Butiki Teas-Tea Jewelry Thoughts?

We have noticed that there is really not a huge selection of tea jewelry out there and really not much funky tea jewelry. We aren’t sure if there is a market for it or if there is just no interest.

We have come with a few ideas, really mostly necklaces and key chains. In addition to using tea, we have a few other ideas, though we aren’t sure how they will turn out. The first pieces we are working on are bottle necklaces. Since tea doesn’t do real well with light, we have used mostly black teas which will not change appearance that much and for green and white teas and teas with flowers and fruits we are working on suspending them in resin in the bottles. We are also working on some charms with tea in resin. Here are some pics of just the bottles:


We would love to hear some feedback and find out if this is of interest. Each necklace would also come with a sample of the tea. If so, we might go ahead and start working on some of the other ideas we have come up with.

Also, if these pieces aren’t of interest but tea jewelry is, please let us know what may be of interest.

64 Replies
ifjuly said

I can only speak for myself of course, but in terms of the question of whether there’s interest for tea jewelry, YES! On and off for the past year I’ve gone on searches on etsy, ebay, etc. looking for something that would convey my fondness for the stuff in pendant form and been kind of disappointed in the slim pickins. From what I’ve been able to dig up (and maybe I’m just not good at searching, granted!) stuff tends to focus on British-y teapots and cups, but I’d prefer something that focuses on the leaf itself and is less…how do I put this…femmy? A lot of tea stuff automatically comes with the association of frilly tea parlor accoutrements, lace and flowers and pink or pearl or curlicued gold/silver ornament, does that make sense? Anyway, I’m personally not into that so much and it’s what usually keeps me from buying what little tea jewelry I can find. I wish there was more tea art and jewelry and papercraft and whatever else that was simply a modern, less frilly, pared down version of the classic “two leaves and a bud” silhouette, or maybe a gaiwan. But that’s just me. I tend to like jewelry and posters and whatnot as minimalist as can be, and know that’s not for everyone…

So I like that about the necklaces, that they aren’t as frilly and focus on the tea itself. Yes!

I like the bottle idea, reminds me of those grain of rice necklaces, but yeah, would be a little sad thinking about how the tea is in the light (which I realize is silly because how else could you see it, plus it’s not for drinking anyhow, and it’s a tiny amount…I’m just weird).

All of this! I came here to say the same thing! You definitely aren’t alone in wanting a better variety of tea themed crafts!

Personally, I am not very fond of British style tea jewelry as well.

I have a friend that does Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) and I would love to do something with that. Perhaps, just the word ‘tea’. Also, have a few ideas that are simple. Love the idea of gaiwan & 2 leaves and a bud. We would need a mould for those. I might have to check around and see if anyone locally creates moulds.

The amount of tea in each of those bottles is maybe 1/10 of a serving, so not much tea will be wasted. :)

ifjuly said

yeah, it’s totally a silly thing for me to think about. ha.

that is really awesome you’d consider looking into those ideas! :D and thanks for letting us give our input.

I so agree with all ifjuly said, no frill tea jewerly would be something I’d be really interested in.

ifjuly-Could you expand a little bit on paper craft? What would you be looking for? I love the gaiwan idea. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

TheTeaFairy-I’m glad to hear there is some interest in no-frill tea jewelry.

The vials aren’t really my thing, but I would wear the hell out of a simple two-leaves-and-a-bud pendant. Fantastic idea, ifjuly!

ifjuly said

aw, thanks adagio breeze. it’s neat to discover i’m not the only one who wants these things, makes me feel less like a weirdo, ha.

Stacy, i do a lot of penpal-ing with friends i made when i lived in other places, and it’s lead to a mini obsession with finding the perfect cards and stationery, things like that. when i got back into tea it was a natural thing to look for it in cards and notepads and things…and there is some, but it tends to be like the jewelry thing where most of it’s very floral/pink/lacy/frilly stuff with ornate british tea service images and whatnot. i don’t mean to put down anyone who likes that stuff, but to me personally it just felt…a little older ladyish than i wanted. i couldn’t find much modern “hipper” stuff, despite a lot of coffee photos and drawings and everything everywhere.

another thing i just thought of that would be kinda cool for papercraft stuff is notecards with drawn maps of tea regions as the front image. or maybe the names of different popular tea provinces or types in different typefaces or hand-written in different styles for each one, and different colors, going in different directions, like a word bubble/map.

so tl;dr i just mean nice modern stationery and notecards, envelopes, maybe stickers or something like that, for writing letters or lists.

Sounds like I have an aesthetic similar to yours. This notecard is pink and flowery but I like it anyway: http://society6.com/DrunkGirlDesigns/Pinkies-Up-Bitches_Cards

Thanks for the info. I do love the idea of using region map designs. I would love to do ‘tea’ in different languages as well as maybe some really nice tea & gaiwan designs. If we work on printed stuff, that might be something later on, though some really nice tea cards do sound very appealing.

