null Opera Bracelets - Jewelry for Opera Lovers
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Making Opera Bracelets

I’d like to give you some insight into the inner workings of Opera Bracelets! Each piece is individually handmade by myself and my fellow creative Ava in Rochester, NY. I have no plans to farm them out to overseas suppliers.  We take the quality of our work seriously, so if you ever have a problem, I hope you will let me know so I can make it right for you.

In the interest of those who would like to know more details about the design process, here goes...

Making Full Story style Opera Bracelets

These can take about 4-6 weeks of design work. First, I break down the libretto, using multiple translations if it isn’t a work in English. Some translations are concerned with rhyme, some with prose, etc. One must compare a couple to get the real meaning on details.  

When I have the story solid and know what will go into the bracelet and what I have to leave out, I work on condensing. Of primary importance: The story has to get streamlined so it will fit on the fold up bead chart that goes into the box - and have enough space remaining to put the photos of the beads onto it. 

Next, I begin sourcing beads and charms. Each bead chosen represents something such as an aria, character or important plot moment. I strive to make meaningful choices. Sometimes, I have to choose things at random, if there is not enough detail about a character, but if there is some symbolism to their name or identity, I use it.

Don Giovanni BeadExample: Don Giovanni. I struggled with choosing a color for him but then I came upon one tiny line of Leporello’s dialogue; after witnessing the Don’s cruelty he says that Don La Traviata Alfredo beadGiovanni’s soul must be made of bronze. A bronze colored bead was then the obvious choice.

If characters have a role as a witness or a special quality of vision they get represented by “cat’s eye” beads. Example: Siebel in Faust, who though he promises to look after Marguerite instead witnesses her down fall. Example: Alfredo in La Traviata. He sees something in Violetta that no one else around her can see.

Example: Mimi in La Boheme. Her aria Mi chiamano Mimi associates her with flowers and springtime. Thus she is represented by a delicate glass flower bead. Click to see the La Boheme Bracelet

I often agonize over every bead choice... sometimes staying up nights thinking about it! Once the choices are made, I search for the beads and charms on supplier websites. It's a quest to find just the right color or shape. When I finally order all the supplies (inevitably from at least 7 different places), they usually take a week or so to arrive.

Next, I spread out the supplies and begin to put the elements together in a way that tells the story, looks good and also feels comfortable. Usually, I have to assemble and reassemble numerous times. The nature of a memory wire design often requires complete disassembly to change one little detail.

When the design is finalized, it's a relief to make those first bracelets and have them ready to sell; however, getting a bracelet saleable on the website is a whole new project! First, I have to take and edit photos. I use some of the photos to make the bead charts, write all the product descriptions and captions and enter the SEO fields so that Google, Yahoo, Bing and the others can find the product in searches.

Then I can promote the new product via social media and email- HOORAY!

But it’s never over really, as beads get unexpectedly discontinued constantly! So, each design is babied with tweaks and redesigns as time rolls by. Usually, even small changes require a whole new set of photos and charts because I want customers to be absolutely sure about what they have purchased and I want them to love it!

Making “Inspired by…” style Opera Bracelets

These are somewhat simpler to put together because they do not require the creation of the intricately developed charts and individual bead symbolism of my “Full Story” Bracelets. Many times, these bracelets represent an aria or character. The design still does require research into context, background and meaning. In sourcing charms, it’s crucial that they be “right”, as charms are much more dominant in these designs.

un bel di bracelet

Example: The Un bel di Bracelet. I had seen this heart charm with the dots on it before. I really wondered:

Why? Why those dots, what’s the point?”. But when it came time to design this bracelet, it was the perfect choice, reflecting quite literally Butterfly’s description of seeing Pinkerton as a dot far away getting larger and larger as he comes towards her home.

The colors and styles of beads are also important. For example, I felt the Habanera Bracelet would not be right with crystals or pearls. I wanted it to reflect Carmen’s Roma spirit and be eclectic as if as she and her people were traveling from place to place picking up lovely things on the way. So there’s glass, metal, clear, iridesent… a real mixture. Click to see the Habanera Bracelet.

Example: The Mimi and Moonlight Bracelet. I chose crystals to evoke snow and a lot of blue beads to represent the special color that occurs with a full moon shining over soft deep snow on the roofs - that strangely beautiful blue light that floods the room as Rodolfo turns around from the window and sees Mimi in its beam. Click to see the Mimi and Moonlight Bracelet

I hope this helps you understand the design process! I am also happy to take on special orders which you may find more information about on the Special Order page. And, of course, if you have questions always feel free to email me at cindy@operabracelets.com.

Click here to explore the Opera Bracelets Collection