How a Bead Becomes a gEM's - Part 3

Colour scheme selected, pattern worked out, and approximate number of beads necessary to create a finished necklace of 16"-17" have been counted out.

Now it's time to string! Or assemble the necklace.

On necklaces like this one, I recently switched from dacron as a stringing material, to silk. Silk has a beautiful, and flexible kinks will happen here!

When I used dacron, I finished my ends by melting them with an open flame. Now that I use silk, I have switched to Crazy Glue Gel (silk turns to ash when it is close to flame).

Other string materials include tiger tail, Beadalon, hemp, waxed linen, leather, fishing line...

As almost all of my creations use natural stone, variations in size, colour, and shape can occur. I try my best to weed out "mis-matched" beads from a piece. This can involve stringing a few beads, and then holding it up to check the position of the beads relative to the other beads. It's like painting a wall, and stepping back to check out how it looks.

When I make earrings in particular, I am careful to get the beads as similar to each other as possible - as similar as nature can make them, and that sit in my collection. The beauty of natural materials is the uniqueness of each bead!

A few other things that I should tell you about how I string beads:

*I use beeswax to prevent from the end of the silk from fraying while sliding beads along it

*I don't use beading needles. I have tried many over the years, and I just end up frustrated. I am very skilled at manipulating the beads (even seed beads) in between my thumb and index finger (multiple beads at a time). The beeswax also provides a slightly stiff end, which is easy to use.

*I drop finished, but not yet clasp-ed up, pieces all the time


PeriwinkleDzyns said...

Em - you need to invest in some bead stoppers so when you drop unclasped things they won`t scatter
poco has them :)

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