Single-Strand Necklace and Earring Set with Mountain "Jade" Gemstone Cabochons, Antiqued Silver-Finished Bronze Cones and Antiqued Silver-Plated Steel Beads


As a Native Alaskan Inupiat growing up in the lower 48, I was taken to everything Native American by my mom to instill into me an appreciation for my heritage. Native American culture and traditions resonate deep in my soul. One of the most recognizable Native American jewelry designs is the Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace. Get creative with nontraditional construction methods using stylized bead cones, Apoxie Sculpt and turquoise blue cabochons to complete your own homage to this iconic style.
- Jamie Smedley

Necklace

STEP 1
Secure Cone with Simple Loop String one petal cone onto an eye pin. Form a simple loop close to the cone securing it in place. Repeat to make a total of ten blossom drops.
STEP 2
Mix equal parts of silver and gold mica powder in aluminum tray (1/8th teaspoon of each color) and set aside.

Mix equal amounts of the Apoxie® Sculpt (equaling approximately the size of a medium walnut) for two minutes, or until thoroughly blended.
STEP 3
Press Cabochon Deep into Apoxie Separate an 8mm section from the Apoxie and roll it into an oval then flatten slightly. Press one 18x13mm turquoise cabochon deep into the center of the Apoxie then smooth the clay forming an approximately 3mm bezel around the edge of the cabochon.
STEP 4
Press Tube Bead into Apoxie Press a tube bead into the Apoxie at the top and bottom of the cabochon so they lay horizontally and are approximately 4mm from the edges. Wet a finger and smooth around the tubes so they are flush with the clay. Smooth the Apoxie around the cabochon to remove finger prints and lumps.

Tip: If desire, use the ball end of a texture tool.
STEP 5
Press Loop from Drop into Bottom Center of Cabochon Press the simple loop end of one blossom drop into the Apoxie on the bottom center of the cabochon. Gently smooth the clay around the loop to secure it in place creating a blossom component.
STEP 6
Apply Mica Powder to Backside of Apoxie Component Use a dry paintbrush to gently apply a thin layer of mica powder to the Apoxie on the backside only of the blossom component. Place the cabochon end of the blossom component on a silicone glue pad so the bead cone end hangs off, but is supported by the flat surface underneath.

Tip: If needed, apply small amounts of additional Apoxie to areas with thin places or loose clay rims.
STEP 7
Add 3mm Textured Apoxie Pieces to Front of Component Roll a 3mm ball of Apoxie and place it in the center of the rim at the bottom of the cabochon. Dip the cup end of the texture tool into water and press it firmly but gently into the clay ball. This will form a ball with a bezel-like ring around it.

Roll two more 3mm Apoxie balls and place on either side of the center ball.

Use a dry brush to apply mica powder to the front side of each blossom component.
STEP 8
Make Small Grooves Around Bezel Use a beading awl tip to make small even grooves around the bezel-like ring of the middle ball. Use a Phillips head micro screwdriver to make grooves along the edge around the cabochon. Avoid disturbing the bead cone connection. Then press the tip of the screwdriver into the two outer balls to make a star shape.

Use the ball end of the texture tool to make shallow, even divots around the very rim near the cabochon.

Allow the blossom components to sit undisturbed until the Apoxie is cured.
STEP 9
Repeat Steps 3 - 8 to create a total of ten blossom components using 18x13mm turquoise cabochons mixing more Apoxie as needed.
STEP 10
Repeat Steps 3 - 8 to create a total of ten blossom components using 18x13mm turquoise cabochons mixing more Apoxie as needed.

Building the Crescent Pendant

STEP 11
Bend Two Wires into Crescent Shapes Cut one 6-inch and one 7-inch length of 12-gauge wire.

Bend the two lengths of wire around a large round object creating crescent shapes. (The 7-inch length is approximately 70mm in diameter and the 6-inch length approximately 60mm.) Place the smaller crescent inside the larger on a flat surface.
STEP 12
Use Apoxie to Create Bezels for Cabochons Mix a large amount of Apoxie then roll one 12mm, two 10mm, four 8mm and two 6mm balls.

Use the Apoxie balls to create bezels around the remaining cabochons then arrange them (largest in the center graduating to smallest) over the top of the wire crescent frame. Gently press the cabochons down to embed the wire into the Apoxie on the back side of the cabochons then smooth the clay so the wires are flush.
STEP 13
Press Tube Beads into Apoxie on Largest Cabochon Press one tube bead into the Apoxie at the top of the largest cabochon. Repeat to attach a tube bead between the two curved wires. These will be used to string the necklace later.

