Jul 31, 2014

Art Jewelry Elements Guest Artist Reveal Featuring Francesca Watson Handcrafted Glass

 Today I'm one of three guest artists who, along with the Art Jewelry Elements team, will be revealing work using glass cabs created by Francesca Watson for the July art component challenge

In addition to me, artists Deb Fortin of Studio 24 and Carol Briody of A Beads Life are also guests with the Art Jewelry Elements team today. The designs are certain to be inspiring and lovely with Francesca Watson's cabs! We all received one of the cabs pictured above. Aren't they amazing? 

For me, getting to participate in my first AJE challenge is as wonderful a gift as is Francesca's glass cab! This was certainly a fun and happy Holiday in July. Here is the amazing art glass focal I received:

Francesca offered the cabs drilled or undrilled, our choice, and I asked for an undrilled beauty, of course, since working with cabs is one of my favorite design elements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           Warning: Lots of bezel eye candy ahead, so if looking at cabs and bezels makes you do a happy dance as it does me, enjoy! If not, feel free to jump ahead.

 I love creating chain maille bezels, beadwork bezels, wire wrapping, wire weaving. 
I thought and thought of ways to use the gorgeous focal! What to do?

Wire wrapping? 

Wire wrapping & beadwork? 

A beadwork bezel?

My favorite, chainmaille bezels? 

Wire woven with reversible beadwork?

Wire weaving? 

I finally decided on a wire woven reversible beadwork bezel with beaded chainmaille. Creating this bezel design gave me many ways to reflect the rich colors within the cab, while keeping the handcrafted glass focal very secure. Since a chainmaille bezel would not be quite as secure as a  reversible wire woven & beaded one, I was happy to incorporate some of my beloved maille into the necklace chain instead.

And, reversed: 

The woven bezel is made of Vintaj & Artistic antique copper wire (I would have used copper & LOS, but was having health issues that made me stay away from chemicals. I did use plain copper & my tumbler for some maille rings), with Czech seed beads & crystal rondelles for the wire frame (Delica for the embroidery technique bezel), embellished with Swarovski bicone dangles. The bail is made with a copper daisy, a chainmaille mobius, and handcrafted lampwork BHB by Tiffany Smith of Southern Gals Designs

The reverse side is beadwoven, and finished with a copper splash.

I coordinated the celtic variation chainmaille and beaded RAW to compliment each side of the cab.

So, the beadmaille chain reverses too, with RAW teal silvered seedbeads on one side and matte navy on the other, nestled braided antique brass rings, copper rings, glass drops, and sari silk.

I'm so grateful for the exquisite handcrafted glass cab, and love Francesca's art! 
Gracias! Thank you so much Francesca Watson and Art Jewelry Elements

 Guest Designers

Toltec Jewels - www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Carol Briody - cbriody.blogspot.com

The AJE Team

Caroline Dewison - blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk

Susan Kennedy - www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Melissa Meman - melissameman.blogspot.com

Jenny Davies-Reazor - www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog

 Our star artist, Francesca Watson  - www.francescawatson.com

Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Francisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for both her literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, and learning more jewelry techniques.  She hosts regular design challenges and blog hops featuring community bead artists, and is currently sharing a free chainmaille tutorial series on her blog.


  1. what an amazing piece of art. making one bezel of beads and chainmaille is quite something but to make the whole darn thing reversal is just mind boggling. beautiful colours, exquisite wire wrapping. I could go on and on.
    I am in awe.

  2. This is really stunning - what a beautiful piece! I am blown away - and I love the addition of the copper splash on the back. This is one of the reasons I love these challenges: I use the cabs all the time and I never would have thought to do anything like what you came up with. Wonderful job! Thank you!

  3. Wow! You do have a mind blowing range of techniques in your repertoire to do justice to the cab

  4. Is there any technique that you CANNOT do??!! What a bevy of beauties! Love the necklace you made with Francesca's gorgeous cab. You have successfully combined your multitude of jewelry making talents to enhance the beautiful cab! But, what really blew my mind is the first picture of completed jewelry - the snowy white number which you expertly wire wrapped with icy crystals - wow! Your work is always so utterly beautiful!

  5. HOLY......!!!!!! Gorgeous, complex, amazing! Wow. Cannot form a full sentence.

    Thanks for participating in the design challenge and reading AJE!

  6. Wow, what an amazing job you did! Such a gorgeous piece and so well thought out!!

  7. Rita, I just love how you made this reversible to have both sides useable. I really like seeing all the things you thought about doing. Great job

  8. Awesome piece! These are techniques I want to learn and excel at. Excellent job!


  9. That is just amazing. I love how you left the back open - it is just a beautiful as the front.

  10. I found myself staring at the picture of the necklace detail - red beads and chain mail. Completely entranced. Mind blown. I love the bezel you made - but admit I am partial to the wire side! Gorgeous.

  11. Wow that is amazing. I love it!

  12. A stunning design Rita, I love everything, the chain is wonderful, but that copper splash, that just finishes the whole thing off perfectly!

  13. Such a gorgeous design..I'm lost for words! Amazingly beautiful!

  14. This is just beautiful. It reminds me of a Middle Eastern piece! Fantastic job!

  15. All those beautiful bezels that I love of your's! and your final piece is really stunning - the colors are gorgeous

  16. What an amazing work of art! You went all out and the results are fabulous!

  17. Wow! You have totally outdone yourself this time around. This is totally gorgeous!

  18. What a beautiful cab you received, and everything you've done with it just enhances its beauty! I was oohing and ahhhing through the post and then absolutely swooned when I saw the beautiful blue ribbon you finished the piece with. Perfect.

  19. I am utterly speechless. You a a master with bezeling. I am in awe!


Gracias for your comments and for visiting! I appreciate every word :)
Namaste --