Jewelry findings

O ring and toggle clasp strands to lay parallel to each other. | JUMP RINGS | Jump rings are small metal rings that can be opened to hook onto links or jewelry findings and closed to secure a crimp to the end of a strand as part of the clasping system. They are available in different sizes, in metal finishes and in sterling silver. | SPLIT RINGS | A split ring operates just like a small key-chain ring: One end opens laterally, then the charm or chain link slips onto the ring. Split rings provide a more secure connection than jump rings.

clasps Be sure to select a clasp that matches the scale (size) and style of your beadwork. For instance, an ornate toggle clasp adds interest to a simply strung strand, whereas a small spring clasp better complements a strand of delicate beadwork. | SPRING CLASP | This is the most common and simplest clasp. A small lever allows it to open and hook onto or unhook from a jump ring or the hole in an accompanying metal tab. | LOBSTER CLASP | The lobster clasp functions like the spring clasp, but the opening allows it to hook onto a larger jump ring or leather loop. | O RING AND TOGGLE CLASP | There are many ornate variations of the O ring and toggle clasp. Each piece is crimped onto the strand end. To fasten, fit the toggle completely through the O ring. | HOOK AND EYE | The hook end simply threads in and out through the eye opening to fasten and unfasten the strand. | FILIGREE CLASPS | In this clasp, a separate folded metal end squeezes flat to slide into the filigree housing. Pinch the metal end together to unfasten the clasp.

earring findings Earrings provide instant gratification as they're quickly assembled onto findings. You'll find earrings for both pierced and unpierced ears in this book.

| SPRING LEVER | This earring finding opens for placement on the ear and then springs closed for a secure fit. | FRENCH EARWIRE | This earwire is a simple fishhook shape that passes through the ear. | POST EARRINGS | These are the most traditional type of earring base. They are simply posts with backings to secure them. The beads loop through a small ring that hangs below the stud. | HOOP EARRINGS | These are slim wire hoops that are very easy to bead. Purchase the variety that has a smooth wire on one end and a hole in the other.

The selection of stringing materials is crucial to the strength and appearance of finished beaded pieces. Follow the material guidelines for each project. You can always change the color, but stick with the specified product type to ensure success. As with findings, the wire or thread you choose to string your piece can have a big impact on the look of the jewelry.

wire and chain

The advantage of beading with wire and chain is that needles or knots aren't needed and beads can be quickly twisted, wrapped or hooked into position. The general rule when buying wire or chain is the higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire, and, conversely, the lower the gauge, the thicker the wire or chain.

| 32-GAUGE BEADING WIRE | A very thin wire, 32-gauge wire easily threads through small seed beads. It's usually available in both gold and silver finishes. Because it's so fine, twists and kinks can quickly cause the wire to break. | MEMORY WIRE | Memory wire is resilient coiled wire sold in bracelet, necklace and ring sizes. It's imperative to use either sturdy wire cutters or custom memory wire cutters on this wire. | 26-GAUGE STAINLESS STEEL AND STERLING SILVER WIRE | Both stainless steel and sterling silver wire have been used in this book. Sterling silver is obviously the more expensive choice, and it is also more pliable than steel. It's worth the added expense if the wire becomes a visible part of the finished piece. Sterling wire can always be polished to restore its sheen, whereas stainless steel has a dull finish. | BEADALON WIRE | Beadalon wire is the most commonly used stringing wire because of its strength, availability and ease of use. It has a strong wire core covered with a soft, flexible nylon coating. It's unnecessary to use beading needles with this stringing wire—simply thread the beads onto the rigid end. Beadalon wires come in a multitude of thicknesses and colored finishes, so be careful to select the size indicated on the materials list to ensure that the wire will work with beads, crimps and clasp. | L I N K CHAIN | Link chain is sold in a variety of thicknesses, from very fine chain to heavy elongated links. The cost of the link chain varies widely depending on the metal content and whether it is plated or solid sterling. All chain can be easily broken into smaller lengths by simply cutting open a single link with wire cutters.

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