Bead Metamorphosis and Beading to Disguise, with Lisa Kan

Bead Metamorphosis
A hidden gem. A hidden treasure. We love to disguise, hide, and trick the viewer. No, it’s not time for Halloween, yet. I’m in love with hidden or cleverly disguised findings and connections. Lisa Kan’s book, Bead Metamorphosis, is not only filled with beautiful beaded jewelry designs, many are also designed to be convertible. And Lisa offers detailed instructions and bead-weaving patterns to help disguise clasps!

My favorite design from Bead Metamorphosis is Encanto Necklace.

Bead Metamorphosis, Encanto Neckalcey by Lisa Kan, hidden clasp inside beadwork
Encanto Necklace by Lisa Kan

Convertibility aside, I love the band used as the necklace strap and I love the color combinations – that pop of Picasso turquoise throughout is just so pleasing.

Bead Metamorphosis, Encanto Neckalcey by Lisa Kan, hidden clasp inside beadwork
Close up of beaded strap from Encanto Necklace by Lisa Kan

We’re talking convertible and hidden though, so take a look at all the components in this design and the way the barrel clasps are hidden inside the beadwork.
Bead Metamorphosis, Encanto Neckalcey by Lisa Kan, hidden clasp inside beadworkA quote from Bead Metamorphosis:
“The epitome of this book’s theme is the Encanto necklace. The metamorphosis takes place when you reconfigure the necklace by unscrewing and reattaching the hidden barrel clasps. The medallions are reversible, and the centerpiece focals are bezeled rivolis with a floral motif. The details are further enhanced in the unique necklace rope created with Rullas, two-hole cylinder beads. I like designing jewelry that is both functional and beautiful with the versatility of reversibility.

The necklace is both interchangeable and reversible. It can be worn with one secondary focal connected, two secondary focals connected consecutively, or just with the center larger focal. The other option is to connect all three focals. The flexibility of this design is that you can create other components that can be switched out as desired.”

Materials (for just this technique, not the entire necklace)

  • antiqued brass 12x5mm barrel clasps
  • bronze 11 Japanese seed beads (B)
  • bronze 15 Japanese seed beads (G)
  • light amethyst AB 15 Japanese seed beads (K)
  • blue turquoise Picasso 3mm fire-polished glass rounds
  • Smoke 6 lb braided beading thread
  • Size 12 beading needles
  • Scissors

Beaded Barrel-Clasp Connectors

1. With an 18″ (45.5 cm) length of thread, string 1B, one fire-polished round, and 1B. Pass through the male portion of the barrel clasp, leaving a 6″ (15 cm) tail. String 1G, then pass back through the barrel clasp, the B, the fire-polished round, and the B (Fig. 39).
Bead metamorphosis, Lisa Kan, hidden clasp inside beadwork

2. String 8G, then pass back through the B, the fire-polished round, the B, and the barrel clasp. String another G, then pass back through the barrel clasp, the B, the fire-polished round, the B, and the first G added in this step (Fig. 40).

3. Square-stitch the loop to create a more secure connection. String 1G, then pass back through the opposite end of the G on the loop and through the next subsequent G on the loop. Repeat seven times, with the last repeat passing through the B and the fire polished round. Pass under the thread of a previous thread pass and tie a half-hitch knot (Fig. 41).

4. Pass back through the fire-polished round, the B, and through all the Gs added in Step 45 to align stitches. Pass back through the B, the fire-polished round, and the B. Again, pass under the thread from a previous thread pass and tie a half-hitch knot. Pass back through the B and repeat tying a half-hitch knot between the fire-polished round. Secure both working and tail threads through the loop and trim (Fig. 42).

5. With a 24″ (61 cm) length of thread, string 2K and 2G. Repeat stringing in this sequence three times to have four repeats. Join into a ring with a square knot, leaving a 12″ (30.5cm) tail. Pass through 1K away from the knot (Fig. 43).
Bead metamorphosis, Lisa Kan, hidden clasp inside beadwork6. ROUNDS 1–3: To create a peyote tube that will slide onto the barrel clasp, flip the ring vertically for beading visibility. String 1G, skip 1K onto the ring, and pass through the 1G. String 1K, skip 1G on the ring, and pass through the 1K. Repeat around, alternating between a G and a K three times. Step up through the first G added in this round (Fig. 44). Note: By always stringing the opposite bead from which your thread is exiting, you create the spiral effect.

7. ROUNDS 4–6: Slide the tube onto the male end of the barrel clasp from Step 46. Repeat the peyote spiral by alternating the G and K for three rounds. Secure the working thread and trim (Fig. 45).

8. With the tail thread, pass through to the G on Round 1. String 5G, then pass back through the next G on Round 1. Repeat three times. Step up to the third G (or center bead) of the first 5-bead picot (Fig. 46).
Bead metamorphosis, Lisa Kan, hidden clasp inside beadwork

9. String one 2mm pearl. Pass back through the third G of the subsequent 5-bead picot. Repeat three times to add a total of four 2mm pearls. Tighten the beadwork by passing through all beads twice. Secure the thread and trim (Fig. 47).
Bead metamorphosis, Lisa Kan, hidden clasp inside beadwork10. Repeat Steps 1-9 for the female portion of the barrel clasp. Create three more beaded barrel clasps for a total of four clasps. Leave the male and female portions unattached for assembly.


I love how this necklace comes together and the cleverness engineered into its designs.

Have a clever way to conceal or camouflage a clasp or other finding? Please share your techniques and ideas with us at BeadingDaily.com.

Yours in creativity,

blue_tammy


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Bead-Weaving, Beading Daily Blog, Designing beadwork
Tammy Honaman

About Tammy Honaman

Tammy has enjoyed being immersed in jewelry-making education and jewelry design for over 20 years. Tammy is a renowned writer, educator, and expert in media communication and content creation across print, digital, and video – spanning from her days with Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine, to numerous classes and leadership at BeadFest, Bead & Button, and many more.

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