Welcome to our B.O.C. blog. Learn about the world of handcrafted ceramic beads, buttons, pendants & components from our talented and knowledgeable Artisans.

Mary's Maiolica Arts

(Taken from her Etsy Profile)

I specialize in functional hand painted Renaissance style ceramics. I base my work on my research of classic Italian maiolica designs from the 15th and 16th centuries. I create both original designs using common historic motifs and designs which are copies of Renaissance maiolica museum pieces.

My "motto" bead pendants are one of my most popular items. I use more than 20 different mottos and a variety of colors and designs. I have a list of the mottos on my website http://www.marysmaiolicaarts.com. If you are interested in a different motto/color combination, contact me and I can tell you what I have in stock. I also make custom beads.

Maiolica is a style of decorative ceramics that dates to the Renaissance. If you would like to learn more about maiolica, visit the Informatory on my website. I have images of historic maiolica and some information on how it is made.

This hand made pendant necklace is a wonderful gift for a teenage girl. It features a hand made and hand painted ceramic bead is inscribed with the Italian phrase "L'AMORE VERO E PAZIENTE" which translates as "True love is patient" or "True love waits".

I totally hand make my clay beads starting from raw clay. The beads are hand painted and are fired twice in a kiln. My ceramic beads are decorated using a traditional technique known as maiolica (also known as majolica). Maiolica is a type of low-fire ceramic earthenware where colored decoration is applied on top of an opaque white glaze. This technique was especially popular during the Renaissance.

The maiolica bead is strung on sterling silver wire with sterling silver beads and a sterling silver heart charm. The ceramic bead has a diameter of 3/4 inches and the pendant is 2 1/8 inches long. The pendant hangs on a polished cotton cord tied with a double slip knot which allow the pendant to hang as a choker or a long pendant. Length converts from approx 16" to 26".

My beads are based on ones made in 16th century Italy. Hand painted beads were often given as small love tokens for a girl getting married. They were frequently inscribed with the word "Bella" which means "beautiful". During the Renaissance the beads were used as spinning weights.

My ceramic beads are totally hand made, starting from raw clay, and were fired twice in a kiln. The ceramic beads hang from sterling silver ear wire. The flat ceramic beads have a diameter of 3/4 inches and the earrings are 1 1/8 inches long.
I have been making decorative ceramics since 2000. I am also a potter. I make beads, bowls, plates and jars. I also hand paint commerically made blank tiles and platters.

This multicolored checkerboard pattern is a traditional Renaissance pattern that also appeals to quilting enthusiasts. Each ceramic bead is 5/8 inches by 5/8 inches and the earrings are 1 inch long.

I also make personalized wedding keepsakes as well as personalized hand painted beads.


  1. Natalie,
    Absolutely beautiful! and the history was very interesting, as well.

  2. Your work is gorgeous. I love the rich colours and thanks for sharing the history behind these beads (I'm a history buff!).


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