Monthly Archives: November 2009

Jewelry Making Terms

Learn the lingo for jewelry-making supplies

Copied from Beading Wear Daily

Seeing all those chains and their proper names made me think about what we call things. For instance, I’ve always called Boston link chain “elongated box chain,” and I’m sure readers can picture what I’m talking about without me using the proper name. It’s the same for lots of jewelry-making materials-there can be lots of names for the same thing. Just for fun I made you a chart of some supplies and terms that have multiple names.


Common name

Less-common name


Ribbon-end crimp

Basketweave crimp



Earring backing

Ear nut

Hook-and-eye clasp

Fishhook clasp



Knot cup


Spacer bar




Czech crystal

India glass

Wound glass

Pressed glass

Molded glass

Semiprecious stone


Cylinder bead

Delica, Treasure


Beading wire

Flexible beading wire, nylon-coated steel wire, SoftFlex, Beadalon, Accuflex

Craft wire

Artistic Wire, color-coated copper wire

French wire

Gimp, bullion


Nylon-jaw pliers

Wire straighteners

Embroidery scissors

Snippers, sharp scissors

Other materials

Beading wax

Beeswax, microcrystalline wax, synthetic wax

Nylon beading thread

Nymo, Silamide, C-Lon, One-G

Braided beading thread

FireLine, WildFire, Power Pro

Elastic cord

Gossamer cord, illusion cord


Many Thanks To Anita!

Thank You From The Bottom Of Our Hearts!

No more porn, no more pills, no more posts for pitifully awful photos! 

No more Russian! 

As you know I have been swamped with comments that have nothing to do with beading!   I don’t speak Russian. Most of us couldn’t read them even if I approved the comment for publication.   However, there were enough English words in them to know what was being offered.   Many offered links in English. 

Now, the comments had to be moderated and approved before they could appear on the site.  That protected us from having the reputation as a porn site!  However, there are simply not enough hours in my day to deal with all of that nonsense.   And if any of our members or readers should have interest in their topics, they could just Goggle it! 

This month it hit critical mass with over 400 unsavory posts to delete.  They have to be individually marked and deleted at the rate of 20 at a time. 

Out of desparation, I contacted Anita, our previous webmaster, and spelled out my predicament to her and requested assistance in closing the comment section.

She graciously complied with the request and promptly assisted me in closing the Comments capability.

This will mean that no one will be able to comment on the site.  If you have information you would like to share and/or comments you would like to have posted, simply e-mail me and I will put it here.

Anita was certainly under no obligation to do this for us.  Her generosity in taking her valuable time to assist us once again is greatly appreciated. 

Thank You Anita From The Bottom Of Our Hearts!!

Joni Stinson

p.s. Look at the bottom of this post.  See those wonderful words, NO COMMENTS…they are beautiful to me!

October 27, 2009 Meeting Minutes


October 27, 2009

President Virginia would like to make an amendment to last month’s minutes. The minutes read “Gail May volunteered to find housing for Nancy after the first of the year.” Amended to read “Gail May volunteered to find a meeting room for the Nancy Meinhardt class, after the first of the year.”

Treasurer Report: Christy read her last report.  Should you have need of the current balance, please contact Christy. 

The Bead Bazaar will be held April 10, 2009. Joan will keep us informed as time goes on.

Library: Barb would like all teachers to give her a copy of the monthly projects they teach. She will make a booklet of all the projects to have in the library.

Joni put out a numbered paper with pictures of the Nancy Meinhardt classes. Members were to vote on two of their favorites. Next month the numbers will be tallied

The club discussed future monthly projects they were interested in.

The January meeting will be our Christmas party.

February Gail will show us how to make shrink plastic name tags.

Member discussed the Bead & Button bus trip to Milwaukee. It was decided to leave on Thursday and return home on late Saturday. Barb volunteered to find some housing and bus prices.

Lisa showed us her November Christmas ornament project. Members were sent instructions via e-mail. Lisa handed out extra copies to anyone needing them.

President asked members if they would be interested in taking another Charlene Zweerink (5 Z’s in Lincoln) class. After much discussion it was decided, Virginia will contact Charlene and get a list of classes she could teach in the spring.

Joan Duggan did our class on Color Theory. It was very well presented and we all learned a lot. Thanks Joan.

Show and Tell was presented.  Item shown will be added in a different article.

Respectably submitted,

Pam Elledge, Sectetary


How to Choose the Right Wire Gauge

This article was published in Beadingdaily.

Our member, Lisa Dryden suggested that we put it on the website as a permanent reference. Hopefully, it will be useful to you and you won’t have to dig through your saved files to locate it. It will be here when you have need of the information! Thanks for the suggestion Lisa.

A Quick Guide to Wire Gauge and Hardness

 Chances are, if you’ve been making jewelry for a while, you’re feeling ready to expand your skills. For many beaders and stringers, that means moving into the realm of wire. But I know wire can feel a little daunting—I vividly recall my first class. You bend it which way? But remember when you first started with seed beads and you thought, no way am I going to work with those tiny things! Or when you started stringing and you thought, I really don’t understand how these crimps work.

It’s just a matter of diving in and getting familiar with the materials and tools. The two things most critical to jewelry making with wire are the gauges and the hardness.

 Wire Gauge

Gauge refers to the thickness or diameter of the wire. The smaller the number, the thicker the wire. For instance, to bend thick wire into a bangle, you might use 4 gauge, which is a little over ¼” thick. But if you want to knit with wire, you might use 28- or 30-gauge, which are almost like thread. Use a wire gauge tool by slipping the wire in a notch to determine the gauge.

Here are some of the most common wire jewelry-making components and the best wire gauges for creating them:

 12g-14g – heavier clasps

  12g-18g – links, medium clasps

 16g-20g – jump rings

 18g-22g – ear wires, simple loops

 20g-24g – coils, wrapped loops

 24g-30g – knitting.

Wire Hardness

Wire hardness The hardness of the wire refers to the malleability. Hardness also differs by material. Sterling is harder than copper. Brass and bronze tend to be stiffer than both copper and sterling. When you’re working with very fine gauges, hardness is a bit irrelevant, since fine gauge wires are so thin they’re ultimately pliable.

But if you work with thicker gauges, you want to choose the hardness most appropriate for the work you’re doing. For instance, if you want to make ear wires, you know they should have some stiffness and spring to them. But if you’re coiling wire, you want that wire to be soft enough to easily wrap around whatever you’re using as a mandrel.

 Full hard: fully tempered, very hard and stiff. There is rarely a call for full hard in jewelry making.

 Half hard: softer than full hard, but still holds some shape. Good for ear wires or hooks.

 Dead soft: very soft, no spring, very pliable. Best for bending, coiling, hammering, and manipulating the wire a lot.

Work Hardening Your Wire

All metal becomes stiffer when you work with it–that’s called work hardening. Any sort of manipulation of the wire changes the molecular structure of it, causing it to become harder and more brittle.

The only way you can return the wire to its softer state is to heat it, which you can do if you have a torch or a kiln. But you can always harden soft wire by hammering, either with a metal hammer to flatten and texture, or with a rawhide mallet, to maintain the roundness but temper, or harden, the metal.

You can use work hardening to your advantage when you’re making jewelry. When you start with soft wire and want to make a few jump rings by coiling the wire around a mandrel, the coiling will work harden the metal and make your jump rings stronger.

Buying Wire

When you buy craft wire, it’s primarily copper with a colo red coating of some type. Consequently it’s quite soft and easy to work with. Craft wire does not come in different degrees of hardness. But when you buy silver or copper wire from jewelry suppliers, you should specify the hardness you want.

Get Wired!!