Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Working with the beautiful black crystals in the kit got me all inspired.  I went to the stash to see what else I could do with them.  Nothing ordinary would do. I wanted rich gorgeous black, everything. (I was a real aficionado of black, back in the day...a PIB, if you will, of the late '80s.  Does anyone else remember that?)

I found a vintage glass cabochon, really more like a shank button with the shank ground off.  Then inspiration struck:  I remembered these super-cool branchy beads I bought from Olive Glass years ago. They are black dichroic glass.  Not flashy, though, because when the beads were blown, the coating stretched and broke apart. Here's a closeup of the surface:

Black bracelet, dichroic glass, vintage cabochon, Swarovski crystals.

Although the curved branches are expensive, this was already a special piece to me, so I decided to use both of them and go for maximum impact.  I have actually made a setting for a button/cab like this before.  This one's not quite symmetrical; the texture of the top determined the placement of the prongs.

In choosing the details, I surprised myself with these vitrail-coated Swarovski crystals.  This flat flower shape is a new favorite. It looks so bold, almost garish straight-on, but as you can see, when they're snugged up to the branches, the side view is downright subtle.  The last piece has those great modular crystal beads, three in a stack.  Rather than using more black with them, I found that this dark red (really dark, they look black in my tin) set them off nicely.  They have a standard AB coating, which only shows on a small part of the bead surface, just enough to echo the dichroic glass and add sparkle without distracting.

I finished it with one of the silver tags I've started adding to my work.  I thought about having them laser engraved, but decided to sign and date them by hand, 'K/2012'. I use a titanium pen.

Black bracelet, dichroic glass, vintage cabochon, Swarovski crystals.

Here's the complete piece. I love it!

What do you think? I'd really like to know. I've been making these collage bracelets for a year or so and compose them carefully. Does it show?  Or does it look like I just threw a bunch of stuff together? 


  1. Hey Kimmie,
    Gorgeous bracelet. Your cab setting intrigues me. I don't solder but the wheels are turning on how to do a cold joined wire wrapped setting.

  2. Hey that would be cool. I'll put my mind on it too. Everybody loves the rings I made with your fish and crab!