Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

I am super excited that Fusion Beads is now offering Size 15 Charlotte Czech Seed Beads. There are two reasons why:  The first is shape. Charlottes have one flat facet cut into the side of the bead. This facet reflects the light and gives your seed bead piece a subtle sparkle and flair.Second, Charlottes are slightly smaller than 15/0 Japanese round seed beads. (It’s the facet which reduces the overall diameter of the bead). Since it is smaller than a 15/0 Japanese round, using a Charlotte can have a noticeable effect on a weave. For example, a Charlotte can be used in lieu of a 15/0 round seed bead to help cinch the bezel tight around a stone. Below is an example using two identical 18mm Swarovski Crystal Oval Fancy Stones. The peyote bezel on the right uses size 11 Delicas and 15/0 Japanese round seed beads. The bezel on the left uses size 11/0 Delicas, 15/0 Japanese round seed beads and an additional row of 15/0 Czech Charlottes. As you can see, the Charlottes allow the peyote bezel weave to be pulled tighter. The end result is a much more stable and close-fitting bezel around the stone.I recently finished a modified version of our Inspiration Project The Three Graces necklace. The Swarovski Elements Crystal Trilliant Fancy Stones in this design are wonderful but their triangular shape makes it a challenge to hold them in a regular peyote bezel. The designer used right angle weave to solve this problem but I still found my weave was less tight than I preferred. Using 15/0 Charlottes on the inner row allowed me to cinch the bezel tighter and made the irregular shape of the Trilliant less of an issue.The last great advantage of a Charlotte’s miniature size is its design possibilities. With a little patience, these wonderful beads can be used to create delicate embellishments. They can be used to make exquisite little picots or to create ornate designs. Recently, I used the Charlottes to create delicate picot adornments on a peyote seed bead bezel. The Charlottes added a fanciful charm and complexity to the bezel which I found delightful. I hope you will love using the new Charlottes as much as I do!

Happy Tuesday! – Rebecca





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