One advantage of being a Swarovski ambassador is that I get to put my hands on lots of their beautiful DIY products. I recently found myself oogling over a 13mm (ss55) sparkly Xirius chaton (#1088) in Lilac Shadow, which is, in my opinion, one of those chameleon colors that look great with almost any color palette. I started bezeling it with some Toho mauve size 11 permanent galvanized beads and thought, "Hey! I'm going to share this process on the blog!"
So, if you're curious about an easy way to bezel a big pointy-back crystal chaton, follow along!
1) First, I like to stitch a "belly band" of right-angle weave to wrap around the perimeter of whatever I'm bezeling. Make it just one unit short of the total length. For this 13mm paired with the PF size 11s, my initial strip of right-angle weave is 15 units long.
2) Next, fold the strip in half so it's not twisted. Stitch the first and last units together with a final unit (you'll just be adding 2 beads) to form a ring. Exit from a bead along the top edge of the ring. Double-check that the ring fits snugly around the chaton.
3) String 1 size 11 and pass through the next size 11 along the top of the ring; repeat this tubular peyote stitch around, then step up through the first bead added in this round.
4) Now string 1 size 15 and pass through the next size 11 of the previous round, pulling the thread tight with each stitch so the beadwork cups. Repeat around.
5) Repeat the thread path, pulling even tighter with each stitch so the beadwork cups even more. Pop the chaton into the beadwork to make sure it's the right fit. Hopefully it is! If not, you could do another round of 15s to make sure that those 15s hold the front of the chaton in place.
6) When you turn the beadwork over, you'll see that big old pointy back pointing up! We're going to start covering the back like this: First, weave through beads to exit from a size 11 on the other edge of that initial ring. Without adding a bead, just pass through the next size 11 along the edge of the ring to form a decrease.
7) Working with very tight tension, string 1 size 15 and pass through the next 2 size 11s along the edge of the ring; repeat around, then step up through the first size 15 added in this round. Next, work another round, stringing 2 size 15s and passing through the next size 15 added in the previous round; repeat around. At this point, your beadwork should be even with the point of the chaton, making it easier to wear. If not, you could do another round or 2 of tubular peyote stitch, working 1 size 15 at a time or interspersing the 15s with decreases.
8) And here it is, ready to be used in just about any jewelry design:
Have you worked with these beautiful chatons before? How do you like "Lilac Shadow"? And what do you think about forming bezels like this, first forming a right-angle weave belly band, and then tying it all together with tubular peyote stitch? Share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions right here on the Inside Beadwork blog!
Senior editor, Beadwork magazine