Design team member Claire Broome shares her design and inspiration behind the gorgeous ‘Summer Breeze’ Woven Bracelet Cuff. Check out Claire’s website at ToDot Handcrafted Goods Limited and stay up to date with the latest designs on Claire’s Facebook page.
A couple of years ago I picked up a bag of broken/damaged vintage pearl beaded jewellery from a market near where I live. Tynemouth Station is one of the oldest stations in Tyne & Wear with visitors travelling from near and far to see over 150 stalls every weekend. The Victorian grade 2 listed station has been fantastically restored and following its revamp it was officially reopened by Princess Royal in July 2012. Every weekend there are stalls specialising in antiques, craft, art, collectables and jewellery and is one of the busiest markets in the North East.
For some time I didn’t know what to do with the beads but then I found a pattern I really liked and decided to make a cuff bracelet with a wedding theme in mind. After painstakingly unpicking the strands of jewellery I first of all made this cuff using beading thread and a pair of antique silver Zamak 5 Strand Fancy Clasp from Beads Direct. I then went on to make this matching necklace using a 3 strand clasp from Beads Direct.
I decided to make another smaller cuff bracelet inspired by the soft greens and blues on a summer dress I bought from Pepperberry, using Beads Direct
materials and pastel Swarovski pearls.
4mm pastel yellow x1 HH286
4mm pastel green x3 HH283
3 strand clasp x1 F0085
White KO Thread x1 TC305
Beadalon Silver Plated Wire Guardian Findings F310
Antique Silver Zamak Toggle Clasp F0138
I attached a spare bead at the bottom of the thread to act as a stopper. For the first row thread 6 green beads then starting the next row add one yellow bead and thread the needle through the 5th bead.
For the 3rd and subsequent rows add 3 beads in the same way before threading the needle through the 5th, 3rd and 1st bead from the previous row. The first few rows can be tricky at times but I found using a separate colour, as in this case, helps as you can see which beads to thread through. In my design the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th rows were green then the 7th was yellow and this was repeated throughout the pattern.
I also found it easier not to have too long a length of thread as it can get knotted or frayed due to repeatedly being threaded through the bead holes. I would leave a long enough thread at the end of a row before starting another row and then start the new thread from the previously threaded last two beads. On completion of the bracelet I threaded the spare strands through the following beads to tidy and strengthen the bracelet. They were then knotted and a dab of glue used to finish it off.
Three wire guardian findings were threaded to each end so that the Zamak clasp could be attached using silver antique jump rings. I then added a clasp to finish.