Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beaded Joinery


I know I have said it before, I have enough beads, but I never have quite what I need.  I need some gold toned headpins to add some fobs for the end of the extension chain.

There are lessons learned in every project.  I had intended to use tried and true pieces for this bracelet; instead I created a new beaded bead.  I must say that was serendipitous.  I love this beaded bead and will make it again.  It is rich, highly textured, and substantial.  It can be incorporated end to end or side to side.

One of the lessons I need to learn over and over is joinery. This was actually the lesson I set out to learn on this project.  The cinnabar bead is drilled along the length, but I wanted to join to the sides for this bracelet.  That was easily accomplished with the bezel and a few 4mm bicones.  I simply wove the cinnabar focal to the elongated embellished beaded bead with bicones.
Mercurial main join
If you remember my color palette for this piece it included quite a few bigger beads in gold.  I think they were 8mm and 10mm rounds.  Those did not fit into the final design; they were replaced by the elongated embellished beaded bead. 

Bracelets are more wearable if they are flat on the back of the wrist.  I made two embellished ribbons of peyote.  The bracelet is reversible.
Mercurial Red Embellished Side
Mercurial Gold Side

I bought a few reduction bars, but they did not fit the spacing of my peyote ribbon to match the beaded bead.  I thought I would match the bicone connection but just could not line up the bicones on both sides of the join in any balanced way.  Instead, I wove the ribbon directly to the elongated embellished beaded bead. (I really need to name that darn bead!)

Mercurial Peyote Ribbon Join I- from an angle
Mercurial Peyote Ribbon Join II- straight on and close up.  Red bicones are 4mm

The final lesson was on joining the clasp to the finished bracelet.  Last week I made a trip to a well stocked bead store and bought a ribbon crimp end.  Lesson: it did not work, I broke a few beads.  It would have looked really pretty had it worked.  I need to learn how to use ribbon crimp ends.  I reverted to a tried and true method; I decreased the peyote to form a point, attached a jump ring through my 10/0 delicas, and attached a chain on one end and a lobster claw on the other. 

All in all I am pleased with the way this turned out. I would have liked it better had I been able to attach the peyote ribbon to the elongated embellished beaded bead with the bicones as it would have made the piece better balanced.  I suspect I am being too picky with my own work.

Two final pictures for perspective.
Mercurial Measuring Up
Mercurial Adjusted


  1. All I can say is "WOW" !

    Kathy Jo, the bracelet is amazing. I love the rich oriental look of it and that gorgeous carved cinnabar focal bead absolutely pops. Your beadwork is indescribably beautiful. I know this bracelet would fetch a thousand dollars (or more) in an upscale jewelry shop. It is certainly a work of art.

    1. Thank you for the outstanding compliment, it is enough to make me blush.

  2. Hi Kathy Jo,
    Love it the bracelet turned out to be gorgeous. I learned how to do CRAW, so thank you for the push.

    1. Thank you Therese. I am so glad you learned how to do CRAW. Sabine's work pushed me into learning CRAW and then I never attempted her Tweed bracelet- I am still intimidated! I think you will find it a versatile weave; my issue is that it shows too much thread. However, now that you know CRAW you can now try the newly named Empress Bead.

  3. KJ, this is a stunner! Cinnabar is such a luxurious looking material to work with, and you raised it up to look like something regal. And the best part is that you conquered every design challenge that popped up along the way and created a terrific beaded bead pattern. You should name that bead after a queen or goddess -- looks suitable for one!

  4. Thank you Bobbie. Almost Precious dubbed it Empress and I adopted that as the name- I love it.

    You know there is a design challenge with everything. I am just going to have to accept and expect that.

    Thank you again.

  5. I love lessons learned. You have created an amazing piece with such beauty! Way to go!!!

    1. Thank you Kristen. It seems with every project there is a lesson to lean. I think if there was not I would get bored and move on.

  6. I do love your rich-looking embellished beads and how well they complement the cinnabar focal. Thanks for sharing the tute!

    1. Thank you. I think this weekend I am going to try a different colorway and see if I like it as well.

      I was very happy to share the tutorial. One of these days I might just go back and proof read it and fix anything not up to my grammatical or teaching standards.

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you. I do not usually remake designs, but I am already at work on a very similar piece.


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