Findings--Any number of metal hardware components used in jewelry making. Examples: headpins, earring wires, jump and split rings, etc.
Headpin--Length of pre-cut wire (usually 2" or less) used to attach a bead to another object. Has a flat head on one end to stop the bead. Can be cut to desired length. Can also have a bead, glass or metal ball on end (in place of flat head).
Eyepin--Length of pre-cut wire (usually 2" or less) used to attach a bead to another object. Has a rounded loop on one end resembling an "eye."
Jump Ring--Small metal ring (most commonly 4mm or 6mm) with a split in the top. Used to connect other objects together. Always open jump rings with two pairs of flat nosed pliers in a forward / backward motion. NEVER open to the side (like Mrs. Pacman opening her mouth) as it destroys the shape of the jump ring and is nearly impossible to get back.
Split Ring--Small metal ring (most commonly 4mm or 6mm) that wraps around multiple times. Resembles a tiny key ring. Used to connect other objects together.
Crimp Bead--Very tiny thin walled bead used to attach two stringing wires / strings together. Use flat nosed pliers or special crimping pliers to attach crimp bead to wire / string.Wires are attached when crimp bead is smashed together using pliers.
Crimp Cover--Small "Mrs. Pacman shaped" bead (typically metal) that fits over a crimp bead. For cosmetic purposes (to hide the crimp bead). Carefully use flat nosed pliers or crimping pliers to close it into place.
Fastener--Any number of items used to attach two ends of a necklace or bracelet together while wearing. Also called clasps.
Toggle Clasp--Clasp used to fasten two ends of a necklace or bracelet together while wearing. A toggle clasp has one circular end and one bar end. The bar end goes through the circular end and rests on the outside across the circle.
Lobster Clasp--Clasp used to fasten two ends of a necklace or bracelet together while wearing. It resembles a lobster claw. Has a spring hinge on outside of clasp and opens up to attach to a jump or split ring on the other end.
Springing Clasp--Clasp used to fasten two ends of a necklace or bracelet together while wearing. Similar to the lobster claw, it is circular in shape and has a small notch at top of circle to open it. Has a spring hinge on outisde of clasp and opens up to attach to a jump or split ring on the other end.
Barrel Clasp--Clasp used to fasten two ends of a necklace or bracelet together while wearing. Resembles a root beer barrel. Two ends of barrel un-srew to open, and screw together to close. Also available in a magnetic version that attaches with a magnet versus internal and external threads.
Earring Wire--The metal wires at the top of earrings that fasten the ear to the earrings.
Fish Hook--Most common type of earring wire. Shaped like a fish hook. Usually has a tiny ball and spring on wire before wire loop. Attaches directly through ear. Requires pierced ears to wear.
Lever Back--Back of earring wire attaches through ear and securely fastens to back via a spring hinge (lever). Requires pierced ears to wear.
Post--Earring back attaches directly through ear with no extraneous wires--just the stud back. Also called a stud earring. Requires pierced ears to wear.
Clip-on--Lever style back that allows earring to fasten to outside of ear withough going directly through ear. Older versions had a tiny handle that screwed back towards ear to adjust tightness. Does not require pierced ears to wear.
Chain--Small metal links attached together to form one continuous length. Each link is a tiny jump ring (split in link) for easy attachment and removal. Comes in a variety of sizes and styles.
Wire--There are three basic kinds of wire: Solid wire (used for wire wrapping, chain links, making and attaching charms, etc), stringing wire and memory wire. Come in a variety of gauges, colors, metals and styles. All wire is measured by gauges (width). The larger the number, the smaller the width or gauge. Usually comes on spools in large quantities. The local hardware store or your favorite electrician is a great source of wire.
Solid Wire--Solid strands of wire are used for wire wrapping, chain links, making and attaching charms, etc. Typically made from a copper or alluminum base and are often color coated. Usually comes on spools in large quantities. The local hardware store or your favorite electrician is a great source of wire. Gauges vary in size--the larger the number, the smaller the width or gauge. For wire used in my classes, I recommend either an 18 or 20 gauge of wire. For wire-wrapping (wire on wire) earrings made in my classes, I recommend a 24 or 26 gauge for the wrapping wire. Always use proper wire cutters to cut wire. DO NOT USE MEMORY WIRE CUTTERS TO CUT THIS KIND OF WIRE. Using the wrong wire cutters will dull your cutters and ruin your wire.
Stringing Wire--Multi-strand wire used for stringing necklaces or bracelets. usually 5 to 7 (or more) strands of tiny wire woven together and coated for durability. Usually comes on spools in large quantities. Depending on project, bead size, weight, etc, I recommend anywhere from a .50mm to a 1mm stringing wire. Always use proper wire cutters to cut wire. DO NOT USE MEMORY WIRE CUTTERS TO CUT THIS KIND OF WIRE. Using the wrong wire cutters will dull your cutters and ruin your wire.
Memory Wire--Wire made to always hold the same coiled shape. Usually comes on spools in large quantities. Can cut to desired length. ONLY USE MEMORY WIRE CUTTERS ON THIS KIND OF WIRE. Using any other kind of wire cutters will dull your cutters and ruin your wire.
Clear Stringing Line--Used for basic stringing projects. Comes in various widths and colors. Depending on project, bead size, weight, etc, I recommend anywhere from a .50mm to a 1mm stringing line. Best line can be found in the fishing department. These strings are tested / rated for high strength and come in different colors.
