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The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog
Jewelry making #17

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, October 28, 2005 12:39 PM (Eastern)

My son is so cute. He asks me now every day, "So what did we learn in jewelry making today?"

Putting it that way, you do learn something new each time. I have seven finished bracelets now and one finished necklace. I know that doesn't sound like much...I have easily ten finished designs for necklaces...but they need to be restrung. i.e. I can still be considered to be in the materials phase.

I'm testing out my turquoise necklace now by wearing it, obviously, but also by putting it in my pocket and bending it around and doing the stuff that I myself do to my own jewelry.'s my advice so far.

Don't bother with the 7 strand beading wire, unless you are deliberately looking for the lowest "break point." The 19 strand wire is much better. The 49 strand wire is even better, but it costs too much.

I checked this out on the Beadalon site...more strands = more flexible, less prone to kinking.

As far as the thickness (a different factor from the # of strands), that depends on which beads you're using. 0.18" is pretty thick if you're closing off your piece the Beadalon way (i.e. you thread the excess wire inside the first bead and then cut it flush). I made it fly with the turquoise piece, which uses small round smoky glass beads, but it was snug. I doubt it would work with anything smaller than that.

Crimp beads work better than crimp tubes for straightforward, beads-on-a-string necklaces and bracelets. They crimp much more easily, they're smaller and neater.

The tubes are kind of neat if you're looking to finish off 1.0 mm Stretch Magic ends, but I will try out the crimp beads next time and see how that works.

The 1.0 mm Stretch Magic is quite a bit less stretchy than the 0.7 mm. Its sole virtue is that you can use crimps with it. I actually tried some crimps on the 0.7 mm and the piece snapped neatly in two where the crimps were, so there is something to it.

On a more personal note...I have reached the "it factor" now. "It" is being able to make the jewelry that you've been looking for. Of course "it" is going to be different for each person...and I can't make all of "it" myself. For example, I have this cool Thai-style carved silver bracelet with a little garnet cabochon in it. It's not worth it for me to learn how to make's perfect, yet it's something I can buy in a shop for twenty bucks. I doubt I could learn how to produce such pieces for less money than that.

The beads though... There is the predictable ability to combine colors, materials, textures, and even symbols, but what I've found more intriguing is the notion of capturing light. :)

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