Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Creating with Cabochons Challenge REVEAL ! September 17, 2013

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The multi-talented Sally Russick, of The Studio Sublime,

threw down the gauntlet about 6 weeks ago.

 Anyone care to join her in designing jewelry with those sometimes

tricky ‘hole-less’ wonders known as cabochons??

Having some recent, but limited, experience with bezel setting a couple of these stones,

I thought I would love to try some more techniques.

First realization was that there is a huge variety of cab materials…stones, of  course.

 But also metal, poly clay, glass, shell, resin, plastic…you get the idea.

If the piece doesn’t have holes and you can figure out a way

to wrangle it into your jewelry design, then it must be a cabochon.

Next ‘aha’ was all the ways one could ‘attach’ the cab to the design.

There’s glue, wire wrap, beaded bezel, metal bezels,

and tab or prong setting.  And maybe more.

 I decided to try out a few of these, starting with good old hypo cement glue.

First up is a glass pebble cab I made with a piece of scrapbooking paper…

some kind of old postcard stamp design.

I call him “Artie” for his art deco look.

Glued the cab to a filigree component, then glued a ring of seed beads to add some pizzazz.

stamp cabachon

Leaping Man

seed bead cab 2

Next, in keeping with the glue theme, I attached a stone cab

to the center of a brass filigree butterfly and gently folded the wings over to keep it safe.

I was a bit surprised to find that it looked like a scarab,

but the back of the piece gives a hint as to its origins.

cabchon 1

cab 2

cab 3

butterfly cab 2

My final technique was to work with a piece of amber beach glass

that I’d picked up at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA one summer.

Always intended to try my hand at drilling a hole, but never did.

For this cab setting, I textured a piece of brass and made holes with metal punch pliers.

Using 20 gauge gold wire, I cross wrapped the glass to the brass plate.

Wasn’t sure how to finish off the back, but I think this simple, tucked-in twist works.

crossed wires 2


crossed wires

beach glass 1

A side note:  I did try a prong setting with this little copper piece I had,

but there are too many tool marks from my attempts

to wrestle it into place for this to be used.

prong cab

prong cab 2

You may have noticed that seed beading a bezel was not one I attempted.

I tell myself that I just don’t have the patience.

If you are interested in this technique that produces a gorgeous setting for cabs however,

Sally posted a very thorough tutorial on her blog.

And if you are one who either never thought about using cabs in your jewelry work,

or wanted to and didn’t know how to go about it…

I do hope that my few explorations makes you think, “Hey, I could do that!”

I hope you’ll enjoy the many other designers that are participating

in this Creating with Cabochons blog hop. Please go to Sally’s blog for the links.


47 Responses to “Creating with Cabochons Challenge REVEAL !”

  1. Karin G Says:

    I’m impressed by all the techniques you used, I really like the amber and brass piece, it is so simple and stylish!

  2. I love this! You just jumped right in and made beautiful, wearable works of art! I love the butterfly filigree necklace – that is so pretty, and it DOES look like a scarab! I have only wrapped filigree to a cab once…not sure why I have not done it again, as I really do love this look!

  3. really wonderful collection here! I love how the butterfly does look like a scarab! Love that piece

  4. I love the texture in the copper as the background for the beach glass. Whoever gets this one is a very lucky person!

  5. lilisgems Says:

    Great variety of techniques!

  6. Diane Says:

    These are all wonderful. I am particularly enamoured with the butterfly necklace. Would you mind telling me what the beads and cab are made of?

    • Hello, Diane! Thanks for stopping by this fun reveal today. The beads are a beautiful, translucent golden horn bead. Never used them before, but I’ll definitely be on the look out for more of these. The cab…I’m going to guess is amber, but I admit I dug it out of a bowl of $1.00 cabs at a bead store, with no labels.

  7. Michelle Says:

    Really fun pieces you created. I like the “butterfly scarab” necklace. Interesting way to incorporate it..

  8. Oh, lovely – you tried almost every technique! Indeed, great minds – LOL 🙂
    Your pieces are all wonderful and very creative.

    You should try the seed-bead embroidery one day, it’s really not as impossible as it looks. Personally I am not a seed bead person, but every time I entered a challenge (the only way I try those pesky little things) I found the experience extremely relaxing and very pleasant.

    • I must say, Alicia, that after visiting all the drop dead gorgeous beaded bezels in this challenge, I am sorely tempted! What a stunning collection. Thanks for stopping by today and sharing an encouraging word.

  9. They are all gorgeous, I’m so impressed that you got so many made! I love love love that copper one! Art!

  10. jlwoolverton Says:

    Love the butterfly piece. Cab would like great front or back.

  11. beadlove Says:

    I love how you tried different techniques and like how they turned out. It definitely encourages me to try some of the things I wanted to but didn’t.

  12. Susan F. Says:

    You really ran with the challenge! You made some really nice pieces and got a fun surprise in the process–your accidental scarab is adorable.

  13. Paula Kramer Says:

    You were on a cabochon roll! I really enjoy seeing your metal work because it’s something I have no talent for but really appreciate in others. Great designs!

  14. Tracy Says:

    I love the art pieces you’ve created…and that you experimented with different techniques…you have a real talent for metalwork.

  15. Mary K Says:

    You used so many fun techniq.ues. Really like the effect of the glued down seed beads in the first one

  16. Therese Says:

    Beautiful pieces I love that you show some different ways to bezel cabs, also I love the neck strap designs you did with each of your pendants.

  17. Ginger B. Says:

    These are awesome! Working with sheet metal is still on my to-do list. I love the sea glass piece.

  18. Oh wow – I just love your designs (surprise, surprise!) Your talent is amazing and the love you have for what you do just shines through – I can’t choose a favorite, but the first and last necklaces are in a tight race! 🙂

  19. Kudos to you for trying so many new techniques. Gluing seed beads around the cab was very creative and a perfect accent.

  20. I learned something from each technique you used, but my favorite is the beetle cab/butterfly necklace.

  21. Kashmira Says:

    All the pieces are sweeet!!!! Love the orange one wrapped with filigree and the one “tied” with an ‘x’. Made me wonder why I never thought of it, lol 🙂

    I am ashamed to say I could not even start on this challenge 😦

    • Thanks so much, Kashmira! This challenge definitely caught me at the right time and in the right frame of mind to experiment. Perhaps you’ll take up the beaded bezel tute from Sally at another time. Hope you share if you do!


  22. Sally Russick Says:

    Lynda! Holy Moly did you take the challenge to heart! You made so many beautiful pieces, I have to say that I love how you used the seed beads to accent the cab in the first one and all the textures and techniques you used the the rest of the wonderful pieces are FANTASTIC!! Thank you so much for participating in the challenge! Beautiful work!!!

    • Yup, don’t know what got into me !! One thing led to another and… I definitely had some fun and learned a thing or two with this challenge. So thank you again for inspiring us all to take a leap.


  23. Marlene C. Says:

    Sorry I am so late to this blog hop; LOVE all your creations, but you KNOW I have an affinity to the first one!

  24. I am sorry I am late for this blog hop. I didn’t have Internet for awhile. I think all of your designs are very clever. Well done!

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