Coraling is a technique very similar to creating a fringe. The technique is called coraling because it can be very freeform and the result can resemble the coral that you see at the bottom of the ocean or an aquarium.
The diagram below shows example of coraling of branches off of one main branch. Coraling starts off very similar to fringe.
1. String on a line of beads and a turn bead (follow the blue line in the diagram); let’s call this branch A.
2. After turning around, the needle only goes back through the last three beads of branch A.
3. Create the first coral branch by picking up four beads and a turn bead (follow the green line in the diagram). This is branch B.
4. Again, when going back up the string of beads in branch B, we only go up two beads and then create another branch, branch C (follow the orange line). Pick up three beads and a turn bead. This time, the needle is passed through all of the beads of branch C and it also passes through the rest of the beads of branch B to complete both branches B and C.
5. The thread then goes through the next four beads of branch A; then pick up three beads and a turn bead to create branch D (follow the red line).
6. The thread and needle go back through all of the beads of branch D and finally, the first two beads of branch A to complete this coral branch.
You can create every branch with the same number of beads or you can make it as freeform as you want, varying the number of beads in each branch every time and varying the number of beads between the branches. Coraling can be done with any combination of beads, especially at the bottom of branch A. You can add as much or as little to a piece as you would like.
A lot of coraling can create a truly dramatic piece of beadwork. You can use it as the focus of a piece, as Patricia has done in her design Pearls in the Coral. This piece has a large pearl at the end of most of the branches A.
Click here for more photos of coraling.