What do you mean - chipped?

A few weeks ago, Rachel from The Glass Cavern posted two pictures on Facebook, of an ammonite with inlays of Bello opal (lab-created). I have admired them more than once - and not just the ammonites, Rachel makes beautiful lampwork and so much more -, but I'm trying to use what is in my stash and my seed bead orders are bad enough, so I always resisted.

This ammonite was a little different, though. While polishing it, a little accident happened and a bit got chipped off the edge. Not wanting it to end up in a drawer, Rachel posted it asking if a wire wrapper or bezel maker was interested.
I'll admit that I jumped on the chance like a hawk on a mouse although I had no idea at all for it at first and only a very vague one minutes later. When the ammonite arrived, that idea had already decided to leave my brain because I hadn't written it down.

So I had to come up with a new idea and I decided to try something really new to me. Ammonites are of course flat on top, but not at the bottom, and from another pendant I knew that it could be a little difficult to bead a good bezel for it.

How about adding some of the beading foundation at the bottom and level the fossil out? How about making that piece a little bigger and then bead on it? Oh, or how about adding layers of beading foundation to both level out the bottom and "complete" the ammonite, so I could bead a bezel all around that and have an even better chance to hide the chipped edge?
I really had to wing this, but I was pleasantly surprised when it worked out just the way I had hoped.

After beading the bezel in bronze and golden seed beads, I had to fill up that extra space somehow. I decided on a organic look with a mix of golden size 11 and 15 seed beads, making one layer with seed beads sewn on individually and going through all of the layers of beading foundation, then I added some extra beads on top.
There is a two row edging of the golden beads all around and an embellishment with garnet beads only around the ammonite itself. For the garnets I chose different sizes, so some sit lower, some higher to repeat the organic feel of the golden addition.

I really struggled with a bail for this one.
Due to the spiral, the pendant isn't symmetrical, even if you may not notice that at first glance, and I wasn't sure if I wanted a very simple bail like peyote or herringbone or something a bit flashier like a triangle peyote bail.
To be honest, my preference would have been no bail at all or rather a hidden one (you may have noticed that before in my bead pendants, no matter if loomed, woven or embroidered), and after working out the best way, I did that in the end.

P.S. As usual, I had a hard time not to add dangles, but I think they really wouldn't worked for this one.


  1. What an incredibly beautiful save! This is absolutely gorgeous. You are so talented at improvising.


    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! You know how I love to play. The moment when the light finally goes on is a real kick for me, lol! If it also translates from my brain to my hands, that's a great feeling.