Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creating with Cabochons

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting yet another creative challenge - Creating with Cabochons. Any medium.

I have admired the fantastic bead weaving techniques of so many talented designers.  Sally was most kind and provided several video tutorials on bezel setting a cabochon...with my arch enemy...seed beads.  I have not finished this technique yet, as it apparently requires one to have excellent vision, which even with bifocals, magnifying glasses, and 4 ott-lights pointed directly at my work...do not.  However, after several broken needles, lots of choice words, and breaks between each seed bead row, here is where I stand so far:

I WILL finish this and post a pic when hell freezes over that day comes.

I did manage to complete a few more cabochons, using some silver sheet.  This cab is a beautiful Peacock Mine Turquoise.

The next cabochon is a Labradorite - small, but beautiful colors in this stone.

A couple of months ago, I purchased some heavy, 8 gauge silver to make bracelet bangles.  I had a couple of inches left over - not enough for a bracelet - and played around, added a couple of tiny Lapis Lazuli cabochons, and make the funkiest ring...I have ever had on my hand!

This was probably the hardest project (not including the beaded bezel of course)! 8 gauge silver, wrapped around a ring mandrel, requires annealing after each bang of the hammer! 

(Note to self - apply hand lotion and get a manicure before you use the macro setting while taking a picture of your own hand..ugh).

My last project is my favorite.  I purchased a most lovely set of lampwork beads and coordinating lampwork cabochon from Sheila Davis (Stone Designs by Shiela on Etsy).  The bicone lampwork beads are quite large...and oh so pretty!

Of course I made a bracelet, and earrings, too.

Thank you so much for pushing me - yet again - Sally!  Your hops always challenge me!

Now - let's see what everyone else has made!!!  Thank you for stopping by!

Sally Russick - Our lovely hostess!
Alicia Marinache           
Lynn  Jobber           
Jenny Davies-Reazor           
Jo-Ann  Woolverton           
Marde Lowe           
Dawn Doucette           
Mary K McGraw           
Gloria Allen           

Cheri  Reed           
Sonya Stille           
Elizabeth Owens Dwy           
Veralynne   Malone           
Tania Hagen           
Lynsey  Brooks           
Christina Miles           
Holly  Westfall           
Kathy  Lindemer           
Patti Vanderbloemen   - That's me!        

Therese Frank           
Adrienne Berry           
Tanty  Sri Hartanti           
Renetha Stanziano           
Marlene  Cupo           
Sandi Volpe           
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson           

Mischelle Fanucchi           
Tracy  Stillman           
Skylar Bre'z           
Ann Schroeder           
Jess Green           
Susan Kennedy           
Stacie  Florer           
Cathie  Carroll           
Susan F.   

Michelle Caballero       
Sabine Dittrich           
Kristina Johansson           
Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts           
Melissa  Meman           
Cheryl McCloud         
Michelle  Timms           
Cindy  Pack             
Cynthia  Machata           
Julia  Harris           
Ingrid  Anderson           
Jasvanti  Patel  


  1. oh man! gorgeous-ness! your metal work is absolutely stunning Patti! wow!

  2. REally fantastic work!!! Love that funky ring too!!!

  3. I'm not thrilled with tiny beads, either. I can't see them well nor feel them well so, I rarely use any smaller than 6/0.

    All your pieces are beautiful but the set is fantastic. I share your love of handmade chain! :)

  4. Wow, Patti - just amazing. First, you had me howling with your description of working with seed beads and then you bowled me over with your metal work. That ring is just amazing - I bet you could sell those by the bucket loads if you wanted. And I agree about your favorite piece - that is a real designer knock-out. What a treat to see your creations and hear about your process!

  5. What lovely pieces you made, all beautiful but I really love that Labradorite and the bracelet is stunning!

  6. All of your pieces are lovely, your metal work is gorgeous. I especially love the Peacock Mine Turquoise stone and how you set it.

  7. Look at all you made!!! Your scalloped bezels are fantastic~perfect little touch to really draw the eye to the cab. That set is gorgeous! And the ring!!! Oh that ring~Big Love there! I have been eagerly waiting for your beadweaving. You did it! Whether you finish or not is irrelevant. You did it. You tried and maybe (probably) it is not for you. But look at how great that piece looks!

  8. I'm glad you taught those darned seed beads a lesson with your subsequent creations. Take that! Love the turquoise and labradorite pieces.

  9. Wow! You made the most of your time. Fantastic pieces!! I especially like the labradorite (one of my favorite stones). Just beautiful.

  10. Such stunning creations!! I used labradorite in my piece, I just love it's hidden depths

  11. Great work Patti, I love your metal work and your photos are always so amazing! I'll look forward to your seed-beading photos too!

  12. Beautiful pieces. Your metal work is fantastic. I love the necklace!

  13. Kudos for sticking with the bead work, Patti! I would even attempt it. And so happy you shared so many of your bezel set pieces with us. My favorite is the last one, too. Love your metal skills!


