What is beaded jewelry?
The majority of the handcrafted jewelry designs you see at StormRising Designs are "beaded jewelry". This means they are strung on lightweight coated wire or on thread. In this type of jewelry the individual beads are emphasized. The design is to show the beads at their best. When we talk about beaded jewelry we are talking about jewelry that is mostly strung on the thread or wire, bead after bead. If we use multiple strands we may drape them or twist the strands together. We may run the strands together at points in the design to highlight certain beads and to general make the design pleasing. We do wish to make one thing clear - we do not manufacture the beads and most of the parts used in our jewelry. We design it and put it together in a pleasing fashion. We do sometimes make things from wire such as Egyptian coils and clasps or wire wraps.
Most of the jewelry we make has been strung on Soft Flex wire. Soft Flex is a coated wire that comes in various strand combination. The majority of the jewelry here is strung on 49 strand wire but if the bead holes are smaller we may use 21 strand wire. On rare occasions we are forced to use the Soft Touch product which is 7 strand wire. It is extremely flexible wire and can easily be knotted. It is best used with pearls or seed beads. These stranded wires also come in versions that have gold or sterling silver over stainless steel. We might use these if the beading wire is a feature of the design. We also might use another brand of wire, Beadalon but we prefer Soft Flex. When we use thread we use Silamide, which is waxed nylon twisted thread. It is quite strong and as you may imagine, very supple. Since we use a variety of gemstones, crystals, glass, shells, wood as well as gold, silver and copper beads we need to use the right thread for the job. Using the wrong thread can result in a piece that falls apart and we certainly don't want that to happen to any of our jewelry pieces!
We also make use of pendants a focal bead to add interest to our jewelry pieces. Some of the pendants are simply a piece of stone or a shell that is a little larger than the other beads in the necklace and it may have a whole drilled in the top so a wire, ribbon, chain or perhaps a jump ring can be attached so that the pendant can hang from the necklace. Other times the whole has been drilled entirely through the length of the piece and a piece of wire is run through from the bottom to top, being secured at the bottom and a loop made a the top so that it can be attached to the beading wire with the rest of the beads in the necklace. Sometimes the pendant is made from a series of beads to add interest.