. This is what I came up with during my first try:

These use a black base wrapped in fine silver foil, ivory colored stringer designs (glass rod that has been pulled to the same diameter as a string). Then encased in clear to magnify the effect of the silver droplets and the organic reactions look of the stringer.

I have lots of color combos that I dreamed up and still need to try.

Do you design jewelry or components for men? What kind of tips do you have?

Have a great week!

-Jen Cameron



  1. Oh, you certainly hit a home run with that one! I can totally see a dark leather paired with it. Did he specifically like the shape? Just wondering what a man finds interesting in the Insomnia series, compared to what I find interesting. For me, it is the shape, as well as the color combos. My hubs doesn't wear jewelry, but my boys (10 and 14) like the kumihimo ropes I've made. Made one for them with a bullet casing clasp. They all like the survival paracord bracelets, but I don't really count those as 'jewelry'. :)

  2. I made a necklace for my son with his Chinese year of birth sign. It is the only male jewelry that I have made. I LOVE your new bead color.

  3. Jen, I too, share your manly men design frustrations...which means I don't have a whole lot to offer, except general theme ideas - steampunk, automobiles/engineering stuff, nature, sports...gah. I know, I'm not much help at all, am I?

    I agree with Shirley - you DID hit that one out of the park! I thought the pic you posted just before that one (with the swirly orange/red) was not TOO terribly feminine - which made me think - oh, Nightmare Insomnia with deep rich dark transparent red...??? Well done!

  4. Shirley's right - you DID hit that one outta the park, Jen! Well done! I too, have a difficult time with manly men jewelry, so I'll be interested to see some of your other comments.

  5. Those are great beads! Has your customer seen them yet?
    I very rarely make male jewellery - just cufflinks really!

  6. My husband likes jewelry but I have had such a hard time making something I feel is manly enough. I bought him a stainless steel large chain bracelet recently that he likes but I feel bad I haven't made him something when he really wants to wear something I have designed and show it off. The manly bead you made is great, the "flat black" matte look is something men really go for. Just look at things like Harley's and Gibson guitars for design and color ideas, they love the lines and colors used in both of those!

  7. I make a LOT of men's jewelry for a great shop called Boys' Fort in Portland. The trick is to keep it simple! That, and use a simple cord, leather or heavy ball chain with one manly focal. The funny thing, is that most of the "man" jewelry is purchased by women to wear themselves, so uni-sex is a better way to describe the look you are working towards. good luck and I love the new colors!

  8. I don't make it either, but I love your chain maille!

  9. I like your male-centric beads. I am a male that enjoys wearing jewelry. Kings wore tons of jewelry throughout history. I imagine its just a mindset that didnt travel as we somewhat bootstrapped this country once removed from the monarchy long ago.


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