I love beaded cabochons! Okay, I also love stones encased in silver, but for me, the beading part is far easier! Is this a problem?
To be truthful, I only know a couple of ways to bead around a cabochon. That’s not to say that I couldn’t learn some other techniques, but perhaps I’m just a little lazy. I couldn’t be afraid of learning something new, could I?
My go to, for stone cabochons, is the peyote bezel. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to put all that work into a beaded cabochon, I want to make sure that it’s securely caged, as well as permanently attached to the surface. An even count peyote bezel will do that for you (even though I used both odd and even, when I was just learning)! Glue the cab to your surface, stitch a row of beaded backstitch (two beads at a time), then enough peyote rows, to capture the stone. Some use size 11 Delicas (also know as cylinder beads), but I’m perfectly happy to use size 11, Japanese seed beads (Miyuki or Toho). The final row, or rows, should be size 15 seed beads (Miyuki and Toho), to pull everything in tightly.
The following two images, are probably the first beaded cabochons, that I ever did. The howlite one has never been finished, and the turquoise, is still a favourite, but full of imperfections. I really do need to rip-it, rip-it, and re-do them both, but in which century? In the luscious turquoise one, I even used glue, in an attempt to hide some of the gaps. What not to do! Oops! I’ve learned a lot since then (see third photo).
If I’m working with an uneven object, then I may choose to use a stacked stitch bezel. This is something I picked up in Robin Atkins – Hearts to Hands Bead Embroidery book. I haven’t seen a written tutorial on this (outside of her book), but I did find a rather annoying You-Tube video, which you will thank me for not passing on to you (I didn’t even get past the first few minutes!). This beaded cabochon (or button, or shell, or rock) technique, allows you to add different size stacks, to securely capture the focal object. At the end, you simply link the top beads together. Different size beads can be used, but you will always top them off with a size 15. Multiple stacks of closely spaced beads, need to surround the object, before you link the top beads. Sorry, no photos to show!
I know that there are many more ways to secure a beaded cabochon to a surface, but I haven’t taken the time to explore them yet. Beading with Cabochons: Simple Techniques for Beautiful Jewelry is a wonderful book by Jamie Cloud Eakin. It’s supposed to be the bible of beaded cabochons. Do I own the book? Yes! Have I read the book? No! Well, I’ve actually flipped through the pages, and looked at the pretty pictures, but haven’t tried one single technique in the book. Shame on me! Oh the tales my books could tell on me!!!!
It’s probably too early to start thinking about this, but one of my goals for 2018, is to learn, a couple more techniques to surround my beaded cabochons. Would any of you be interested in sharing my journey?
I’ll leave you with a couple of shots I took, last Friday, at Edwards Gardens (Toronto Botanical Gardens). BeadFX was vending at the York Heritage Quilt Guild show (We also vended the Grand River Bead Society show!). The temperature was below zero (centigrade). We had our first skiff of snow, and the sky was beautifully blue! It’s warmed up again, but for how long?