Sunday, December 13, 2015

New Pattern and Kits: Star Fragment Pendants

I finished my latest beading pattern, the Star Fragment Pendants.

Coiled Cubic Right-Angle Weave

Over the past several months I've been quietly working on this new variation on CRAW. It's an idea that originated from several places; most importantly it builds on Gwen Fisher's Twisted CRAW technique, though I recently dived through my old photos and prototypes and found related bits of beadwork dating back to 2008 (!). I started exploring this concept in earnest after taking a four-day class with David Chatt, where he encouraged me to explore versions of RAW and CRAW that twist and spiral.

That was last January, and since then I've beaded a whole box of beadwork ranging from promising experimental samples to quite ugly (but educational) failures to satisfying pieces of finished jewelry. It's been quite an artist's journey for me, full of both joy and disappointment, confusion and gradual understanding, and a whole lot of hard work. I'm looking forward to telling this story further as I present more of this beadwork, but for now I'll focus on the first design out of that box.

CRAW That Twists and Coils

The Star Fragment Pendants feature this CRAW variation that not only twists in the style of Gwen Fisher's technique, but also coils like an old-fashioned telephone cord. While others have explored these ideas with embellishment and bead size strategies, the twist of this version is generated by the specific thread path of the stitch. Like CRAW, coiled CRAW can be embellished and made into components, and the same ideas also apply to prismatic right-angle weave.

The beading pattern for this design describes how to make two different sizes of Star Fragment Pendants from embellished coiled CRAW components. In the pattern I explain the similarities and differences between CRAW, twisted CRAW, and coiled CRAW, and I introduce terminology to describe the unique features of the stitch. The pattern is in the PDF format and clocks in at 22 pages and 85 full-color illustrations and photographs. I classify this pattern as advanced and it's most appropriate for experienced beaders who have mastered CRAW and are ready for the challenge of learning this new variation. Though to be honest, I find the action of stitching twisted and coiled CRAW easier than traditional CRAW, but it's difficult to wrap one's brain around the subtle intricacies of coiled CRAW structures if you haven't already mastered CRAW.

Small and Large Star-Shaped Pendants

This design uses a collection of traditional beads; Japanese seed beads, round beads, fire polish beads, and bicone crystals. The petite pendant features one component, while the large one features two components in two different sizes. The components stack and join in an offset way that's a little tricky to assemble, but I like how this substantial component has such dimension and texture, and I'm quite happy that it also has negative space in the center (a concept that I frequently struggle with).

Kits for this design are available in three different colorways and include all the beads needed to make both pendants, though at the time of this writing the bronze colorway is currently sold out (I'm in the process of re-stocking this colorway, so check back soon for updated availability). Both pendants look lovely strung either separately or together on a silk ribbon.

Thanks for looking!


  1. So pretty! I don't know if I could make it though! But may try.

    1. Thanks Becky! If you haven't already done so, I recommend practicing CRAW before attempting this design. A couple of great CRAW resources are Marcia DeCoster's comprehensive series of videos available via Interweave, and Heather Collin's video on Youtube.

  2. I am so pleased to see you kept working at it to come up with your own version of twisted CRAW. It is lovely.

    1. Thanks Gwen. I'm very thankful for your encouragement and support. I couldn't do it without you :)


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