A couple of years after I got into beading, my favorite Bead Fairy, Cyn Wilson, introduced me to the use of focal pieces in my work and how to do peyote bezels of cabochons. What, wait, these beautiful…..rocks! That’s right, rocks. Most people hear me talking about my rock obsession or see me scrolling through my Facebook feed looking at slabs and cabs and think either A.) she’s got a screw loose; or B.) does she know something I don’t and are these valuable? Well, the answer is B! The right kinds of rocks can be extremely valuable, and I have learned so much from them!
My favorites to work with are blue lace agate, moonstone, lepidolite, and pietersite. Most people who collect or buy mineral cabochons do so for wire wrapped jewelry. That is something that I desperately want to be good at, but right now I am all thumbs, as you can see.
I have discovered that I have a knack for bezeling these lovely stones with peyote stitch into some fairly decent looking pendants. Then they are either placed for sale in my online store here, or I add a beaded rope, usually done in chenille stitch, and sell them as necklaces, also in my online store. These two are available now. I so enjoyed doing this Shasta Chrysocolla cabochon mined in 1 specific mine from California in a hand beaded bezel of chocolate and mint to accentuate the lovely vein of Chrysocolla running through it. The cabochon was provided by Danny Wade. The black Chinese Writing Stone by Ken Sexton is incredible with its markings and challenging shape. It comes with an 18 inch black and silver chenille stitch beaded rope.
My husband keeps threatening to take my bank card away from me because of my rock addiction. I have a display case full, plus enough to fill another. That doesn’t even count all the dichroic glass, polymer clay, and resin cabochons. I have even started making a lot of my own polymer clay cabs for bead embroidery. I love to work with the sun/moon faces as focal pieces, but most of the ones you find for sale online are hand carved out of bone, making them rather pricey. I can make a dozen of them in whatever colors my piece calls for in less than half the money.
This has been a rough week. My home away from home, The Enchanted Bead had to close their doors permanently as of this past Friday at 5:00 p.m., due to the owner’s illness. Cyn Wilson has been a blessing to me, a sister, a friend, but most important, she is a survivor, and will fight like hell with her newest health challenge. I love her and will miss the bead shop, but more important, will miss seeing her on a regular basis. I have learned so much from her, and hope to continue to do so. I am currently working on a project in her honor.
Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!