I have often been asked what certain findings are used for and so I thought I would add something to the guide list which might assist those new to jewellery making. This isn't a comprehensive list but a selection of the most commonly asked questions.
1. What is a jump ring used for?
A jump ring is a double twisted loop which you attach, for example, onto a necklace chain. You then slide the pendant through the open end of the wire of the jump ring and this then prevents the pendant becoming detached from the chain. It is far more secure than a split ring which is a single loop which can open if pulled.
2. What are crimp beads used for?
Crimp beads secure the thread when attaching to the clasp of a necklace or bracelet. You need crimping pliers for the best results. Thread jewellery wire or thread through the loop of the clasp and then securely holding both threads add a small bead, then thread a single crimp bead over the two threads and make sure it's right against the bead. With the crimping pliers close the crimp with the banana shaped segment ... then using the segment closest to the nose of the pliers, squash the banana shape into a secure ball. Now you are ready to thread on the beads of your choice and of course, you repeat the procedure at the either end. For heavier beads you might want to use 2 crimps each end just to be sure.
3. What is a cabochon?
Cabochons are flat backed "stones" which have a domed or faceted shaped front surface. They don't have a hole, they are stuck into pendants of the same size or they can be beaded around. Cabochons can be made of glass, wood, plastic, semi-precious stones, diamonds and everything else in between. Before fixing cabochons the setting needs to be scratched to ensure a good finished grip. Plastic, wood and solid glass cabochons should also be scratched but never scratch the surface of a cab where the effect can be seen from the front, ie, foil backed or clear glass cabs.
4. What is a headpin/eyepin used for?
A headpin is a piece of wire (usually 38mm long) which has one end which has been flattened like you see on a sewing pin. Beads can be threaded on but don't fall off (assuming the hole in the bead isn't bigger than the head of the pin!). An eyepin has a loop on the end and you can use this to link to another eyepin thus making earrings (for example) with different movable beaded sections.
5. What are folding crimps used for?
Folding crimps house a thicker cord for necklaces or bracelets .. cord like leather or thick cotton thonging. You fold one side over the cord with pliers and then do the same to the other side. This creates a secure grasp on the thread. The folding crimp has a loop which you would then attach to the necklace/bracelet clasp with a jump ring (1).
These are the most common questions. I hope they have helped! Do contact me if you have other questions and if I can answer them .. I will :o)
If you haven't found this guide helpful, please let me know why as this will help me improve it for others. Thanks.