Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Success At Last

Some days are just NOT good beady days. A few days ago, I got home and went to work on a Cellini spiral, only to realize that I made a bad mistake early in the pattern that's become worse and worse with each row. So, I just unpicked it back to the beginning and put all the beads away.

Rather than start another, I thought I'd work on the bezel for a set of incredible dichroic beads:

I have been having a lot of trouble with this. The beads are thick, about 4 mm, the sides slope slightly, there's a bulge for the hole, and no matter what I do, I can't seem to size the bezel properly. I've tried to do make the bezel about five time now, and no, I don't want to back this with Lacey's, or ultrasuede - it needs the light. Blocking off the back makes the colors very muted. Not ugly, mind you - just not as brilliant as I wanted them.

This is what the individual bead looks like:

Why do I want to bezel a bead that is thick and so awkwardly shaped? Because it would be magnificent in a bezel of glossy black delicas. I am planning on suspending all nineteen from a herringbone rope, with peyote columns capped with Swarovski bicones. It will be fantastic, if I can only get the damn thing bezeled.
I spent two hours doing 3.5 rows of peyote with size 15 delicas, testing each row against the bead - but once the bezel had some mass to it, it was just too tight. So, in a fit of utter frustration, I exercized the nuclear option, and cut the darn thing apart. But I wasn't to be defeated by a damn bead!

Well, it took three more evenings of work for this try, but I finally managed to bezel that darn dichroic bead. I only needed 7 or 8 attempts, three different beading books, a download or two from Beading Daily, and finally, my own ingenuity and patience.

I present to you, the bezeled dichroic bead, in all its glory (unbezeled, then bezeled, show the front and back):

I made a peyote bezel using size 15 delicas, 5 next to 5 rows, then I created the picot on the back, which was where I ran into trouble (again). I finally figured out that I needed to work the top line of the picot connecting the points while the bead was in the bezel, so I could figure out the corners. On the front of the bead, I did two more rows of peyote, this time with size 15 miyuki rocailles, then ran an extra row of peyote just at the corner.

For the next eighteen, I will probably not need the two bridges of delicas across the back, but I'll probably take a week or so before starting the next one. I've had a splitting headache since Friday, and there's nothing worse that beading with black beads.

No comments: