Beaded Cabochons / How to

Mariposite Cabochons: Be sure to check the stone hardness

Beading a Mariposite Cabochon: Beautiful Greens

I was working on a Mariposite cabochon pin for a friend.

Having finished the first step of surrounding the pretty stone with seed beads, I was glueing it onto stiff cardboard for the back.  Then after that dried, I would glue the pin on. The back would be finished with faux suede and a copper sunshine stitch.

In the short time I have discovered beading cabochons, I’ve worked with my own special wood cabochons, stone, clay, seashells, and glass.  All of them except the seashells have been strong.  And when I glued the cabochons onto backings, I have been using small clamps to secure everything.

cracked maripositeSo without thinking, I applied a clamp during the gluing of the Mariposite to cardboard and heard a decisive crunching sound.  Ah, I had broken the mariposite in two. The brooch was ruined!

Mariposa, California: Mariposite

It all started when we had been driving back from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco. Our route took us through a quaint little town called Mariposa, and we stopped for lunch (the first wireless  connectivity we’d had in days).

Then on the main street I found a cool store with all kinds of delights for beaders.  In drawer by the back wall were all kinds of cabochons already glued onto Lacie’s stiff stuff.  The cabochons were called “Mariposite” and they had an interesting story reflecting the name of the town Mariposa.

mariposite cabochon

I talked with the store owner about the mariposite and we referred to it as “stone” and so I carried the assumption home with me.

Mariposite: “Emerald Quartz” 

After the crunch sound, though, I consulted the Internet to discover mariposite (also called Emerald Quartz) is a silicate and from the mica family.  I have been to a mica mine in Grand Junction, CO.  Mica is fragile at best.

Always check hardness of a cabochon “stone”

I’ll remember with future “stones” to check their hardness online rather than in the gluing stage.

Fortuantely, I have a few more mariposites and will treat them as gently as a seashell!



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