Sunday, August 22, 2010

Backwards in High Heels


Ginger Rogers once said, in reference to Fred Astaire, "I do everything he does, but I do it backwards in high heels."  That's not particularly pertinent to this story, except that what you are looking at is my latest necklace, but Ginger Rogers style; backwards.  Fortunately, I didn't have to wear heels to do the beadweaving.

What I DID have to do was create bezels for some funky new shapes of Swarovski jewels that I got from my friend Doris Coghill at her wonderful website "Beads by Dee."   The two shapes featured here are the #4227 Marque and the #4123 Vintage Faceted Ovals in both sizes offered.  Those ovals are way down the page, but worth the hunt. While you are visiting her site, check out the other great offerings as well.


I had a great time making these bezels.  For this, I must thank Diane Fitzgerald.  When I was a shiny new baby beader with about 4 months of weaving under my belt, I took a Pointed Oval Links class from her, and learned the magic that can be made by combining peyote stitch with herringbone weave to create corners.  She explains this magic in detail in her book "Shaped Beadwork."  It is information I apply every time I need to make a bezel that is other than round.  I think the backs of Swarovski jewels should always be encased, because those pretty anodized finishes are just not forever, and do succumb to perspiration and wear if left exposed.  So, I also had a little fun along the way on the rounds with some occasional netting, and color changes.    I don't have the patience to write instructions, but I love pictures, so here's a glance at one way to create unusual bezels for shapes that include angles and unusual curves.
If you want to see the necklace in the Fred Astaire (forward facing) mode, please visit my Etsy shop and take a look at "Bollywood Beauty," my entry for the Etsy Beadweavers September Challenge.  I hope you'll visit our team blog at http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com/ and vote for your favorite Bollywood-inspired work between September 9th and 15th.  In the mean time, check out Glenda's (Dax Designs) article on what exactly it means to be a Bollywood beadweaver, also on our EBW blogsite.

11 comments:

  1. It's even beautiful backwards!
    Cenya

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  2. This is just an over the top creation whichever way you look at it!

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  3. Wow Marsha, It is gorgeous front AND back! Outstanding piece!

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  4. I've been staring and staring and staring and I think I've figured it out at last. Start with 4 beads in circular peyote. Then two between then around and around as usual but switch to ndebele at the nodes (seams) which create the points (or tightened curves for the smaller beads). I don't know if that's how you did it, but it's what I'm going to try for my 12 mm by 16 mm Swarovskis. I will be using tiny 15/0 seed beads for such tiny stones, I think. At least at first since that's what I am using for my RAW+netting+peyote bezels.

    Thanks so much for introducing me to this alternative method and to Diane Fitzgerald's book - which I plan on purchasing as soon as possible!

    Patricia

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  5. Hey Patricia, I start at the outside of the bezel, ala Laura McCabe in her book "Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski." Then I do the front, with whatever shaping seems necessary, and then pop in the jewel and do the back, shaping as I go. The herringbone weave looks like simply decreasing at the corners. Laura has a project with square rivoli's in her book, but to me the bezels look rounded off and I like them to look more geometric, so I use Diane Fitzgerald's shaping techniques. I just sold a bezeled rectangle through my etsy shop, and you could take a look at that to see how I create a really square corner. Both those books should be free at your library, and more than worth the trip! Good Luck with yout project.

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  6. Ginger Rogers also said, "The most important thing in anyone's life is to be giving something." Thanks for sharing your amazing talent with us!

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  7. That Ginger, what a clever girl! Who would have thought a dancer would be so quotable? Thanks for your lovely comment.

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  9. Hey! I'm a dancer (and I think we have a lot of good quotes in us!)

    ;D

    BTW, Marsha, I am planning a library trip as soon as I can get some time. Great thinking! I also start at the bezel edge but then I work the back before the front. Clearly it's one of those personal preference things.

    Patricia http://vener-art.com/beadblog/

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  10. Patricia, your bezel sounds unusual, innovative and exciting. I can't wait to see!

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