Making Jewellery is a wonderful world of beads, colours and creations. Whatever style you choose stringing, wirework, beadweaving, bead making or a little of all of them. We have put together here an explanation of what things are and where they could be used, along with tips to make your life easier.Jewellery Findings
These are the bits and pieces needed to make jewellery, and are available in a range of metals and finishes, shapes and sizes.
Clasps or Fasteners
These are used to fasten together your pieces of jewellery and can come in a variety of forms, such as bolt fasteners, toggle & clasp, lobster clasp, coil end fasteners and cord end tips. These can be decorative or a part of the design, whichever you decide to use is either a personal preference or dependent on the design of the jewellery piece you are planning to make.
Eyepins are metal pins that thread through beads and have a looped 'eye" that allows you to attached other
items to them.
These are similar to Eyepins but without the loop used to make dangly pieces of jewellery. The head is usually flat but variations such as ball pins or decoratively beaded heads.
Open jump rings can be opened and closed and are used to connect different items together. Closed jump rings are a complete ring.
These are double wired rings and items are attached like yo would attach keys to a key ring. They give extra security.
Fish hook are the standard ear wires and used to create dangly earrings.
These are small metal beads used to secure the start and finish of your work mainly on beading wire or they can be used to hold a bead in place.
They simply cover over the crimp bead to give a more professional look.
These are a type of crimp used to attach a fastener at the end of your work. They can be side opening or clam shell opening.
Give your work a decorative finish with an End Cone, which are used to hide stringing ends.
These protect your wire from wear and tear and give your creations a neat professional finish.
This comes in many different colours and sizes, deciding what size you need depends on what your are planning to do, below will give you a guide to your task in hand:-
0.4mm - Binding, Wrapping & Weaving
0.6mm - Threading small beads, binding and wrapping
0.8mm - Wirework
1.0mm - Wire wrapping large beads and making wire components.
1.2mm - Chunky wirework designs
This is a twisted steel beading wire with a nylon coating ideal for stringing beads, wrapping or binding.
This can be gold or silver plated and is ideal for wirework.
Comes in ring, bracelet and necklace sizes. It is a steel wire that doesn't lose its shape. Available in coils, fasteners are not needed.
Available in a wide range of colours and different sizes. Choose the thickness of cord/thread you require based on the bead hole size you are planning to use, you will need the cord to be at least a couple of points of a mm smaller than the bead hole size. For example a 1mm hole, use minimum of 0.8mm cord thread. The end of the cord can sometimes fray, so before you start threading your beads you may want to put a spot of nail polish or glue on the end, this also makes it easier to thread the cord through the bead.
Round Nose Pliers
These are perfect for making loops and bends in your wire and a key tool in jewellery making. The pliers taper towards the end allowing you to make different size loops, depending on where you place the wire on the jaws.
Flat Nose Pliers
Ideal for holding wire and opening and closing jump rings. The jaws are flat on the inside. An excellent tool to have in your tool kit.
Chain Nose Pliers
Similar to Flat Nose pliers as the jaws are flat on the inside, however the jaws taper at the end which make them ideal for gripping wire, opening and closing jump rings and bending wire. A handy tool to have.
There are two main type - Side Cutters and End cutters.
These are the most commonly used and allow you to get in close to your work and achieve a neat precise cut. Ideal when you need to trim head and eye pins.
Usually stronger and better for working with thicker wire.
These can be an invaluable tool to help you achieve neat crimps. They have two notches on the jaws the one nearest the handle squashes the bead into a figure 8 shape and then by turning the crimp on its side you can round the crimp bead with the notch at the tip of the pliers. Giving you a nice round secure crimp.
These are useful you when you need to pick up beads particularly when they are small. You can also use them when knotting, they can help you place your knots where you want them.
Bead Design Board
Planning your design can be made easier using a Design Board as it has measurements, grooves and sections to contain your beads. By placing your beads in the grooves you can see how your design may look when its finished and by using the measurements on the board you can get the right size.
These can be various sizes and shapes, ideal for getting those beads back in their containers.
A must have, if you don't want to be picking up beads off the floor. By using a bead mat you will be able to keep your beads in one place.
More coming soon - watch this space