Cynthia Rutledge | Jewels of a Maharani Class

January 23, 2022

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Jewels of a Maharani

Maharani Sita Devi (1917–1989) was known the world over for her extravagant lifestyle as the wife of Maharaja Pratap Singh Gaekwar of Baroda, the 8th richest man in the world in his day.

She was a great beauty with a love for fine jewelry. She was high society, very popular and extremely outgoing in her ways. Sita Devi showed off her jewelry in a non-traditional Indian way. Even though she wore fabulous saris, she would make sure that the beautiful fabrics didn’t cover up any of the jewels being worn, and her head was usually uncovered. She even smoked in public!

The Maharani was a regular customer of Harry Winston, Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels. Sita Devi was also the proud owner of the famous seven-strand Basra Pearl necklace, the 34.65–carat Princie Diamond (one of the largest pink diamonds ever found valued at 40 million dollars), the Dresden (78.5 carats) and the Star of the South diamonds (128.48 carats).

Indian royals are known to own some of the world’s most expensive gemstones and jewelry. The wearing of these jewels brings to light India’s fine craftsmanship, exquisite designs and its riches. Jewels of a Maharani was inspired by the style of jewelry known as

Kundan. The word, Kundan, means “pure gold”. The process is to make a thin gold foil that either sits between the gemstone and the mount to reflect light or the foil is pressed and molded around the edge of the gemstone or pearl. It is one of the oldest forms of jewelry made and worn in India. In the case of this design, an oval CZ is bezeled and mounted on top of a shaped tubular structure. Two netted pearl ropes, evoking the style of Kundan, pass through the main terminal focal piece and end in a sliding clasp.


  • Tubular, even–‐count peyote stitch with shaping
  • Flat circular peyote stitch with increasing
  • Flat, odd–‐count, peyote stitch using step up/step–‐down techniques
  • Tubular filled netting
  • Embellishing techniques

Discipline: Bead Weaving

Skill level: Intermediate to advanced. Basic peyote stitch skills are required.

Workshop cost: Member $70, Non-member $90

Kit cost: $90.00 each plus the cost of one 10x14mm oval CZ. Kits do not include the CZs. Cynthia Rutledge will contact you for your kit choice after placing the order for the Zoom class. Kits will be paid to Cynthia directly.

Supplies to bring to class: 

  • an assortment of needle sizes
  • beading surface of choice
  • lighting
  • magnification
  • small, sharp scissors and a thread burner
  • your basic beading supplies
Cynthia Rutledge
Cynthia Rutledge

Instructor Name: Cynthia Rutledge

Date: Sunday, January 23, 2022

Time: 11:00am- 5:00pm EST

Venue: Zoom

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Instructor Bio:

Cynthia is a contemporary artist and teacher focusing on beadwork as her medium. She specializes in peyote stitch and off-loom weaving techniques with an emphasis on developing sculptural unsupported shapes in beadwork.

Her work has been exhibited in national and international shows and has appeared in Nicolette Stessin’s Beaded Amulet Purses, Carol Taylor’s Creative Bead Jewelry, and Carol Wilcox Wells’ Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide to Classic Off-Loom Stitches.

“My attraction to 3-dimensional shapes has created a fascination for me throughout my life and has fueled my creative spirit. My choice of beadwork as a primary medium has followed that same fascination. As my beadwork has evolved, my work seems to always lean towards the building of shapes and forms that are functional and wearable.

The choice to use beads as my medium was primarily influenced by my love of color. Beads reflect and absorb light, hold shape and dimension, and in so doing, offer chameleon-like qualities. It is not always the end result that is the most important to me, however. The process of working with beads and thread is meditative and calming, which allows time for reflection. Engineering each piece is always a challenge that thrills me, as well as giving me the power to make the decisions that need to be made for each piece. The more I experience the wonderful qualities of beadwork, the more I realize my relationship with beads will always be one of learning, experiencing and sharing.

The decision to teach grew from my personal desire to share my love of beads and all the wonderful things that can be created with them. The commitment that I have to teaching stems from my desire to share the knowledge I have gained while developing my own skills in this medium. Ultimately, my mission is to help to keep this art form alive and well.”


  • Payment is due in full at time of registration.  If you must cancel a class, please notify us at as early as possible.
  • Cancellations received more than 14 days before the starting day of a class will receive a full refund LESS a $25.00 cancellation fee.
  • Cancellations received 7 – 13 days before the starting day of a class will receive a 50% refund.
  • No refunds are given for cancellations received less than 7 days before the start date of a class.  In the event of no refund, students will receive instructors’ hand-outs and/or instructions and have the option to purchase the instructor’s class kit.