The Storytelling Jeweller

Beading tutorials with pearls from Erika – The Storytelling Jeweller

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Beading tutorials with pearls from Erika

Beading tutorials with pearls from Erika

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I love to work with glass pearls, and in this article, I collected all my jewelry which I created so far with glass pearls.

But first:

Why do I just LOVE glass pearls?

  • Glass pearls are more affordable
  • They show a wide variety both in form and color – which we both love 🙂
  • They are not as sensitive as the real ones, but still, deserve good care.
  • When observing the gems in line, the manufactured pearls are always perfectly round and smooth, have the same weight, shade, and size. This makes them perfect for use in beading tutorials!

Storytelling Jewelry with pearls


Rembrandt necklace

The necklace was inspired by a recent visit to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. 2019 was the year of Rembrandt van Rijn, marking the 350th anniversary of the maestro’s death. His double-portrait of Marten and Oopjen was a turning point in history: these two were the first head-to-toe portraits painted about “common” people, not belonging to the circles of royalty.

Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit had gotten married recently. Both of them belonged to wealthy families and celebrated their union by ordering a double-portrait from the most celebrated artist of that time – Rembrandt van Rijn, the painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Marten is holding a glove, and Oopjen, probably already carrying their first child, has a black feather-fan in her hand. These attributes, together with all the lace and jewelry, but even the black color of their clothes, which was highly fashionable that time signifies their standing between the rich merchants of Amsterdam. Up until that moment, a full-body portrait was exclusive to the ranks of royalty.


This incredible wealth was the result of commerce between the Dutch Kingdom and the so-called East and West Indies (Asia and the American continent). The exotic touch of the pearls reflects this perfectly. Even if this young couple lived through the happiest times of their lives while standing models for Rembrandt, sadly, the countries where all this wealth originated were used as vassal states and kept in poverty. We can only imagine how the clasp of Oopjen’s necklace looked like. However, the multi-strand pearls and the long, unusual shape of the pendant are clearly recognizable on this beaded ‘replica.’

Find the Rembrandt necklace tutorial here.

The complete Rembrandt necklace collection (tutorial and jewelry making-kits in various colors) is available here.



Vanitas bracelet-collection

The Vanitas bracelet tutorial here.

The complete Vanitas bracelet collection (tutorial and jewelry making-kits in various colors) here.

A luxurious jewel inspired the Dutch Golden Age and by Baroque painter Clara Pieters’s painting “Vanitas”. Clara was the first significant female Dutch painter. The painting is probably an auto-portrait of the artist wearing a necklace, a headband, earrings, and two bracelets. This bracelet is wonderful if you are looking for a project you can really get your teeth into! You will learn to bezel the cabochons in an alternative way – no RAW, no Peyote – which is clutching the stones as metal settings do. You will incorporate pearls into the bracelet to give it a luxurious and exotic touch.


Rock My Heart brooch/ pendant

The Rock My Heart brooch/pendant tutorial here.

The complete Rock My Heart brooch/pendant collection (tutorial and jewelry making-kits in various colours) here.

A couple of weeks ago I visited an exhibition in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The paintings of Rembrandt paired with the works of Spanish masters. While visiting a museum, I always like to track what kind of jewelry the portraited people are wearing – especially if it’s something historical. Rembrandt worked a lot for the wealthy people living in Amsterdam during The Netherland’s golden age – and oh my gosh, they wore a lot of jewels, especially pearls! It inspired me to focus on creating jewelry with pearls for my next collection. The first piece I created is ‘Rock My Heart’ jewel. It’s a brooch and a pendant in one. You can wear it one day on your jacket and the next day you can hang it on a ribbon or chain on your neck. I used an art quality handmade cabochon for the focal and embellished it with glass pearls, Swarovski beads, and a pendant, Miyuki and some chains.


Pearly tassel

The pearly Tassel tutorial here.

I designed an easy beaded tassel and beaded it with you during my video in CoffeTimeWithErika. You can attach it to pendants, the bottom of a brooch or use it as simple earrings. Perfect for our funky colored pearls, you can choose here.


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