I have this idea for a piece, but I don't think it can structurally be beadwoven. I think it will have to be embroidered in order to maintain its shape. I really want to make this piece, so, time to learn bead embroidery. I have bead embroidered on lace with reasonable success, but that was soft and flat. This will have to be done on a stiff backing and then have a layer of support inside as well as a lining. So I decided it was time to acquire a new skill set.
I chose a cabochon I really loved, so as to make sure I would give this my best effort and finish instead of giving up in frustration, which I wanted to do several times, even with the cabochon of azurite with malachite inclusions leading the way.
I had purchased some backing from Nicole Campenella at Beadwright on Etsy, and chose a beautiful turquoise piece. I ransacked my bead stash for likely suspects, guessed a layout, and glued on the cab. I had some unpolished malachite seed beads and used them as part of the bezel with pretty good results. OK, so far so good. But I didn't like the feel of the backing in my hands. It's wonderful backing, mind you, and is available in a multitude of colors. But I like the feeling of woven glass beadwork in my hands. Something to adjust to.
I felt OK about what I did as I went along, but realized there was a skill to the layout that I lack. I read the experts, Kummli, Seraphini and Eaton, and they all said "just play with the beads" so I played along. I discovered that it might be best to complete one phase and tie off my thread before starting something new, so if I change my mind, I can rip without worrying about what came before and after. I also realized that a color contrast in a bead used to secure another was a LOUD statement, and somewhat playful in effect. Good info as well.
When it came time to finish the edge I was dumbfounded. There HAS to be a better solution than brick stitch or picot with stitches visible on the back side! But no, that was the consistent recommendation. I could not do it, I did an invisible pick stitch on the back side. I will have to do some playing with that because I just don't think that visible stitch will ever feel good to me.
And then, time to add fringe. Had to be through the brick stitch edging. I like layers of fringe, but settled for one BIG layer. Another thing to figure out! I used an attachment directly from Jamie Cloud Eakin, which works well with the mega-fringe, and strung a neckband from the leftover beads.
I'm glad I kept going and didn't allow myself to give up. I like the result, but see TONS of room for improvement. I learned alot! Experience is so different from thinking you understand, from reading about it, how something is done. Best do it again and get a little more of that under my belt before the pearls arrive.