Apply mixed color mica powder to the backside of the crescent pendant.
STEP 14
Fill in Bare Space with Bits of Apoxie
Create Pattern in Apoxie with Screwdriver
Create 3mm balls and teardrops and fill any bare space where wire is showing.

Press a screwdriver into the center of the balls to transfer the pattern then create vertical lines along the teardrop.
STEP 15
Repeat Step 7 on the bottom of the 25x18mm cabochon in the center of the crescent pendant.

Repeat Step 8 on all of the cabochons on the crescent pendant then Repeat Step 10 to finish the pendant.

Stringing the Necklace

STEP 16
Cut one 32-inch length and one 20-inch length of Accu-Flex® professional-quality beading wire.
STEP 17
String Beading Wire through Crimp Beads and Wire Protector String onto the 32-inch length of beading wire one sterling silver 2x2mm crimp bead and one Accu-Guard™ wire protector. Pass the beading wire back through the crimp bead. Pull the beading wire so the crimp rests snug against the Accu-Guard leaving approximately 1/4 inch of beading wire on the end. Place a small amount of adhesive (Loctite®) inside the crimp (optional).

Using crimping pliers crimp the crimp bead. Using flush-cutters trim the excess from the short end of the beading wire. Place one antiqued silver-plated 4mm crimp cover over the crimp bead then gently close it.
STEP 18
String Antiqued Silver-Plated Beads onto Beading Wire String onto the beading wire one antiqued silver-plated 10mm rimmed round and one antiqued silver-finished 4mm round. Repeat to string a total of seven sets. Continue to string one 10mm rimmed round.
STEP 19
Crimp Tube Then Place a Crimp Cover Over Crimp Continue to string one 2x2mm crimp bead then insert one end of the 20-inch length of beading wire. Crimp the crimp tube then place a crimp cover over it. String one 10mm rimmed round onto both lengths of beading wire.
STEP 20
String Beading Wire Through Top Tube Bead on Blossom Component Continue to string onto the 20-inch length of wire four antiqued silver-finished 4mm rounds and the top tube bead on one blossom component.
STEP 21
String Beads and One Blossom Component Continue to string three antiqued silver-finished 4mm rounds and the top tube bead on one blossom component. Repeat this sequence to string a total of four sets then string three 4mm rounds.
STEP 22
String Top Tube Bead on Crescent Pendant onto Beading Wire Continue to string the top loop on the crescent pendant then repeat the sequence in Step 21 five times. String four 4mm rounds then place a Bead Stopper™ on the end of the beading wire to secure the strand.
STEP 23
Continue Stringing Beads and Blossom Components onto Beading Wire String onto the 32-inch length of wire one metallic silver #11 seed bead, four antiqued silver-finished 4mm rounds and the bottom tube on one blossom component from the previous strand.

Continue to string three 4mm rounds and the bottom tube on the next blossom component from the previous strand. Repeat this sequence to string a total of three sets.

Continue to string four 4mm rounds, the bottom tube on the next blossom component and five 4mm rounds.
STEP 24
Continue to string the bottom tube on the crescent pendant from Step 22.
STEP 25
Finish the End of the Necklace Repeat Step 23 in the opposite order then string one 10mm rimmed round. Continue to string one 2x2mm crimp bead then insert one end of the 20-inch length of beading wire. Crimp the crimp tube then place a crimp cover over it and trim excess wire. Repeat the stringing sequence in Step 18 then repeat Step 17 to secure the strand.
STEP 26
Using a pair of chain-nose pliers and flat-nose pliers open six antiqued silver-plated 6mm jump rings.

Pass one jump ring through the Accu-Guard on one end of the necklace and the ring portion of the toggle clasp and close. Repeat to attach a second jump ring creating double jump rings.

Connect the Accu-Guard on the opposite end of the necklace and two more jump rings using double jump rings. Repeat to connect the loop on the bar portion of the toggle clasp to the two previous jump rings.

Earrings

STEP 1
String one petal cone and one 15mm rimmed round onto one 1-1/2 inch head pin then form a simple loop on the straight end of the wire creating a cone drop.
STEP 2
Open the simple loop on the cone drop then pass is through the loop on one Southwest design fishhook ear wire. Close the loop.
STEP 3
Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to create a second earring.

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