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June 27, 2015

DIY Miguel Ases Style: Finding a Good Center Bead

Finding Spacer Beads for Ases Style Brick Stitch

So you want to make Miguel Ases style jewelry?  Yeah, me too.  Not sure where to start?  Ah, then I guess I might be able to help.

Since most Miguel Ases designs are done in circular brick stitch, it makes sense to start in the middle, or dead center, which in circular brick stitch is also the beginning.

Here are a few spacer beads - the type of bead I often use as the center.  But some of these are going to work better than others - I'll show you what to look for.

Strong shoulders

Maybe you don't think of your spacer beads as having shoulders - but they need an edge for the beads to sit on. Without one, the beads will want to pull forward or backward off the center bead.

 All of these components use a bead similar to the gold spacer in the center.  It's a 5x3mm rondelle spacer bead. It's very plain, but works very well. It's a great bead to start learning with and very easy to find.

So, back the spacer beads from the first picture. Which of these will work? 

The first two are definite no-no's.  The edges have decorative beading and are thin - both things you don't want for a base on circular brick stitch. The third copper bead is eh.  Not great - but it works. I've used it and the beads can tend to slide depending on their size. The problem with it is uneven edge.

The next three are the types of spacers you are looking for. Wide shoulders, fairly flat and even - basically a decent edge to put a bead on.

Here's one component and hopefully you can see the beads sit nicely on the edge. A further benefit of these spacers is the decoration on the face that helps hide the thread lines. 

If you notice that Ases earrings don't usually show a hole in the center of the earring component, that's because it is filled in with a flat back crystal. I don't usually add that until I'm ready to use the component.

Here are some choices that I like to use. The more decorative spacer is this 6x3 rondelle from Fire Mountain Gems.  The less decorative one is this 6x3mm cushion rondelle, also from FMG.  Both are reasonably priced and I think available in gold and silver. 

There's a lot of trial and error in finding beads that you can do circular brick stitch around and a bit of practice goes into figuring out how many beads, which size and type, etc. Once you know what to look for, you'll find there is a good variation of spacers that will work - including some glass beads.

Here's a glimpse at my latest Ases style quatrefoil component.  This is done around a 3mm gold seamless round bead.  I'll try to make a tutorial when I make the second earring.


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  1. Destiny HuntJuly 03, 2015

    Thank you, thank you! It's so great to be along on this Miguel Ases ride with you, Lisa. I feel like I'm being tutored. :-) I found some great flat-edge spacers @ & on ebay that I'm looking forward to working with. And the quatrefoil component is super! I've been working on teardrop-centered designs and very enamored with opaque beads right now. Thanks again, I'm loving your blog!

    1. Glad you were able to find some spacers that you can use for this.

  2. Good for you! I was on a mission to find the kind of beads MA uses at the center of his earring designs. I was so glad when I realized, like you, that they were decorative rondelles! However, I didn't have the same DIY success. I'm not sure which seed beads he uses but they seem very consistent in size (I guess the wonky ones are culled). And thread.... Maybe Nymo? KO? Waxed or not?

    I find MA's style very original and his technique precise. That he isn't afraid to expose thread in his brick stitch designs is a nice style element. I love that he incorporates metal components that not only add structure but also give the pieces an organic appeal and sophistication unlike some beadwork that is overwrought, where it seems like the artist thinks incorporating anything that ISN'T a bead shows a lack of creativity.

    As much as I admire MA's beadwork, I wonder how stable some of the earring designs are, especially ones with heavier beads/components at the center? It seems that the surrounding beadwork might flex and bend a bit. (Or, maybe that's just my own DIY fail. LOL)

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  3. Hi Lisa, Did you end up posting a tutorial for the quatrefoil earring that you discuss at the end of the post?

  4. Hi lisa,
    I found the perfect spacer bead for this kind of project!!
    Rhinestone rondelle beads because hey have flat and wide shoulders so seed beads stay perfectly on top!
    The only thing is that oy don't see the rhinstones on the side, but that's ok :)