    1. Really, really "would not even attempt it"!

  14. I like the peacock mine piece... It's lovelly... actually I think hell must freeze over quite often. Most of my pieces do get fijnished eventualy although the chain on my fishpiece was mostly reclaimed chain from a previous challenge.. I'm currently looking for challenge thearapy!

  15. The ring is my fav. The rest of your work is beautiful. Keep up the work with the seed beads, you will get it done!

  16. I love all your pieces...very pretty...you put a lot of heart and soul into your designs...it will be fun to see what you end up creating with your beaded cab.

  17. I love all your pieces. Your beadweaving experience reinforced my idea that it's not for me, but your other pieces made that voice in my head louder - "must learn to work with metal, must learn to work with metal!" I think the turquoise is my favorite, but it's awfully hard to choose!

  18. Aah - lovely all around! I had to laugh at your choice of words for the beadweaving... I understand you very well :) As for your gorgeous metal work: as usual it is absolutely perfect! I love your designs and your choice of colours - that ring is so playful!

  19. Thanks for making me smile...I think choice words and broken needles go hand in hand with bead embroidery (not to mention stabbing yourself). Your metalwork is delightful though, I only wish I had half your talent. Love the ring especially, and the peacock mine turquoise design.

  20. Great Work. I love your metal work. That is something I can't do. As with glass, fire and heat scare me. So I will leave to those who know how and just buy from them! Great start on the beading. I love your muted colors. Make sure to post when you are finished.

  21. I love all your pieces. The turquoise one is my favorite. I had trouble with needles breaking too, even the expensive English ones. I have had the best luck with big hole needles. They're cheap, easy to thread, and don't break. You're almost done!

  22. Mad props to you for trying the embroidery! The labradorite has me swooning! Will I get to see the ring in person at ArtBliss?!?!?!?!

  23. Patti, I have to hand it to you for taking on the challenge and working with seed beads! Your embroidery piece is coming along nicely - I am impressed! And I'm equally impressed with all of the cab pieces you've shared here - from rings to pendants. WOW!! I espeically like your new ring - so cool and looks like fun to wear! :-)

  24. You were braver than I was to even attempt the seed beads! I have vision problems and like you, there aren't enough devices to make it possible for me to see and work with those little beads!

    I greatly admire your metal work shown here! I would very much like to be able to do this some day. I've seen such poorly done cab work that I know it must not be easy. Great job, Patti!

  25. Oh Patti, you are so funny I had to chuckle at your discription of beading around your cab. Now for your silversmithing Girl you are awesome all of these pieces are gorgeous!!!! I think your funky ring is beautiful. Silversmithing is something I want to learn and I will be learning in the near future.

  26. Heee, even though it's unfinished, I love your seed bead bezel! And I'll be waiting for hell to freeze...errr...see your finished product! And as always, your silversmithing is just gorgeous. I lovelovelove that beautiful labradorite!

  27. Wow Patti your metalwork bezels are awesome and your ring is really cool. The design of the ring is so simple and yet very unique. I missed the sign up but I did an embroidered necklace and I will post it Saturday.

  28. Patti, you are doing a FANTASTIC job beadweaving!! Woot!!! And I'm drooling over the scalloped bezels they are wonderful, is the Labradorite one for sale? Please let me know, it has caught my eye and won't let me look away.
    Thank you soooo much for participating in the challenge, see you at ArtBLISS!!! Let me know about the pendant!

  29. Beautiful designs!! I LOVE the ring....

  30. Oh gosh, you crack me up woman! I would so love for you to enjoy beadweaving, and love it as much as I do, but you do such beautiful work with metal, I think it will be ok if you don't love beadweaving! :) Just let me know, and I'll play with seed beads for you!

  31. Oh gosh, you crack me up woman! I would so love for you to enjoy beadweaving, and love it as much as I do, but you do such beautiful work with metal, I think it will be ok if you don't love beadweaving! :) Just let me know, and I'll play with seed beads for you!

  32. Wow, you created a bunch of great pieces. I don't think I could choose a favorite. The ring is very interesting. You are very creative.

  33. The last one is my favorite too- all are beautiful!

  34. Love your beaded bezel! You make me laugh :)

    Your sheet metal work is all just stunning!! I aspire to your level of expertise & beauty in jewelry art. Wow! And I love your 8 gauge lapis ring -- completely cool. And Sheila Davis' work has become a treasure jewelry ensemble with your magic touch! Beautiful!

  35. Outstanding job on all of those stunning metal work pieces. Your beaded cab looks finished to me. I think it would look nice mounted on a ring.

  36. Sorry I am so late to this blog hop. We have a mutual enemy in seed beads, but your beautiful creations certainly don't suffer from it. FABULOUS!

  37. Cabochons usually weigh about the same as faceted stones. Often, though, a high quality cab and a low quality faceted stones can come out the same in terms of price.