Years back, when I first became fascinated with cabochons, I made up agate slices with peyote bezels. Having an open back was a plus with the slices, so you could see thru them, but it was a royal pain trying to get the bezel to fit just right. Then I discovered netted bezels. Kind of like catching your hair in a snood. Much easier than plain peyote to fit odd sized slices and stones and very pretty. Then I found my "bible", a book called "Beading with Cabochons" by Jamie Cloud Eakin. With the techniques in this book, the possibilities were endless. The one concession I had to make was that the stones were no longer "free", but were captured by being glued to a backing. I really had to work my way past this, because I have always had the odd notion that every stone or cabochon has it's own spirit. They still speak to me though and whisper how they would like to be embellished, even caught to the backing. When I picked up this bright green jade cab to decide how I wanted to work it, it seemed to say, "Let me stay free!" I thought, why not? I haven't designed a backless bezel for a long time. I started with peyote on the back, changed to netting around the cab and went back to peyote on the top. Then I really dug deep into the old memory for something for the chain. I had met a beadweaver by the name of Peggy Sue Henry at a craft show several years ago and bought one of her books. She had done this amazing turquoise and amber necklace using a netting technique I think she called "Stacking". She taught it in the book I purchased. I asked her if she cared if I tried to make a necklace like hers to sell and she responded that I was welcome to as long as I didn't mass produce. Believe me, there is no way that necklace could be mass produced! I did make a necklace similar and sold it, but I'll never make another. However, I enjoyed the stacked netting and decided to try it for this necklace. Unfortuneateley, I can't find my instructions anymore, so I had to do it from memory. It came out pretty good. I thought I was done there, but the cab still seemed to want a bit more so I started going thru my bead stash and came up with the irridescent leaf beads. The rest just kind of fell into place. I enjoyed making this piece so much, I may have to do another backless bezel soon.
2 years ago