View Full Version : Beading between sterling silver links

15-04-2013, 01:14 PM

Could anyone out there give me some advice with regards to making a single bead 'connection' between large sterling silver links.

I want to place a round glass bead as a link between silver links but don't want to use twisted wire links. Instead I am using .019in soft touch, magic crimps and silver wire protectors. As the necklace is mainly sterling I was wondering if it would be better to use 0.5mm silver wire instead of the soft touch.

I hope this makes sense ..... if not I will try and post some pics

Many thanks


15-04-2013, 01:42 PM

I hope this makes it a little clearer .... and if anyone is wondering, yes I did forget to attach it to the silver links DOH !!!

15-04-2013, 05:19 PM
You will not be able to solder the wire which passes through the bead (at least only one end) but 0.5mm wire is a bit thin if you don't twist it. Could you ream out the bead with a diamond coated bead reamer and then use hard drawn 0.9 mm wire without heating it? Dennis.

16-04-2013, 09:09 AM
If you want to avoid wire wrapping you could glue simple loop findings like these into each end of the drill holes...?
You could also use silver crimps if you stick to your present method

16-04-2013, 09:25 AM
Are those the beads you're using? If so, why use sterling at all?

16-04-2013, 09:49 AM
Thanks for the replies - I don't normally use beads (apart from some basic threading) and my wire wrapping is really messy so I suppose I was trying to be lazy and tidy at the same time. I found a really good vid on youtube last night and practiced until my fingers were sore, much improved and just goes to show that there aint no shortcuts.


16-04-2013, 11:29 AM
Are those the beads you're using? If so, why use sterling at all?

I like millefiori with silver, why not? :) As for finding, personally I would prefer twisted silver wire instead of crimping.

Actually, it's very useful topic- how to achieve professional jewelry look with beading elements. I'm looking for the solution myself. Maybe, clamshell beads, a bit bigger than mass market ones, with different designs. Or hidden end bead covers ( http://www.artbeads.com/find-0541.html ), or spring mechanism bead ends ( http://www.riogrande.com/Content/Using-the-Spring-Mechanism-HT-psd?Pos=2 ).
Incorporating beading in jewelry piece to receive fine look is nearly impossible with mass market. It was one of the reasons why I bought torch and silver :)

16-04-2013, 12:53 PM
The problem with most millefiori beads (along with other cheap lampwork glass) is that they're made very in bulk in India or China, and unlike artisan lampwork, are generally not properly annealed. The result is that they can crack or break randomly, often some time after they're made, which rather defeats the object of using precious metal for other components. I realise this is a bit of a sweeping statement, and I'm sure it is possible to get decent quality versions somewhere, but I've yet to come across them.

16-04-2013, 04:56 PM
Cheers George, as I said, I have not thought of using beads before and admit to knowing 'diddly' about them .... obviously alot more research is needed (I've just finished reading about the process of making glass beads and the importance of kiln annealing). Just one last piece of advice, I absolutely LOVE these http://www.annelysetaylor.co.uk/page2.htm but I can only afford these http://www.auraartglass.com/bead-sets--focals-47-c.asp - are these more along the lines of what you recommend I use ?

16-04-2013, 05:55 PM
Annelyse's work is absolutely gorgeous - but Ingrid's are just fine too - as long as you opt for artisan lampwork (and there are some amazingly talented lampworkers in the UK), you'll be just fine, and they are definitely worth using with silver.

17-04-2013, 03:31 AM
Did someone try the magic finding? I'm not getting how strand is secure without crimps.

17-04-2013, 06:35 AM
Lana, the magic finding is the crimp, it looks like you need a special crimping tool (similar to the standard magic crimping pliers) that forms the crimp into a bead.

17-04-2013, 07:20 PM
Well, nothing magic :)