The aesthetics are lovely!
Re: Re: If they have turned more reddish with age -- frank Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
03/20/2020, 14:13:52

Good question, Frank.

There are some unique and interesting pieces made of Bakelite - here is one I purchased from a seller in the UK. It's a slide, about 40 mm wide, with a large 25 x 10 mm opening, that I put on a woven leather cord. Was probably used as a scarf or belt slide.

It's an example of the dark red colored pieces that I believe started out as amber colored, but have turned "cherry red" with age due to the color instability of early phenolic resin formulations.

Most of the beads, bracelets, pins, clips, etc that I've collected were made to imitate amber - and a lot are really beautiful and patinated with age - but the other colors are also fun. In contrast to newer plastics, I find that the Bakelite pieces have a more pleasing appearance and heft to them. I don't know quite how to describe the difference, and I wonder if a lot of the appeal of Bakelite pieces has to do with the high level of craftsmanship used to make them. Also the brown patina that occurs with age tens to make the items more "earthy" (organic?) looking - something impossible to replicate with other plastics.

More modern plastic beads & jewelry are mostly mass-produced and injection molded, although there are exceptions (I'm sure more than I suspect) such as this interesting necklace made from polyester beads that look handmade - but I can't be sure. It was sold as of those misrepresentations that may or may not have been deliberate.

RFBakeliteSlide.jpg (38.3 KB)  RFPolyesterFlatBeads.jpg (35.7 KB)  

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