Stretchy Cord--Clear elastic cord that stretches over head or wrist causing no need for a fastener. Depending on project, bead size, weight, etc, I recommend anywhere from a .50mm to a 1mm stringing line. The thinner (.50mm) cords tend to stretch out over time, whereas the thicker cords hold their shape better over time. Used for simple stringing projects. Always tie 3 solid square knots at the end of the line. Glue is not necessary for securing the string but can be added according to your preferences.
Flat Nose (Chain Nose) Pliers--Basic necessity for jewelry making. Pliers that are flat on inside and slightly rounded on the outside. Used for gripping, holding, bending, twisting, forming wires. Some have ridges or teeth on inside of pliers--use with caution as they will leave teeth marks on your wire.
Round Nose Pliers--Basic necessity for jewelry making.Each barrel is rounded (sometimes one is slightly larger than the other). They are smaller at the tip and slowly get bigger towards bottom of barrels. Use shape of round nose pliers to help form perfect loops and circles in wire work. For those making loops, they often mark the perfect spot on the barrel with a sharpie or other marker to always get the same sized loop. Small flat notch in the very center of the barrel that can be used similar to a flat nosed plier.
Cutters (Nippers)--Basic necessity for jewelry making. Used to cut wire. Always use the corret type of wire cutter for your project--using the wrong cutters can dull your cutters and ruin your wire. Keep your free hand on any wire you are cutting off (shrapnel) as it becomes airborne and unpredictable rather quickly. Point cutters away from self and others when cutting.
Seed Beads--Tiny glass beads made from long glass canes that were fired, formed and broken. The way they were broken / cut often determines the uniformity of their size and shape. Delicas are cylinder rocailles with perfect uniform roundness. Also called pony beads by the Native Americans because they were brough over by the Europeans and often traveled on ponies across the country. Used in bead weaving, intricate bead work, and in various other projects.
Glass Beads--Glass is made from sand that is melted at high temperatures. Once melted it is blown, drawn or wound in high temperature furnaces until formed. Venice the Capitol of the Glass Making world. Originally they started making glass to imitate expensive jewels and to make rosary beads. Murano--single island of glass production. Secrets handed down from generation to generation--highly guarded secrets. Millefiori--thousand flowers made into glass canes that are cut into beads. Glass work is highly valued for its intricate work on details. Highly prized skills. Glass beads also tend to be very dense and heavy.
Crystal--Multi-faceted, high quality gemstone-esque glass beads. Glass poured in molds, faceted, shined and often given a special finish (Aurora Borealis--AB). Most popular companies Jablonex and Swarovski. Often cut in geometric shapes with very clean cut lines. Look like diamonds and gorgeous shiny faceted gemstones.
Cloisonné--Metal base with a metal overlay pattern. Enamel paint used to fill in pattern, fired and turns into a gorgeous pattern. Often flowers or fish (oriental in origin).
Gemstone--All natural stones, most often mined. Carved and polished. Often celebrated in their natural state. Sometimes rare and expensive. Examples include: Agate, Jet, Jade, Quartz, Onyx, Turquoise, Emerald, Ruby, Lapis Lazuli, Amethyst, Amber. Jet-carved black stone (coal that has been compressed into a gorgeous gemstone, then polished to shine). Originated in Whitby England during the 1800's and used primariliy for Victorian mourning jewelry upon the death of Queen Victoria's husband. Wood--Carved beads that come in all different shapes, sizes and finishes. Because it is a naturally occuring item, pattern, grain, etc may vary among beads. If you need matching beads, but them at the same time from the same lot.
Pearl--Most prized of all the jewels. Grown inside oysters. 1890's saw the growth of the cultured pearls--bead is put inside oyster shell to stimulate growth around it. Shape of pearl is determined by what is used to start it (sand, bead, rock, etc). Also determines quality of pearl. Nacre refers to shine / luster of pearl. Pearls will take on other smells, so wear and store pearls in a safe way. If you need same color, size, or shape buy at same time from same dye lot.
Shell--Seashells are cut, waxed, buffed, and sometimes painted into beads and buttons. Most common shells used are mother of pearl, conch and trochus. Marquetry refers to the practice of laying shell pieces on wooden beads and then waxing the finished product. Some shells are dyed so if you need same color, size, or shape buy them at the same time from the same dye lot.
Bone--Most commonly used bones are camel, buffalo and cow. Only 4 major bones large enough to use. Are cut and buffed / shined down into sizes needed.
Clay--The clay category includes several different kinds of beads: porcelain, ceramic and polymer. All are made from a mud-like clay base. Porcelain and ceramic are painted / coated and then fired in a kiln. Porcelain tend to have a more delicately painted pattern on them (often reminiscent of Chinese pottery). Ceramic beads usually have a thicker glaze painted on them and are very durable. Polymer clay is a man-made clay that has to be baked before used. Doesn't require a glaze or sealant before being used. All three types of clay can be shaped into any size or pattern desired. Can be heavy depending on design.
Plastic--Plastic beads are usually mass produced and not always the highest quality. Often used for children's crafts projects. Are made by pouring the plastic into molds--you can see the mold line running around the middle of the bead.
Acrylic--Plastic beads that are of a higher quality. Often made to look like faux gemstones, crystal, etc.