Adventure in Freeform

All manner of shapes, sizes and shades of green went into this freeform peyote bracelet. Along with a dose of courage. I’m not a spur-of-the-moment, off-the-cuff person. I use a recipe to make egg salad! I’ve long been attracted to freeform peyote, twice signing up for a class, only to find both cancelled at the last minute. So I set off to investigate this technique on my own. No recipe.

The finished bracelet looks nothing like the version I had in my mind, but it was fun to spend a day learning my way around curves, ruffles, and bridges. As I tied the final knot, I realized the afternoon had flown by and Dan’s plane was landing at Hartsfield. Deciding to take the bracelet apart, I nevertheless clamped it on my wrist, testing out the closure, which was a design element I liked and would keep if it proved reliable, and headed to the fish market to pick out dinner.

As I was pointing out the salmon fillet I wanted, the oldest of a trio of sisters also standing at the counter noticed my bracelet and asked if I made it. She then yelled to her mother, halfway across the store, “Mom, come look at this lady’s bracelet!” Several bystanders leaned in to take a peek (it was, after all, the busy dinner hour), and I was mortified. All this attention was being paid to a piece that was not my typical style and certainly not a standout in my portfolio! The Mom, who owns a boutique, quickly extracted my beading history, handed me her card and extended an invitation to bring some of my summer pieces by for a look.

Once home, I set the cuff back on my bead table, still determined to cut, pull and rip it apart, when Dan, who rarely visits my workspace, pronounced it “artistic.” So, in the space of a few hours, my freeform creation has gone from a design that didn’t work to beads with a backstory!


  1. What a great story! If you want some great insight to freeform peyote, check out Karen Williams book, Freeform Peyote Beading. Her website is www.skunkhillstudio.com. She is a supersweet person, and really helped me thru my first excursion into freeform!

  2. Thanks for the tip, Shirley. I will definitely add Karen's book to my resource library!