2. Type of Findings (findings are things like clasps, headpins, earwires)
Baroque beads – randomly shaped nugget bead.
Chevron beads – glass beads originally made by Italian glassmakers in the 13th century. Sometimes they are called Rosetti or star beads. They are made with many layers of coloured glass, cut to show a chevron pattern.
Cane glass – see Furnace Glass.
Cloisonné – an art form that started in Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Metal and enamel and used in making Cloisonné. Filigree metal is used to outline flowers or patterns, which is then coloured in with enamel glazes. Cloisonné is relatively cheap so is great for (jewellery making) beginners.
Crystals – the best crystal beads are made by Swarovski. Swarovski crystals are very high quality and therefore more expensive than other crystals on the market. They come in a large range of colours, sizes and shapes. They are made using the best quality glass and each facet is precisely cut by machine so that they are all exactly the same. Swarovski crystals are the only crystals that I use. Please go to my UK bead retailer page to see where to purchase competively priced Swarovski crystals.
Cylinder beads – see seed beads.
Dichroic glass – these are quite expensive ‘arty’ beads. Dichroic glass has a fine film of metal fused to the surface of the glass, which produces a sheen making the bead appear to be different colours when viewed at different angles.
Pressed (molded) beads – thick glass rods are heated and put into a mold that stamps the glass.
Lampworked beads – these are made by using a gas torch to heat the glass, which is then wound round a metal rod. This forms the base of the bead where other coloured glass are added to make many different designs.
Fire-polished beads – these are facetted glass beads from the Czech Republic. They come in a range of sizes and colours.
Furnace glass – good quality furnace glass beads are quite pricey, but well worth the money (they’re gorgeous!). They are handmade using large decorated glass canes built up of smaller canes, encased in clear glass. David Christensen furnace glass beads are quite popular because of their high quality.
Millefiori – a glasswork technique that has been around for centuries. The millefiore technique uses glass canes with patterns that can only be seen on the ends of the cane. These canes remind me of the rock candy that you can buy at seaside resorts in the UK. The glass canes are cut into thin slices and fused onto another piece of glass. Millefiori translated into English means ‘thousand flowers’. The millefiore technique can also be used with polymer clay.
Seed beads (rocailles) – these are tiny beads that are used a lot in beadwork. They have a range of sizes, but the most popular is the 11/0 size. However, I have bought many seed beads (all described as being size 11/0, 1.8mm length), which were not all the same width. Some were definitely smaller than others. I think this depends on what type of seed bead you buy. You can either get Czech seed beads or Japanese seed beads. The Japanese ones are more expensive, but they are much better quality than the Czech ones. There are two main Japanese suppliers; Miyuki and Toho. A new type of seed bead has been increasing in popularity during the last decade, the cylinder bead. Normal seed beads have rounded ends, but cylinder beads have flat ends, large holes and are very uniform in shape and size. These qualities make them perfect for bead weaving as they create a flatter design. There are three versions of cylinder beads; Delicas made by Miyuki, Treasures made by Toho and Aiko (an extremely precise bead), also made by Toho.
Bali silver – Sterling silver cast beads and findings.
Crimp – small metal tube, looks a bit like a small metal seed bead. They are used to form loops in flexible beading wire or to keep beads in place. Can be used with a special crimping plier or just flatten using a normal pair of pliers
Eye-pin – a piece of wire with a loop on one end.
Gimp (French Wire) – wire used to cover silk thread ends to protect it.
Gold Filled – base metal covered with gold. Different from gold plate because the layer of gold is much thicker; 1/20th of the total weight.
Head-pin – a piece of wire with one end flatted so that you can thread beads onto it. Looks a bit like a small thin nail.
Jump ring – loop of wire that can be open and closed with pliers. Used to link things together, e.g. attaching a clasp to a chain.
Nymo – a popular brand of beading thread that is used in beadwork.
Sterling Silver (STS) – international silver standard, 92.5% pure silver content, hallmark 925.
Vermeil (pronounced ver-may) – gold plated sterling silver.
AB (Aurora Borealis) – Partial rainbow like coating, which gives an iridescent finish to glass and crystal beads.
Beadwork – attaching beads to one another using a needle and thread. Beadwork can be made either on a bead loom or off-loom with just needle and thread.