I also think there is a missed opportunity for funny or fun tea items like shirts and magnets and whatnot. Our leafhopper magnet was an attempt at something fun, though I would love to do some funny tea art. Sort of stuff along the line of the tea-rex stuff I’ve seen and also tea related puns.

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Sil select said

Agree with ifjuly in terms of the types of things i’m looking for.

While i like the idea of the necklaces in concept, i likely wouldn’t get one for the simple reason that I rarely wear things around my neck. My jewellery tends to be limited to my ears and wrists. I’ve love some sort of wrist piece that i could wear…though i’d prefer it if it were on minimalist side as well, since i tend to prefer simpler designs.

Thanks for the input! That’s good to know. :)

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Ah! Great idea Stacy…
I’d be interested in something written in Chinese or Japanese calligraphy. Like for example Sencha in Japenese or Pu’erh in Chinese. It would be like an artistic conversation piece.

Also, I’d love to have a piece that would say Camellia Sinensis, in the form of a bracelet or metal plate pendant.

You know those "Love”, “Hope”, “Peace” necklace? Well instead they could be saying “Oolong”, “Dragon Well”, “Iron Goddess”, etc… or some of the most popular Butiki tea names!! :-)

These are fantastic ideas! Love them! I’m going to print out this thread in a few days and discuss with my jewelry friend what might be an option for us.

Please keep us informed, this is so exciting!

Sil select said

Ooo like those ideas teafairy

ifjuly said

oh my gosh, stuff that said camellia sinensis, and bracelets with different tea types! i love that!

Will keep you guys informed. Also, do you guys think you would prefer more affordable jewelry or really nice silver jewelry pieces?

Sil select said

ooooh that’s a tough one. I’m not opposed to spending more on silver if it’s a really nice piece.:)

Pyroxy select said

I tend to go for mid-range ($20-30) or lower pricing for necklaces. Things over $40 are usually out of my range for typical jewelry, but I may make an exception for really awesome things (especially if it came with a sample of the tea in question).

I’d also like to second the idea for little bracelets or necklaces with camellia sinensis (or other tea-related phrases) on them since I’m a total biology (/plant) nerd. :D

I’m a big fan of real silver. Having said that, it has gone up in price quite a bit in the last few years, I think you’d be better off with something less expensive and more accessable, but good quality that doesn’t tarnish. I’ve noticed stainless steel is more present now in jewelry, I think it’s a really good alternative to real silver, and if I’m not mistaken, it,s also safe for those who have metal allergies. I would certainly buy a piece, but not sure I would if it was a cheaper metal.

Totally different, but wood can be nice also. Unfortunatly I don,t have a picture, but someone I know was wearing a bamboo and stainless steel bracelet, it was really pretty and different. I like when sustainable material is being used, always a plus :-)

Dustin said

As far as safety of silver vs. steel goes (and aside from allergies varying from person to person), it really depends on the application and grade of material. Necklace use will be more forgiving vs. jewelry for a fresh piercing which needs to be very specific material. They use steel to make hammers and to implant in the body, and your body is going to react to the differences in those grades.

Wood is cool. Some species are fine for contact on human skin and some are known to irritate. There are lots of neat laser cutting possibilities for wood too.
I have spent a lot of time geeking out on material compatibility and could go on for a while. :)

Thanks for the feedback on pricing and material. So far, its sounding like we should use the more expensive metals.

My friend does wood burning & painting, like this bracelet: http://instagram.com/p/llQJqcLRng/. Though I’m not sure about that with tea related stuff. How was the bracelet stainless steal and bamboo? Where the edges stainless steal but the middle bamboo? Or something else?

Sil select said

that’s a cute bracelet..even if it’s not “expensive mats” :)

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One of your beautiful teas encased in resin is definitely a pendant I would wear, but I’m personally not that into the bottles themselves or the little cup charms. I am picturing something more like this http://img0.etsystatic.com/000/0/6016262/il_fullxfull.327626164.jpg?ref=l2 Super fun ideas everyone!!!


Uniquity said

That intrigues me! Also as a Fringe fan I instantly thought of the amber. So cool!

Love that charm you posted! We did do one charm with our Champagne & Rose Cream tea though it wasn’t quite like what was pictured. It’s round has a metal back. I’ll see if I can get a picture of what was done. I love what is pictured in that link. Will definitely print that out to see if we can do that with tea.

Uniquity-I’m Fringe fan too! The hubby and I binge watched the entire series in like 2 months.

Tealizzy said

Love that idea!

boychik said

This is so cool Stephanie, I would wear pendant like this.

Kayla select said

This is a beautiful idea!

Dinosara said

Chiming in to say that I’m not big on the vials but I would love a resin pendant like this, with wiry black leaves or maybe rolled oolongs.. it would be so pretty!

Here is the first pic of the resin charm that is being worked on. This is just the first layer. She is doing a layer over top for a 3D effect. http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i446/butikiteas/resin_zps684bb3ce.jpg Next to it is a resin bottle, but I don’t think that came out well. I guess I will have to see that one in person. I think if we could do it without the metal back, I think that would be awesome.

