The Encarta English Dictionary defines a bead as “a small ball, pierced for stringing on a cord or sewing onto fabric”. This is a pretty accurate description of the average bead, but adventurous crafters know that there are so many other forms of beads to choose from that they could never be named in one place.
Aside from the many types of “pierced” or drilled objects, there are also many different materials that can be used as embellishments in beadwork that have no holes at all. Most beaders are familiar with cabochons, which can be flat or domed, and of course there are rhinestones as well. Some of the most wonderful un-beads are the things that don’t normally appear in beadwork, but which are so pretty or interesting that we can’t help but use them.
One of the most useful methods for incorporating a found object into a beading design is to surround it with a jacket of seed beads called a bezel. There are a few different ways to approach this task, but if an object is fairly uniform in shape, a circular peyote bezel is an easy technique to use. Once you have mastered it, you can turn many unique objects into beautiful un-beads.
How To Bezel a Rivoli with Peyote Stitch:
A great way to practice making peyote bezels is with Swarovski rivolis. The 14mm size is easy to work with, and comes in a variety of inspiring colors. To bezel a 14mm rivoli with circular peyote, you will need seed beads in size 15/0 and 11/0.
Start by stringing 32 size 15/0 seed beads onto a comfortable length of beading thread. When working with circular peyote, it’s a good idea to start with a number of beads divisible by 4. This will ensure that each row is even if you need to alternate bead sizes later on.
Slide the beads down until there is about a 6 inch tail, and stitch up through 16 of the beads again. Pull the thread snug so that the beads form a ring. If you’re working with a soft thread like Nymo, you may want to tie a square not to secure the ring. If you’re working with a braided thread like Fireline, you can simply bend the tail thread a little to form a kink where it meets the ring. This will keep it secure, but leave a little slack to prevent the first two rows from rippling. To stop the thread from slipping, hold the tail against your hand with your pinkie finger as you stitch.
peyote stitch all the way around the ring.
When you reach the first stitch again, you will need to step up to start the next row. Add the final bead, and stitch through the next bead, and the first raised bead following it. Pull the thread snug and check your work for loose beads.
For the next row, switch back to 15/0 seed beads. Be sure to pull the thread snug after each stitch so that there are no openings in the beadwork. Once this row is complete, place the rivoli in the centre of the beadwork and hold it in place with your thumb and forefinger as you stitch.
If you still have plenty of working thread left, you can add embellishments around the 11/0 section, stitch on a bail, or connect this rivoli to other beadwork. Have fun!
Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading