Monday, November 8, 2010

Jewelry in peyote stitch beadwork

Peyote stitched beadwork may be used to produce elegant jewelry. Above is an example of very simple 2 bead wide peyote stitched strips suspending an artist made piece of fused dichroic glass. The beads complement the colors of the glass without overpowering it, allowing the pendant to be the focus of attention. (Necklace by Joanne Bast)

The second example, also by Joanne Bast, suspends an artist made pendant, here an enamel on silver piece with strips of peyote stitching. The difference is that in addition to plain seed beads, pressed glass beads with asymmetrically drilled holes are incorporated into the peyote stitching.

An additional use of peyote stitch is to create several strips of peyote and then braid them together.

Peyote stitch may also be done is a more freeform mode. In these first 3 bracelets by Potomac Fiberarts Gallery member Gladys Seaward, areas of peyote stitching are done with different sized beads, causing the finished construction to take on a more fluid and organic form. The sinuosity of the forms is enhanced by judicious increasing and decreasing. Gladys states, "Freeform beadwork is my favorite beadwork technique. It is the most creative outlet as it allows me to create my own original designs as I weave on and attach the beads."

I will finish today's blog with a few of my own bracelets where freeform peyote stitch is handled in a different manner. Instead of blocks of different sized beads, I have employed massive increasing, adding more beads to each row, and decreasing, to add shaping. This caused the peyote stitch framework to ruffle, producing 3-dimentional forms. I also often do my jewelry items in modules that are linked together with peyote stitched loops. This allows flexibility and gives the piece a place to twist and turn without wearing the constructing threads. Like Gladys, I now use almost entirely fireline, a thread intended as a fishing line.

I find freeform peyote work enticing as I never know what the end construction will turn out to be. The pieces evolve as they are created. Joanne

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