Have you ever used Bali silver beads and findings in your jewelry designs? Bali silver is handmade by artists in Bali, Indonesia using genuine 925 sterling silver. Many techniques and patterns are passed down from generation to generation, and new elements continue to be added as the modern Bali artists hone their skills. Learn about how these beads are made and then find inspiration for using them in your jewelry in our Design Studio.¬
How is Bali Silver Made?¬
Such craftsmanship can only be achieved through dedication and steady hands. How did Bali come to make some of the most intricate and detailed silver beads? For over 2600 years, Bali has been known for its rich silversmith culture. When gold was discovered in the region, the demand for the skill of silversmithing grew. Bali soon became known for its quality gold and silver products. The silversmiths of Bali put the same amount of dedication into each small bead as they do for ceremonious rituals.¬
To create a piece, granulation (small dots) and wires are applied in detailed patterns using simple tools. This process requires an abundance of patience. First, small silver pellets are melted down and mixed with borax to rid it of impurities. The liquefied silver is then poured into molds. The solid silver molds are ran through a rolling press and made thinner and smaller until the smith has reached the desired size to work with. The silver is then cut with a saw into various shapes. Metal stamps and hammers are then used to make exquisite details like rounded edges and precise designs.
Each tiny granulated bump in a specific piece is a separate ball of silver soldered to the base. To create filigree designs, silver wires are soldered together into bowl shapes and curved into the appropriate pieces. The silver is cleaned with a porous fruit (often a tamarind fruit) and is dipped into antiquing solution. This process, known as oxidation, turns the silver black. The smith polishes the silver, giving the tiny details a shine and keeping the background parts black for the perfect contrast.¬
Bali Silver Jewelry Inspiration
You’ll find a lovely selection of finely crafted Bali silver items at Artbeads.com to dress up your jewelry designs. They look beautiful as the focal points of designs. Cynthia showcases several Bali beads in her Jakarta necklaces, along with other metal tube and Czech glass beads. They really wow in men’s jewelry, too. Our Liam bracelet¬†shows off the unique texture and detail they add to a piece.¬
Bali silver makes a wonderful accent in jewelry designs, too.¬† The beautifully granulated ends of our Bali silver head pins add just a little something more to your beaded dangles and pendants. Our Viveca necklace¬†shows how this special head pin brings a bit more pizzazz. Our Bali cones also draw the eye, like they do in the earrings featured in our Twilight’s Promise set.
If you haven’t used Bali silver in your designs yet, now is the time to try! We offer plenty of beautiful beads, spacers, clasps, and more handmade by the skilled silversmiths of Bali. If you have used Bali silver in your designs, let us know in the comments below, or share a picture on our Facebook page or on Instagram and Twitter (just tag us: @artbeads).¬†¬