In my previous post, I mentioned meeting Laura McCabe at the Bead and Button Show. She was wearing a version of this bracelet and my friend Loretta fell in love with it. At that time, I had not done much beadweaving. I don't know what possessed me to think I could make this for her. Long story short, Loretta bought the kit online after the show and shipped it to me to make for her. I bought some extra crystal and rivolis to make one for myself. I stepped myself through the instructions and was a believer from then on. Laura's instructions are very easy to follow and Carol Wilcox's books filled when I needed it. Other than a couple of tension issues in the beginning, I was able to complete both bracelets. However, this is not my original piece. Just a couple days of wearing mine and the foil on the back of the rivolis began to rub off. I was devastated. It sat in a box for months. I also never liked the way the bracelet fit. The beaded toggle always slid forward and all those lovely crystals slid to the back of my wrist where they couldn't be seen.
In the meantime, I took a class through the Greatlakes Beadworker's Guild with Melanie Potter and made this bracelet using a right angle weave rather than peyote. As you can see, the back of the rivoli is almost completely encased in seed beads providing extra protections. I also learned to create a snap closure that is hidden behind the rivoli creating a completely seamless result. This bracelet had it's issues as well. We were given a plastic snap in the kit and it never stays closed. I also added size fifteen beads around the front to tighten the bezel, it was too loose without them. I also didn't like how the riviolis separate on my wrist exposing the connecting strips.
I still didn't quite have what I needed to rework the bracelet until I purchased a pendant kit from one of our guild members, Wendy Zollars. In her directions, she complete encases the back of the rivoli and her pendant was reversible. I now had the two things I need to rework the design. I had to experiment with the linking between the rivolis to get the right spacing.
These two shots show the male and female connectors of the snap. You can also see the back of the bracelet. It turned out so nice, I almost wish it was reversible.
I made the connectors a bit longer that Laura's but also added the whipped stitch edging not included in Melanie's design.
These last two shots show the complete bracelet. The snap is behind the center rivoli in the first picture. I love the colorways. It's like having two different bracelets depending on where I spin it on my wrists. I'm very pleased with the result.
Merging the two artists' techniques resulted in a piece that is both beautiful and functional. In the next post, I'll show some of the pieces that started my spiral rope craze.