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Op-art cuff

Stitch a bracelet of abstract shapes and BronzClay accents to create the illusion of depth.

SUPPLIES

Bracelet 7 in. (18 cm)

  • 2 4 mm crystal pearls (Swarovski, bright gold)
  • 10–15 3 mm lochrosen/center-hole sew-on stones (Swarovski #3128, mocha; www.fusionbeads.com)
  • 11/0 seed beads (www.beadaholique.com, unless otherwise noted)
    • 2–3 g topaz (Toho 22C, silver-lined topaz)
    • 4–5 g lined green (Toho 303, jonquil/ hyacinth lined)
    • 3–4 g dark bronze (Toho 222, dark bronze)
    • 3–4 g grey (Toho 282, gray/gunmetal lined; www.agrainofsand.com)
    • 2 g olive (Toho 246, luster black diamond/ opaque yellow lined)
    • 1 g bronze (Toho 221, bronze)
  • 1 g 15/0 seed beads (Toho 85, metallic iris purple)
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12 or #13
  • beading loom with loom needle (John James extra long #12) (optional)
  • 10 g FastFire BronzClay
  • acrylic roller
  • brass brush and soapy water
  • circle template with 8 mm, 10 mm, 20 mm, and 25 mm circle openings
  • cocktail straw
  • lightbulb or other curved surface
  • needle files, flat and half-round
  • needle tool
  • nonstick work surface
  • olive oil or Badger Balm
  • playing cards or thickness guides
  • polishing pads
  • sanding sponges, medium to ultra-fine grit
  • texture sheet
  • tissue blade or craft knife
  • stainless steel or ceramic firing pot
  • kiln with shelf
  • activated coconut carbon
  • tumbler with steel shot (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS

BronzClay toggle ring and disks

1. Apply a thin layer of olive oil or Badger Balm to your acrylic roller, work surface, texture sheet, and hands. Place the BronzClay on your work surface, flatten it slightly, and position a stack of six playing cards on each side. Roll the clay to the thickness of the cards. 

2. Place the clay on the texture sheet, and position a stack of four playing cards on each side. Roll the clay to the thickness of the cards.

3. Remove the clay from the texture sheet, and place it on your work surface with the textured side facing up. Using the circle template and needle tool, cut out a 25 mm circle from the clay.

4. Gently remove the 25 mm clay circle, and position the straight edge of the template so that it covers the lower 1⁄4 in. (6 mm) of the clay circle. Cut the clay along the straight edge of the template.

Opart cuff a
Photo a
Opart cuff b
Photo b

5. Reposition the straight edge of the template so that it covers the lower 5 mm of the partial clay circle. Starting and ending 1⁄4 in. (6 mm) from the outer rim of the clay circle, cut the clay along the straight edge (PHOTO A).

6. Reposition the template so that the 20 mm circle opening is centered on the clay and the cut made in step 5. Cut out a semicircle using the 20 mm opening as a guide (PHOTO B). Remove the semicircle to create the toggle ring.

7. Place the BronzClay toggle ring on a lightbulb or other curved surface to dry.

8. From the remaining textured clay, cut out 10 to 15 8 mm and 10 mm circles for the disks. Using the needle tool, make a hole in the center of each disk. Place them on a flat surface to dry.

Firing and refining

1. When the BronzClay toggle ring and disks have dried thoroughly, use the needle files and sanding sponges to smooth any rough edges.  

2. Place the toggle ring and disks in a stainless steel or ceramic firing pot, layering the pieces between activated coconut carbon. Place the pot in the kiln, and fire according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the pieces to cool completely.

3. Remove the toggle ring and disks, and wash them in soapy water, using a brass brush to remove the carbon residue

4. Use polishing pads to enhance the shine of the toggle ring and disks, or if desired, tumble the pieces in a tumbler with steel shot.

 
Opart cuff horizontal

Bracelet band

Choose to work the bracelet band in loomwork or square stitch, and follow the appropriate steps below.

Loomwork method

1. Warp your loom with 21 warp threads so that they will accommodate 11/0 seed beads. Cut 2 yd. (1.8 m) of thread for your first weft thread, and thread a loom needle on one end. Leaving a 1-yd. (.9 m) tail on the first weft thread, weave the main body of the pattern.

Note: Our Basics on loomwork have you working from the top of your pattern to the bottom, but for this project it is recommended that you work from the bottom to the top. End and add thread as needed.

2. When you complete the main body of the pattern, sew around the end warp thread and back through the last six beads of the last row. Repeat with the 1-yd. (.9 m) tail. Remove the beadwork from the loom, and end the warp threads but not the weft threads.

3. Using the working weft thread and following the pattern, work the toggle ring tab in square stitch. Do not end the working weft thread.

4. Using the tail and following the pattern, work the toggle bar tab in square stitch. Do not end the tail.

Square stitch method

1. On a comfortable length of thread, attach a stop bead, leaving a 1-yd. (.9 m) tail. Following the pattern, work the main body of the pattern in square stitch from bottom to top. End and add thread as needed. 

2. With the working thread, sew through the beadwork to exit the first six beads added in the last row. Following the pattern, work the toggle ring tab in square stitch. Do not end the working thread.

3. Remove the stop bead. With the tail, sew through the second row of the pattern, and then sew through six beads of the first row. Following the pattern, work the toggle bar tab in square stitch. Do not end the tail.

 

For complete project instructions, click here to download & print this PDF

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