Beading - Finishing Your Piece
When you're planning a piece of jewelry, it's loads of fun to choose the right beads and work out how you're going to put them all together for the final result. But there's another element you need to consider - how are you going to finish off your piece?
The bits and pieces that are used to finish off pieces of jewelry are commonly known as findings. This general term covers all sorts of fasteners, connectors and spacers that you can use to give your jewelry the finishing touch. There are an enormous variety of findings available, so I will just cover the main types that are reasonably common in shops.
Findings are generally available in either gold or silver colors; sometimes as pure metals, sometimes as gold or silver plating. If you're making earrings, it's a good idea to use either sterling silver or gold for earwires. Also, if you choose a magnetic clasp, remember that this can cause issues for someone with a pacemaker.
Unless you're using some sort of stretchy cord or making a very long piece, you will need a fastener to put on or remove bracelets and necklaces. There are plenty of fasteners available, including:
- Hook and Eye
Shop around until you find one you like. These are just generic categories, and the range available in each category can be quite varied and interesting.
Spacer and End Bars
These are used for multistrand necklaces or bracelets. The spacer bar helps to keep the strands separate in the middle of the piece, and the end bar is used to finish off the ends of the rows. You can also buy fasteners that are specifically designed for multirow jewelry. If you don't want to keep the strands separate at the end of the row, you can pass them all into an end cap or cone to finish off the strands.
Depending on the design of your earrings, you might need earwires or ear studs for pierced ears, or screw or clip ear findings for non-pierced ears. You can also buy ear posts and a matching scroll or butterfly and use them to hold earrings in pierced ears. To make drop earrings you will need eyepins or headpins to support the beads, and you can also buy chandelier earring findings for more complicated designs.
Crimps can be used for a couple of different purposes, including attaching fasteners to beading wire or thread, and also to help keep beads in place in the design. You buy metal crimps for use with wire and tiger tail, and you can buy leather crimps or spring ends to use with leather and cotton. You can use metal crimps with thread or elastic, but you must be very careful that when you squash the crimp you don't cut the thread.
Jump rings and split rings can be used as links, and for joining other items, such as fasteners, onto a piece of jewelry. Jump rings are a single circle of metal, and split rings are a double circle to provide extra strength and security.
About the Author: If you want to read more about beading, click over to Felicity's site at http://www.beading-is-fun.info To read Felicity's Ultimate Bead Lover's Guide, go to http://www.ultimatebeadloversguide.com