Category Archives: Beads

Jump For Jump Rings

Usually, I buy my findings but have decided to branch out a bit. Reading Mindset by Carol Dwek, Ph.D., got me to hop out of my comfort zone. I’ve seen people make their own jump rings and tried a few times, unsuccessfully. The ends of my rings would never line up because my wire nippers left an angled cut.

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I finally bought a pair of flush cutters (above) and I’m in production mode!

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Have you tried making your own findings?  I’d love to hear your adventures with wire.

Join me at the Michaels in Springfield for the Velvet Drop Chandelier Earrings class where I’ll teach you how to make jump rings in any size you desire and incorporate them into a lovely pair of earrings you’ll be proud to wear!  Registration is $15, and only 3 supplies needed; you’ll even make your own ear wires and wear these lovelies home!

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Chained to My Seat

I just can’t get up!  I’m glued, or “chained,” to my chair because I’m too engrossed in making chain maille.  This is a technique where jump rings are opened and attached to one another in various ways.  There are lots of different styles and some even call for using various sizes of jump rings in the same pattern.

I started playing with chain maille when I decided to add it to my class offering at Michaels.  Beginning and Intermediate classes are on the schedule.  I’m also going to teach a workshop at my mom’s handcraft group next month.  So, I’ve been playing with the Orbital Ring, Byzantine, Turkish Round, Full Persian, Half Persian, Japanese 12-in-2, Helm’s Weave, and Dragonscale patterns.

And I’ve also experimented with different jump rings. I like the Artistic Wire ones because they are cut straight across. This ensures a nice, neat, and virtually seamless join.

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Byzantine

This Byzantine necklace was worked with regular jump rings found at Michaels.  Their joins are very uneven but they make perfecting testing rings.  I loved working the Byzantine pattern so much that I decided to continue on – making what originally was a bracelet into a necklace!  I’m going to embellish this one a bit with some Swarovski crystals.

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Turkish Round

Here is my Turkish Round bracelet. This one is more complicated than the Byzantine. As you can see, the rings fit very closely together.  That makes for close quarters getting the pliers where they need to be to close the jump rings. By the way, the pliers needed are a pair of bent chain nose and a regular pair of chain nose.  Or, you could use 2 pairs of bent chain nose.  I use one of each.  The bend at the tip of one of the pliers allows you to maneuver your hands without your knuckles bumping against each other. And the smooth surface inside the mouth of the pliers ensures that you won’t mar the surface of the jump rings. Needle nose pliers don’t work for this because they have teeth, or grooves, inside their gripping jaws.

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Japanese 12-in-2

Here’s the Japanese 12-in-2 daisy. I decided to stop at this point thinking that it makes a nice earring or pendant. This piece and the Turkish Round are made with the Artistic Wire jump rings.  You can see in portions of the designs that the joins are much smoother than the joins in the Byzantine necklace.

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Chain Maille supplies

So, here’s what you need to get started –  2 pairs of chain nose pliers (the bent nosed ones are on the left) and some jump rings!  If you want to create a bracelet or short necklace, you’ll need a clasp too.  After opening a bunch of jump rings, I line them up with the right side of the join curling up into the air.  I’m right-handed, so it’s easier for me to pick up an individual ring in just the right spot to immediately place it in the chain maille weave.

So many possibilities! And so little time! Got to get back to my chain maille projects.

Hope to see you in class!

Beading Classes at Michaels

I’m offering new classes at Michaels — Beads!

Wire Crochet
Wire Crochet

This is going to be so much fun.  I’m very excited about the possibilities – color, texture, all of the various materials like wire and cording.

Fundamentals of Wire Crochet

No crochet experience is necessary to take the Wire Crochet class.  And the materials needed are few:  an aluminum or steel crochet hook, a spool of wire, a clasp, and beads that catch your eye.

The results can be stunning!

Crimping
Crimping

Fundamentals of Crimping Techniques

Crimping
Crimping

Tiny crimp beads incorporated into this design result in a ‘floating’ necklace.  Bead stringing wire or  clear transite can be used as your stringing material.  Add some beads and a clasp for results you’re sure to be proud of.

One of the exciting things about the jewelry classes is that students leave with a finished piece!  In 2 1/2 hours, learn new techniques, meet others who are interested in beading, and design your own unique piece of jewelry.

Sign up today at Michaels Arts & Crafts, Springfield, VA.  I can’t wait to see your designs!