Beautiful beaded objects such as a filigree cuff bracelet give me pleasure – a joy to make, a joy to give, a joy to see others view and react to. Custom pieces let me see favorite things through the eyes of their owners. Together we use color, shape and special beads to enhance and showcase something they cherish.
When Susan asked me to make a beaded cuff bracelet for her, I said yes immediately. “Yes,” without seeing the focal piece, or knowing what type of presentation she wanted or fixating on any parameters. Imagine my delight when she gave me a gorgeous scarab cabochon of dichroic glass.
Filigree Cuff Bracelet Beaded as Talisman Object
Scarabs, or dung beetles, were important amulets in ancient Egypt, considered by Egyptians to be as essential as the cross was for Christians.
According to Wikipedia:
The Egyptian god Khepri, Ra as the rising sun, was often depicted as a scarab beetle or as a scarab beetle-headed man. The ancient Egyptians believed that Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it, again, the next day.
The scarab was a protective talisman, representing transformation and protection.
I sent my original color scheme to Susan for approval. Black ultra suede and a black/copper braid provided high contrast. From that moment forward, I referred to her dichroic piece as Khepri, the filigree cuff bracelet.
As is my habit, I left the pieces on the workbench for a couple of days. This is a process I refer to as “let it talk to me.” During review time, I visited and rearranged my beads, adding and subtracting as I assessed color and developed a design.
The idea of Khepri carrying the sun daily inspired me to stitch in all manner of positive thoughts — the time we spent together, the creativity we shared, the ideas we discussed, the experiences we shared — as I created a cuff Susan could wear frequently.
It was a bittersweet exercise because I was acutely aware that we would see far less of each other in the coming year. Susan was moving away. For that reason, I was even more intentional about communicating through my beads.
Filigree adds stability to cuff bracelet
Not only did filigree add stability to my bead embroidery, it contributed to its design.
Copper beads mirrored the intensity of the dichroic elements. Delica beads of chartreuse and electric blue pulled the latent colors in the scarab to the forefront.
Although I’d intended to elaborate on my bead design, Khepri called for simple drama. The project ended all too soon.
“Wow, wow, wow! The bracelet arrived and is gorgeous!! I love it! Thank you very much. I know I will get lots of compliments every time I wear it.”
A few days later she added,
“Wore the bracelet again today and got a million compliments. Of course, I gave them your name/contact. Thanks again for the glorious addition to my wardrobe!”
How do you share your love of beads? Try a filigree cuff bracelet for your next project.