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The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog
Jewelry making #14

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, October 24, 2005 1:43 PM (Eastern)

Okay, I'm a convert. I finally got one of those crimping pliers. All this time, I'd been working largely with the Stretch Magic, however, I started using it in the first place because I was making children's designs. It's much easier for children to put on and take off pieces made with stretch elastic. Plus, elastic or string breaks when stretched too far, which is what you want for children.

All of that said, I've been impressed that it is quite easy to make beaded pieces sophisticated enough for adults. You need only find a good bead shop. A chain like Michael's is a good place to start but there's no way you'll be able to find everything you need there. A small-business bead shop can order the stuff that you need, plus most of the stuff is by the piece rather than packaged, so you can choose exactly what you need (and you won't get stuck with the odd dud beads that "make their way" into packages).

About the crimping pliers...if you're using crimps at all, buy yourself a pair. It's around $13 and it pays for itself the first time that you use it.

Hm. I've found the design part of jewelry making, to be almost too easy. It's the technical part...figuring out how to finish off the pieces, getting the tension just right, figuring out the materials...that is eating up most of the time I've spent since I started. I'm now thinking it takes two or three months to boil it down to perfection. I never intended to produce just a few pieces and leave it at that. From the beginning, I've thought of it as a business. Not a business in the sense of cutting costs to the bone and cranking out multitudes of pieces--because big companies can do that better than I can. But a business in me developing pieces that I like, and seeing if I can sell them.

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