The resin charm is beautiful :) I think it would be enhanced without the metal back but as a prototype I would say it worked out very well.

The prototypes are lovely! I would totally wear either of those :) liking the ideas in this thread!

Cavocorax said

I vote for this one too! It’s so simple and pretty.

ifjuly said

yeah, i think without the metal back that’d be grrrreat, and as is it’s a lovely prototype. seeing this whole spitballing to fruition process is so neat!

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Also, I wanted to mention that I really appreciate everyone who has made a comment. It’s very helpful to get your guys opinions and is helping us think about what to try making. :)

Sil select said

We love that you solicit our input! :) Excited to see what you land on…either way i’m sure it’ll be interesting and awesome!

+one with Sil, you make us feel like we’re part of the Butiki family by asking us, it,s great and it’s fun to be “part of the process” :-)

Seriously, this is very helpful. There are lots of great ideas in this thread and I think basically what I’m hearing is to try a lot of different things and see what becomes popular. It sounds like the bottles are maybe hit or miss, so we will only start with a few but not take that as a cue about how jewelry will be received. I have a few ideas I haven’t mentioned yet but if possible, would love to start on the resin pendants. Those could be necklace, key chains, or earrings. I love the idea of tea words on a bracelet, so we will see if we can make that happen. Really, every idea in this thread has been fantastic. :)

Feedback is always appreciated.

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Dustin said

It is so funny that you posted this today because I went to class (I’m in a jewelry program) earlier and got a flask prepped that has leaves in it from With Open Eyes. It will be ready for me to cast in silver on Wednesday and I’m planning on making a necklace out of them if the casting gods look on me favorably.

What kind of a mold are you needing made? Just a rubber one of the tea cup and saucer for shooting waxes? I’m not local, but I may be able to help you out with that.

I’m so jealous. I always wanted to take jewelery when I was in college but it never worked out with my schedule, and wasn’t a required course for my art degree. Sounds like fun!

Dustin said

It is SO much fun! I have been taking one class per semester for a few years now. At the moment I’m in a stone setting class, but we have access to all the equipment which is amazing.

Super cooooool

I’m not sure what type of mold would be needed to be made, I would have to ask my friend though I think a gaiwan design and 2 leaves and a bud would be what I would want to make.

Would love to see how your WOE piece comes out. Would you mind posting a pic when its done? :)

Dustin said

Sure! You can see photos of the whole process here… http://snapguide.com/guides/cast-tea-leaves-in-sterling-silver/

I had intended to choose a leaf or two to solder a setting for a stone on, which I think would give them a really nice look, but I ran out of time. I may still do that later.

omg, dragonwell is a perfect choice! It looks amazing!

Dustin said

Thank you! I may play with other tea leaves in the future. The veining of the leaves didn’t turn out the way I was hoping because you have to coat them in wax. I’d love to get my hands on some fresh leaves sometime and see how those turn out. I’m 90% sure I wouldn’t have to coat the leaves if they are green, so more detail might translate to the metal piece.

That is beautiful, Dustin! I love this!

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Tealizzy said

These are great ideas! I have been looking for some tea jewelry too, but nothing’s really caught my eye. I would totally be interested in some of these. :)

Good to know! :)

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Katiek said

I also like the idea in concept, but I rarely wear jewelry. But I might buy a piece as a gift. If I were looking for any tea related anciallary stuff, I’d be more likely to get the notepaper described earlier in the thread, or a big tote bag with a tea themed design such as the region map or some other tea related idea.

You are giving me lots of art project ideas!

Thank you for the input! :)

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keychange said

Great idea! I would probably go for silver over something cheaper, just because I’d probably feel more confident about it lasting longer. I also would prefer jewelry to viles, although perhaps I’m not imagining it the way you’re depicting it. Oh, and I’d be all over the idea of t-shirts and hoodies and clothing and whatnot. There just isn’t enough tea-inspired anything, if you ask me!

Thanks for the input. I’ve thought about doing clothes before and even have some “Butiki Teas t-shirts”, though they were just made for staff.

Sil select said

the magnets were awesome…. heh

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I made a few tea bottles very similar to yours Butiki but they were not hugely popular with customers. I hope you have more luck than I did :) They look like an ‘in-case of an emergency’ type of thing, no one has any tea to your liking and your dying of thirst so you declare an emergency and open your private necklace stash.
I found inspiration in this thread too. I make jewellery for a living and specialise in wire wraps, gemstones and beads. I had a go today at making paper beads using teabag sachets, packaging, pictures etc and made a necklace using my tea beads and some gemstone beads from broken bracelets. So it’s a recycled necklace :)


Also made a bracelet using the tea paper beads


Nattie said

Your ‘in case of emergency’ thing makes me want a keyring/necklace/bracelet specifically designed to hold one serving of loose tea, for that purpose! Kinda like those keychains you get for emergency money, you know?

Like this:


But prettier, and with like a tea design etching on it. I’m sad this doesn’t exist now.

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