Women have long been captivated by the beauty and allure of handmade bangle bracelets since ancient times. They enhance the feminine mystique and graceful features of a woman's arm with their delicate artistry. Each handcrafted bangle is a unique work of art skillfully handcrafted by a jewelry artisan.
Bangles in Ancient Times
Archeologists have found early versions of bangles in excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization which dates back to 2500 - 1750 B.C. Made from gold, silver, stone, shell, copper and fired ceramic; the unearthed bangles from ancient times give us a sense of the ancient jewelry fashion. Also excavated was a female figure made of solid bronze showing bangles covering her entire arm. Throughout the centuries, bangles have been worn by all types of people from royalty to the poor.
Handcrafted Metal Bangles
Jewelry artists of today create tomorrow's heirlooms of precious gold by crafting beautiful one of a kind bangles. From classic sleek finishes to delicate filigree designs the gold is carefully hammered and shaped by skilled hands. Depending upon the style, the artist creates texture and design by carving, braiding or weaving the metal into the desired pattern. Many handmade bangle bracelets have precious and semi-precious gemstones incorporated into their design. Artists often use more then one type of metal in the creation of a bangle including:
- Metal alloys
Handmade Wooden Bangles
The detailed craftsmanship involved in making a bangle bracelet is not limited to metal. Jewelry makers also work with other materials in their craft. Exotic woods from India are popular for bangles because of their rich grain patterns. Wooden bangles are carefully hand carved into intricate detailed designs including floral patterns, abstract designs and faceted diamond cuts. Often, different types of wood or metal are used to create inlaid bangles that are exquisite in their beauty. Hand etched brass designs in various shapes are another popular wooden bangle style.
Glass artists create glass bangle bracelets that are delicate and skillfully crafted. One method is to use dichroic glass which is made by applying metallic film directly on to the glass. This provides the glass an extraordinary, metallic, shimmering effect. Other jewelry makers that work with glass apply colored glass in various colors and designs to thin metal bangles creating an elegant look of an all glass bangle.
More Handmade Bangles
Artists that work with other materials also create bangles unique in design and craftsmanship. For example, jewelry designers that work with polymar clay are able to create bangles that mimic the look of snakeskin by using different colors of clay and gold leaf. Bangle bracelets are also carved from ox and stag horn by carvers trained in this ancient craft.
Bangle, Bracelet or Brangle?
Bangles are commonly referred to as bangle bracelets. However, there are some jewelry purists that do differentiate between the two. Bangles are rigid and generally circular in shape. They slip over the hand onto the wrist making proper sizing very important to the jewelry maker. Bangles are usually solid although some are made with a hinged clasp. Bracelets are flexible and almost always have a clasp. A brangle is a bangle that is semi rigid. They are often handcrafted of wire or thin sterling silver.
Wearing Your Bangle Bracelets
Handmade bangles are made to be worn and enjoyed. Wear a single one or wear several at a time. Thin bangle bracelets are often sold in sets of two, four or six. Try wearing several sets at the same time. When bangle bracelets are worn in groups, they make a clinking sound when you move your arm. The sound of glass bangles coming together has been compared to the gentle sounds of wind chimes which many wearers find to be relaxing. Jewelry artists fashion each creation with passion for their craft and the hopes that their works will be worn and enjoyed for many years to come.