This challenge was so difficult, even though my final product is nothing complex. In life, I’m usually quite decisive, although with beading less so. But I have never dithered as much as I did with this challenge! I kept looking for the perfect cabochon and the perfect finding or technique to use with it, but I could not make a final decision. Then something wonderful happened. I won the prize from a Studio Saturday post on the Art Bead Scene blog. I received a lovely pendant, button and, most importantly, cabochon from Tari Sasser of Creative Impressions in Clay. I decided this was serendipity!
I love the colors and whimsical nature of Sasser’s creations. I ordered some connectors for a bracelet I planned to make, but when they came, they were a bit too big for the cabochon. I wasn’t sure what went wrong. I decided my problem was not paying attention to the inner diameter of the bezel. I ordered another one, but when it came it was even bigger.
So, I gave up trying to figure out the whole diameter thing and decided to figure out a way to make one of the bezels work. I seriously considered crystal clay after seeing this adorable owl creation by Erin Prais-Hintz. But in the end, I decided to leave that experiment for another time.
I encouraged forced myself to think outside the box and brainstorm what I could use to fill the extra space in the bezel. Mod Podge some coordinating paper on the bottom of the bezel and offset the cabochon? See if I had a flat blank it would fit on or texturize a bigger blank? I had originally planned to use braided leather for the project and had four colors competing for the job. I realized a length of the leftover color would fit between the cabochon and edge of the bezel perfectly!
I made two necklaces with leather and/or suede, but neither seemed to work. One concern that I have in working with cabochons is that once you commit with some techniques, there is no going back. When my original designs didn’t work, I was sorry I couldn’t change the color of the leather surrounding the cabochon, but it is glued in there, as is the cabochon itself. I can’t just unknot it like I did the leather.
The beautiful thing about challenges is that they do not let me off the hook. I had to make something succeed. In the end, I looked through some jewelry books. While that didn’t give me a specific idea, it allowed me to let go of the leather box I had put myself in and start considering other designs. I kept the beads by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles I had originally planned to use. The colors and fanciful design go well with Tari Sasser’s cabochon. But I replaced the leather with chain and added some resin beads the same green as the leather in the bezel to bring it together. I really like how the necklace came out.
I had so many ideas during the process of this challenge, and I have seen so many beautiful cabochons. I’m going to continue learning about how to use them, and that’s the point of the exercise.
Once again, thanks to Sally Russick for hosting a wonderful challenge. Go see what the rest of the participants have done by clicking on the links below.