This necklace was to try out my beading wire and crimps.
I’d ordered 7-strand BeadSmith flex-rite, which is the hobby stuff, but it seems the seller I bought it from (Sanctuary Beads on eBay) was out of stock, so they replaced it for free with the 49-strand “professional” version. Which was very nice! Flex-rite is made of strands of steel wire covered in nylon coating – the coating on mine is clear so it looks steely. You can get coloured ones. Beadalon also make a version, and there’s tigertail which is the more generic beading wire but is stiffer, can kink and doesn’t drape as well.
I marked the wire beforehand with a thin cd labelling pen so I could see where to put things (it wipes off with a hankie if still visible after). The necklace ends were annoying – you thread the crimp on the wire, thread on that half of the fastening, then bend the wire and run it back through the crimp a second time. However, wire is sproingy… It took some fiddling and many tries to get everything held in the right place so I could actually crimp the bead. My crimps could do with more practice too – they’re a bit messy. (I have a pair of self-closing tweezers now – you squeeze to open them. This would have made doing the ends much easier!) The necklace has a screw fastening.
I wore it to work, and decided I wanted a matching bracelet and earrings, so I made them the next night. (Definite benefit of making your own jewellery!). For some reason I was having a whole lot more trouble with my crimps that evening – I think I was probably just using too much force and kept breaking them.
It was still nice and sunny when I got back that evening, so I took the opportunity to experiment with some photographs. (‘Tween necklace and extras, my scanner ceased to co-operate… For this piece, I do think the photographs are better).
The beads were from my mystery box, most of which I identified from the website, but these were tricky as the colour can vary so much. The little beads are pinky-orange and the bigger ones are orange-yellow. After a lot of looking, I’m calling them honey jade because they match up with what other people call that. This is a descriptive term – it isn’t real jade at all, but can be jasper, serpentine or red aventurine. (I suspect the larger stones are probably red aventurine, and possibly the smaller ones too).
Speaking of so-called “jade”, here’s Wikipedia on faux jade and JewelrySupply on some jade types and what they really are. You can see why people describe these stones as jade – they don’t look like what one would picture when serpentine or jasper are mentioned.