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Three takes on Magatamas using Herringbone Stitch and Russian Spiral

March 4, 2012

Winter in Vancouver is tough. Sure, it’s not freezing cold like other cities in Canada, but it’s dark. That’s the main reason you haven’t heard from me in months. Each year, I take a break from photographing my work because the lighting is terrible. I’ve tried to photograph my jewellery a few times since my last post, but it was not pretty.

So, I present to you my beadwork from this winter. I’ve been figuring out how to use long magatamas and fringe drop beads.

Deco Garland Necklace

“Deco Garland” is the first in the series. Named such because these red lined drops just look so juicy like a garland of very vibrant grapes. It was created with herringbone stitch.


Swirling Stunner Necklace

I loved these long magatamas when I bought them at the Fraser Valley Bead Show last March, but it was a bit of a challenge to find a use for them. I finally discovered Russian Spiral and am so pleased with the effect. The stitch is supple and surprisingly easy. I have two slightly different shades of long magatamas here, and the great thing is beads are at different angles. I named this one “Swirling Stunner” because it’s very different than anything I’ve done before. It’s also an allusion to the my favorite artist, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who referred to his models as “stunners.”


Chemical Wedding Necklace

The final necklace I’m going to share is one of my favorites because, yes it’s acid green, but it’s also easy to wear. I’ve worked three sections of Russian Spiral – my new favorite stitch – to pack in a lot of shine and texture. I’ve named this one “Chemical Wedding” as a cheeky reference to Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz – an alchemical text about a king and queen who are resurrected for their wedding. The colour and the shape made me think of a very unusual bride. I imagine zombie queens might glow acid green, or at least be able to carry it off.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2012 11:11 am

    héél mooi gemaakt !! gewoon prachtig !!
    maar ik kan spijtig genoeg de patroontjes niet vinden om deze te maken
    is het mogelijk om de patroontjes van deze parels te bekomen ??
    alvast bedankt


    • Casey permalink*
      April 1, 2012 9:48 am

      Hi Agnes, thanks for the comment. I have not written instructions for these projects. If you’d like to learn the stitch search for “Dutch Spiral” or “Russian Spiral” on Google. There are a few videos and instructions by others that are pretty good.


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