. building on the instructions contained in Beadwrangler's Hands On Bead Stringing
Wirework, Lampwork Beads and Stringing If you have ever purchased lampwork beads or other designer beads and then been stuck as to how to wear a grouping of them, using wire to wrap them will work. I purchased 4 large lampwork glass beads about 2 years ago and kept planning to string them, but I never did. I pulled them out last week and realized they would be heavy to work with multiple bead strands or beading and wire would be the best idea. I borrowed some gold-filled wire from Tre, my friend, and set my beads out to plan a design.
The wire was about 18 gauge and once you bend it, you do not want to pull it back out, the wire will get brittle if it is reworked several times. Two of the beads had two holes going through them vertically. I turned the beads so the holes set horizontally. One of the beads had a hole on one end, the thin end, and I did not like the way it set with the others. I turned it upside down and began my wire around the end that did not have a hole. I then wrapped it and worked the wire through the next bead, then through both of the beads with two holes. I set one of the last two beads up higher than the other to make the whole piece balance. I used my hands to bend the wire and it is not a professional job, I am not a wirework person, but I am satisfied with it.
I added some glass beads between each lampwork beads as spacers. I added a gold-filled bead onto the wire where I began the necklace strand and another as embellishment on one of the other lampwork beads. I used gold-filled chains, each linked into the other, between glass beads, including smaller lampwork beads, worked on a gold-filled wire piece. The result is a rigid pieces between soft, loose gold chains. The only tools required were round nose and flat nose pliers plus wire cutters. You can also use sterling silver beads and wire, copper or other wire and beads that will not lose their finish.
Hair Rollers – They are great for keeping strung beads from getting tangled. Sponge type hair rollers that have a plastic piece that clamps down to hold hair, will keep your strung beads in check. It also works great to keep thread from getting tangled.
Place the beads close to the working thread spool and roll up the beads on the thread until the cut end of the thread is the last bit to go on the roller. Then clip the roller and the strands are protected. If you have beading or bead crochet started, repeat the same steps, starting to roll the beads and thread on next to the working thread spool and continue until all the beads and thread are rolled except the beadwork and then clamp the piece. You can put the hair roller with thread or strung beads, the working thread spool and the beadwork in a plastic baggy for travel or put away until the next time you are working that project. If you are making braids freehand, you can roll up each strand on a hair roller and let out the strands a little at a time as you work. You can use them for working small weavings on a loom too.
Bead Brick Stitch After I made brick stitch samplers, I went back and looked at some of the earrings I had made in the past. I found several worked in the Eye-of-God design with Czech size #1 beads which allowed the whole earring to be smaller. I also used tubes on the ends of some of the earrings for more length. The #1 Czech bugles are vintage and difficult to find, however, you can use the new Japanese bugles to make the same designs. If you do not want to wear what we used to call Ear Dusters, You can put a metal ring on the end of the earring instead of an earring finding and slip it onto a bead strung necklace including Why Knot necklaces. Native Americans made the basic earring design long before it was taught to those outside the Native American nations. If you are making
one earring to use on a necklace, you can use size #2 bugles, which are easier to find and make a larger motif. Here is one of the earrings I made. If you want to learn the basic stitch, check my Beadwork Samplers.
Wire Wrapped Bits for Necklaces and Earrings Stiff Floral wire works up into fun pieces that can be beaded and then strung on necklaces or made up as earrings. Any shape can be obtained by experimentation and the wire can be wrapped with Silamide beading thread. Use pliers to make a loop on one end and then stitch over it with Silamide thread. Then add beading to cover it. I covered one wire piece with Silamide thread, then bent it so it had two ends sticking out. I formed a hook shape on each end and then stitched it with Silamide thread. I added bead loops with 11/0 Beadwrangler bead mix over the ends so it looks like florals. I put on an ear wire for an earring, but it could easily be slipped onto a necklace and closed so it would not fall off. I also made several wrapped pieces with an 8mm bead on the end of each, then stitched Silamide thread above it and beaded over the Silamide to form a knot. I came up with these ideas when making my Floral Treasures 3-D kit. This wire can be worked out of shape, however, if you get the stiffer floral wire, you would have to really force the pieces to change their shape. They are really sturdy.
Bead Stringing Embellishment to Bead Crochet/Knitting, Macramй and Knotless Netting.
Make a sample using your choice of techniques and include size 6/0 or 8/0 beads. My sample is a little bead crocheted bag worked with size 6/0 beads. Once I finished the bag, I went back an added size 11/0 beads between the size 6/0 beads. All you need to do is thread a needle with Silamide thread, doubled and knot the ends. Then take the needle through some of the fiber from the inside or backside of the piece and back out next to a 6/0 bead. Take the needle through the 6/0 bead, then string 3 size 11/0 beads and take the needle through the next 6/0 bead. Some 6/0 beads may be closer to each other than others and you may only need 2 beads to go between two 6/0 beads. You do not have to add beads through every 6/0 bead, just enough to add density to the piece. When finished, stitch back and forth through the 11/0 beads you strung on and the 6/0 beads until the thread is worked through enough not to come loose. Then cut off the excess thread.
You can use size 8/0 beads in the piece and then use 11/0 beads to string through the 8/0 beads. You can use 8/0 tri-beads or any other shape and then use smaller beads to string through them. Cut beads work well also. If you use a large bead on the main piece and then smaller beads between, you will have more surface contrast. Take a look at my little embellished bag.
Pearls and Gemstone Combinations
Bead stringing is always fun to do when you can mix it all up using different shape and size beads. I used vintage 9/0 cut beads to string between each group of gemstones on SoftFlex wire. I used rhodonite donut beads and strung a freshwater pearl in the center of each of them. In sections between the rhodonite beads, I strung the 9/0 beads and then a rose quartz 6mm bead, an 8mm marcasite pyrite bead and then another rose quartz, then 9/0 beads. I added 2 larger marcasite beads in one section and a marcasite beetle at the end. I topped it off with a small beaded bag worked in matching beads. Using a variety of gemstone beads in different sizes and shapes makes a classic necklace. Pearls always enhance a necklace. The little bag can be taken off the necklace and the necklace worn long, or double the necklace and use the little bag as a closure for a short choker. Be sure and use a bead board to lay out your necklace before stringing it in case you want to make some changes.