Monday, February 10, 2014

New Pattern: Chocolate and Raspberry Molecules

I've been spending a lot of time beading up chemical structures over the past few weeks, satisfying a craving for delicious chocolate without consuming any calories! I couldn't resist turning these beaded molecules into my latest beading pattern!

Chocolate and Raspberry Molecules Beading Pattern

This pattern describes how to weave three different chemical structures; raspberry ketone, the compound responsible for the intense flavor from red raspberries, and two molecules found in chocolate; theobromine and phenethylamine. This design only requires three different sizes of Japanese seed beads, so you can quickly weave one or more of these molecules using the seed beads already in your stash. I've classified the project as intermediate because it requires the small 15° Japanese seed beads, and the molecules themselves are not particularly symmetrical, so many of the repeats in the pattern are not as predictable as in other beading projects. But the pattern includes over 70 photographs and illustrations, so advanced beginner beaders should be able to follow and understand how to weave the molecules.

Chocolate Molecule Necklaces

To explore the different kinds of jewelry that can be made with these beaded molecules, I started by making two molecules each of theobromine and phenethylamine from chocolate. I used a gold and bronze colorway with just a hint of purple, to mimic a strong dark chocolate truffle with a decorative gold leaf:

I attached one of the theobromine molecules to two lengths of beaded chain, connected to the two oxygen atoms in the molecule. The diamond-shaped chain is the one with O beads that I used previously in my Annular O Necklace and O Stars Pendant designs, but you could substitute another type of beaded chain such as a RAW chain or a spiral rope.

I connected the other three chocolate molecules together with copper jump rings and curb chain for a slightly more substantial necklace. I'm not sure if the metal approach works as well as the beaded chain approach, but I like how the theobromine molecule makes the focal of the necklace.

Food Chemistry Bracelet

For my last piece, I connected two phenethylamine molecules to one molecule each of theobromine and raspberry ketone for a chocolate and raspberry bracelet! I used silver-plated, red luster, metallic red, and opaque brown seed beads for this piece to give it a rich flavor. Can you tell that I prefer dark chocolate? ;)

The Chocolate and Raspberry Molecules Beading Pattern is available exclusively at if you'd like to make your own chocolate chemistry jewelry!

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