Bezels bezels bezels

I am embarrassed to admit it, but Christmas Present A is still waiting to be mounted and sent. It’s finally recovered from its months of high tension on the loom. But I did so much loomwork right before Christmas that I’ve burned out on it a bit. It won’t last. There are stories that need pictures.

In the meantime, I have been playing with my favorite treasure hoard — vintage Swarovski heliotrope (undrilled) stones. So I took a few pictures this morning. The camera can’t do them justice. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them when I have enough of them done. I don’t even know what “enough” is at this point. They’re just awfully pretty and relatively quick gratification compared to weaving a 9×12″ beaded tapestry.


The trove, as of this morning. The three squares in the upper left corner are a 23mm 4675, an 18mm 4650, and (sort of down and between them) an 18mm 4470 which has rounded corners.  Here’s a closeup:

Clockwise from upper left: 23mm 4675, 18mm 4650, cushion cut 18mm 4470 with rounded corners.

In the upper right, two triangles: an 18mm 4727 and an 18mm 4723, with rounded tips.

On the left, 18mm 4727 triangle with sharp corners. Right: 18mm 4723 “cushion cut” triangle which has rounder corners.

The lower half of the picture includes a 12mm 4866 stone (called a “rocket” because it looks a bit like the Apollo command capsule — if that’s before your time, please Google, the cold rain here in Austin has me feeling quite old and arthritic enough already); two vintage 14mm rivolis (1122); a 20x15mm 4140 oval; and 4 vintage 10mm 5100 beads.

Corners are notoriously tricky for peyote bezels, because peyote stitch gives a very close fitting frame for the stone, and corners require precise, fiddly decreases. I used Bead&Button’s Stones with Corners (Beading Basics) for these pieces. It’s brilliant. When you’re weaving a bezel for a circular or oval stone, you start with a row or three of peyote with cylinder beads, and then switch to 15/0s to capture the stone snugly. That’s how I’d always started out for stones with corners, as well.  Lesley Weiss’ genius idea was to include 15/0s in the initial rows, at the corners — you can decrease in smaller “steps,” which gives a much more elegant finish.

I also found Artbeads’ Handy Tip How to Make an Open Back Peyote Bezel helpful for round stones; as well as Laura McCabe’s book Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski, which covers several different stone shapes (available for the Kindle, as well as in paperback format).