Creating with Cabochons

This month I’m participating in Sally Russick’s ‘Creating with Cabochons’ challenge, which turned out to be the ‘gentle push’ I needed to try some new ways of working with and embellishing cabochons.

My first piece features an irregular shaped dichroic cabochon by Australian artist Lyn Owen (silvermoonlyn), which I have finished with a peyote bezel and a standard edge. Surprisingly it wasn’t that much more difficult than bezeling around an oval shaped cabochon.

Dichroic cabochon, black agate rounds, and seed beads in black, indigo iris, metallic midnight purple.

Close up: Dichroic cabochon by Lyn Owen (silvermoonlyn)

My next cabochon uses a Brecciated Jasper oval cabochon and has a decorative pointed edge on the sides, a V-shaped fringe, and a top loop attachment which balances the weight of the fringe. This was a fun piece to make, and my first fringe attempt.

Brecciated Jasper oval cabochon, red jasper beads, Swarovski red coral bicones, and seed beads in galvanised wine, garnet lined ruby and opaque luster limestone.

Close up: Brecciated Jasper cabochon.

My third piece uses a ceramic Dragonfly cabochon by Natalie Fletcher (Peruzi) which has a unique glaze called ‘Blue Fantasy’ – it has lovely variations of colour from soft blue / greens through to golden rust. I have made this into a brooch using a peyote bezel and petal edge.

Ceramic dragonfly cabochon, blue AB and matte metallic patina iris seed beads and cubes.

Keeping with the dragonfly theme, my next cabochon necklace includes another Lyn Owen (silvermoonlyn) creation in shades of gold and pink. I have used a peyote bezel and a turned bead edge which creates a much more tailored finish. I kept my tension purposely tight to get the edge to roll-up around the cabochon and hide any backing that was showing.

Dichroic cabochon, black rounds, lilac rondells, and seed beads in silver lined dark amethyst, rose gold luster and violet gold luster.

Close up: Dichroic cabochon by Lyn Owen (silvermoonlyn)

My final necklace features a lovely stone cabochon of unknown origins (some sort of jasper I think?) with patches of warm caramel brown and traces of purple. I have used a picot bezel and pointed edge in shades of warm gold and bronze.

Stone cabochon, bronze freshwater pearls, and seed beads in topaz gold luster, metallic light bronze, gold luster rose, matte metallic light bronze.

Close up: Stone cabochon

Phew, five cabochons later and I’m finished. I think the first and last are my favourites – purely because these are more my personal colour choice. Although I do love the precision of the turned bead edge on the pink dichroic cabochon. What’s your favourite?

Thanks to Sally for organising another great challenge. Head on over to her blog for the complete list of everyone participating and to see what they created.



  1. Tracy-Each necklace is more spectacular than the last. The cabs are all gorgeous and your bead selection and beading just added to the beauty. Great job!

  2. All of your pieces are beautiful. I really like the bronze/stone with the pearls.

  3. Beautiful, every single piece you designed is gorgeous! I love how you bezelled that last brown necklace with the peek-a-boo style bezel. It’s really pretty!

  4. Wow, you went to town. What wonderful pieces. And so many of them. Each one is gorgeous. I think my favorite is the first one, the purple one. I absolutely love the way you matched the colors in the cab, you kind of drew them out and then surrounded them with the formality of black. Those black agate rounds were the perfect finish.

  5. Sally Russick · · Reply

    Tracy, WOW!!!! GORGEOUS!! The color palettes and the little extra accents are STUNNING!! I’m just lazily scrolling through each photo taking every beautiful detail in. Thank you so much for participating in the challenge and showcasing your beautiful works of art!

    1. Thanks Sally and for organising this blog hop…it was a blast! So many talented artists and so many beautiful has been a real feast for the eyes!

  6. Everyone of your pieces is beautiful, my favorite though is the pink dragonfly one.

  7. cathiecarroll · · Reply

    Gorgeous work. I love the matte dragonfly but your final piece is my favorite. I don’t think you could have found a more perfect chain to show off that bead work. Great hop!

  8. Fabulous beadwork. When I saw the first piece I was thrilled. And the last necklace made me look again too. It is not a color I would normally pick as a favorite but I was drawn to it. You made marvelous use of color.

  9. You are an amazing seed bead artist. I wanted to do an edge on my piece like your last gold one, but something went array. Maybe next time. Oh and I love the BJP goddesses. I’m off to read more about them now.

    1. Thanks Ginger. I can recommend the Bead Journal Project – and am sure they’ll be another one in 2014 that you can sign up to.

  10. All of your creations are beautiful, but when I scrolled down to the last one it was like I could hear trumpets it is gorgeous. I think the stone is palm wood it has that look.

  11. Wow. They are all so gorgeous! What I am struck by are the edges… the loops, the three bead picots, the larger agate rounds. Stunning additions and accents. I want to try a picot edge now!

    1. You can do it Jenny – the picots aren’t too tricky, you just have to count the number of beads on the edge and ensure it is easily divided into your picot count.

  12. oh my! I could just sit here and stare all day at these works of art! really amazing job on your cabs!!

  13. I don’t know that I could decide…they are all so beautiful! But dichroic is one of my faves..all those colors…wonderful all around!

  14. It’s hard to say which piece is my favorite–the first necklace that must have been an immense amount of work (love the detail and colors) or the simpler blue & green dragonfly piece which I love for obvious reasons. 😉

  15. Alicia@AllPrettyThings · · Reply

    Beautiful – you were quite busy! I love your bead embroidery and the colour matching is simply perfect!

  16. They are all lovely! Hard to pick a favorite. Maybe the the last one because I love the color and particularly like the stitch around the outside edge.

  17. Yes, and inspiring collection of gorgeously beaded jewelry. Love your sense of color and the dragonfly is calling to me!

  18. jlwoolverton · · Reply

    The dichroic piece is my fav! They are all wonderful!

  19. Wow, they are all incredibly gorgeous! I have a lot of learning to do, your work is an inspiration!

    1. Thanks Sue….patience and perseverance are key when beading cabochons I think.

  20. You chose such lovely colors for these pieces. You beaders are blowing my mind with what you can do!

  21. Each is a lovely and unique piece. I can’t imagine the work that went into making them.

  22. Wow – these are fabulous! I have to say, I stared at your first necklace an inordinate amount of time! The dichroic glass with the black seed bead border is really beautiful-the teal beads in your chain draw your eye to the cab…I really love this piece! Beautiful, beautiful work!

    1. Thanks Patti. I love the dichroic glass cab in this piece too…it’s mesmerising.

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