W.O.R.D. Cello Bracelet Variations

Mella Fay Leibrand from Chesapeake, Virginia, was inspired by Kim West’s Cello Bracelet (April/May 2019) to play with the shapes that could be created with the Arcos Par Puca beads. She wondered if a different type of bead could be used in the center for a 3-D effect, and tried using drop beads instead of the 11°s. We think that the result is a wonderful variation of the Cello Bracelet!

Mella’s Cello Bracelet Variations

Mella’s Cello Bracelet variations

Cello Bracelet Color Variations

When Mella saw this pattern, she couldn’t get it out of her head. She had never worked with Arcos par Puca beads before, and their shapes kept flipping around in her mind. She started wondering how much she could play with this pattern.

The pattern reminded Mella of a Celtic knot, so she wanted to use gold to enhance that effect. For the blue bracelet, she used the same blue Arcos Par Puca beads as the main colorway from the magazine because the intense blue complemented the wine-colored pearls.

Mella’s Cello Bracelet variations

Mella’s Cello Bracelet variations

Here are a couple of tips from Mella if you’re interested in recreating her Cello bracelet variations:

“Tension is KEY! I found that tension is an issue when using drop beads because they shift as you are working – and they were too unstable when used on the outside edge, so I used them just on the inside – and the gold bracelet was born! There is still a small amount of ‘play’ in the drop beads even with keeping a tight tension, but the drop beads stabilize completely when worn on the wrist. Still, it might be helpful add some extra slip knots to add stability or to add a few 15°s on the outside two drop beads, but I haven’t tried that yet.

“For the blue bracelet, I used the 11°s as in the pattern, but I wanted to add a pearl in the center of the four 11°s. The spacing required a 15° on each side of it with it strung lengthwise on the bracelet. So, in Figure 5 when I added the first two ‘top’ 15°s in that section, I passed through the 11° and added a 15°, the pearl, and another 15°, then passed through the opposite 11°, then passed back through the beads just added, then passed through the original 11° in the same original direction, pulled tight and added the next two 15°s and continued the pattern. It worked, and was stable!

“Both bracelets had a 3-D effect, and both had a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ side, so it was important to keep the center sections with tight tension and with the “up” side consistent.”

I hope that Mella has inspired you to experiment! She shared a very important lesson that she learned in a beading class: Never give up and try tweaking “mistakes” to make something brand new. We hope that you’ll join her in the quest to learn how to “play” once again.

Meredith Steele
Technical Editor, Beadwork magazine

Make your own version of this beautiful bracelet!

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