Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Different Kind of Bezel

Hi, everyone.  Welcome to my little corner of the world.  I'm so happy you could join me.  Today I'm back to beading stuff!  I'm still obsessed with Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.  Kate McKinnon has announced that the second volume has gone to print and I can't wait to get my copy of it!   One thing I have learned about this process and the idea behind Kate's approach to it in the books is that once you have figured it out and know the method you can use it in many different ways.  Which brings me to the pendant I'm going to share with you today. 

Jo Ray, who designs and teaches at Bead Soup in Savage, Maryland, has been experimenting with the belly band.  That is the starting point for many of the bracelets in CGB.  It's a modified RAW technique that is really quite simple but brilliant.  Jo decided to try using it to bezel around a marble.  You could also use a large bead.  One thing led to another and she came up with a 4 sided bezel which intrigued me.  So, I took her class and after the class was over she and I were talking about the versatility of the whole concept of using the band and creating wings and horns.  As we were talking I had a light bulb moment when I knew what I was going to do with what I just learned.  I don't have a picture of the class project because it was put aside when I got home.  It will become a future experiment!  I started over and changed a few things and ended up with this.

I started the bezel the way Jo taught it, but I used a single needle instead of the double needle that she used.  My process for stitching the four bands around the marble was changed and at that point the whole thing took on a life of it's own!  What I ended up with wasn't what I had thought I would end up with!!  But, I love what happened and I'll go back to the class project and see what that becomes and if I can stick more to the vision I had.  Anyway, back to this one.  Once the bezel was finished and the marble was in place I peyote along the band and increased in one space to begin the wing.  As I worked each band I moved the increase down the peyote so that the wings would be stepped down away from each other.  Once the bands were finished I did a herringbone finial at the bottom and placed a crystal drop inside.  For the bail I used peyote stitch to create a loop and hung the pendant from a ball chain.  Here are some close up photos.

I feel this method of working geometric beadwork is only inhibited by imagination.  It's a very freeing sort of process, one where one idea grows out of another.  Right now I've moved on to the Rick-Rack bracelets section of the book and I'm having a great time working on my first version of that idea!  Once again, horns (because I can't get enough of horns and wings) are making an appearance!  Stay tuned. 
Along with all this wonderful beady fun I'm having this summer, my daughter and I decided to add to our ever growing list of things to do and take a beginners Zentangle class from our friend Patti at The Queen's Ink.  Patti is a certified Zentangle teacher and her work is so beautiful.  So, I've been working on tangling as much as possible.  You'll see some of those results soon,  I'm sure! 
Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I hope you are having a wonderful summer.  It's going by so quickly and I'm trying to enjoy and savor it.  Hopefully you are too! 


  1. Amazing work Maryanne! The finished effect on this piece looks incredible!

  2. WOW, Maryanne! I always learn new things when I visit your blog. WOW again! I absolutely love what you created here. The whole technique sounds very intriguing to me! Thank you for sharing about your class and the inspiration for your project. I am loving the colors you picked, too. Simply amazing. I cannot wait to see what you create next with your Zentangle class. It must be fun to take it with your daughter!!! And thank you so much for your wonderful visit to my blog, too!

  3. Wonderful. I've been into beaded beads lately. I love the way the marble peaks out. The fins, the drops, and the colors all mesh together so well. I hope you make more! Zentangle looks so fun, never done it but I'd like to try when I have more time. Happy creating!

  4. Hi Maryanne :-) what a fabulous project and it's clear to see that you enjoyed it. The zentangle class sounds fab too. My nephew is pretty good at it. So nice to craft with your daughter too. I love to craft with my mum who is the most fabulous crafter. She is a tailoress and can put her hand to anything.
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend

    Annie x

  5. You do realize that all your talk about this beading that I CANNOT ACCOMPLISH is just Greek to me! However, I do recognize an awesome jewelry piece when I see one and this is it! This is fantastic - 3-D that is wearable! Such a beautiful job! Love how you are using "basics", for lack of a better term, and spring boarding into something fabulous! Have fun with your Zentangle too...something else I need to look into one of these days!

    Hoping you stay safe from the forthcoming storms tonight and tomorrow!

  6. Beautiful, very intriguing, I love the 3d look!

  7. Wow, I'm just stunned by your beautiful work - I can't make head or tail of how it's done, but it's very impressive. I love the colours - it's so summery and unusual.

  8. wow so creative , rich and beautiful x


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