Beaded Cabochons / Big wood beads / Wood cabochons

Beaded Wood Cabochon: Ambrosia Maple

Ambrosia Maple beaded cabochon

Working with ambrosia maple has been a delight.

Initially, when I first purchased the wood, I thought the name sounded beautiful. But the maple is so named because of the ambrosia beetle that infests the tree and ultimately kills it leaving spalting.

The cabochon pictured is made from ambrosia maple. You can see the grey striations around the tiny black holes where the larvae of the ambrosia beetle were.

When I woodturned the cabochon, I deliberately set it so my final cabochon would show the beetles’ former living quarters.

The rest of the wood went to making my Native American style flutes.

My beading partner, Andra, for the 7th Bead Soup Blog party does bead embroidery and that got me reading about Heidi Kummli’s style (as mentioned in a woodbead previous post).

Use copper seed beads for beaded cabochons

One thing I noted about Heidi’s beaded cabochons is that they always use gold and copper beads. I suppose this is to exude a warmth and counteract the cold of blues and grays. So I was sure to add a few copper beads to balance with warmth the colder gun metal gray size 15s I used for the bezel.

The backing is a warm golden leather.

My beading needle looks a little worse for wear, but I am delighted to have finished my first beaded cabochon!

Now I can say I have now worked with Lacie’s stiff stuff, and have learned what a bail and bezel are in a beaded cabochon and even made a bail and bezel. I also worked with size 15 seed beads for the first time. They weren’t as hard to work with as I thought they might be!

And I learned you don’t need to make your thread as long as you do when you are bead looming because it is a pain when it gets caught on edges. Keep the thread shorter!

I’m ready to tackle another beaded wood cabochon.  Wonder what I’ll find in my shop this time!

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2 thoughts on “Beaded Wood Cabochon: Ambrosia Maple

  1. Judy, WOW! That is beautiful! The striations look blue, did you have to stain the cabochon? I love the fact that you showed the larvae holes. A perfect organic look.

    • Hi Andra, The striations are gray but might have that tinge of blue because of the blue-purple beads around the very edge of the cabochon. But no staining of the cabochon. You are an inspiration to try this kind of beading as I’d not done it before. But with a shop full of cool wood that could be turned into cabochons, I wanted to see if I could do it!

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