If there's a creative young person in the house, or you fancy making unique gifts on a budget here's an ideal way to nurture that creativity and develop an interest.

The cost of setting up a hobby can be prohibitive especially where working with precious metals is concerned, I favour the start slow approach buying tools as needed.

I have seen people spend an awful lot of money only to see their custom built workshop and hundreds of pounds worth of tools gradually collect dust...

no heat jewelleryRummaging through oddment boxes in shops or at shows you can often find cheap beads, broken strings or even be able to purchase larger beads singularly.

The trick here is a bead already drilled. Failing that if you have a favourite tumblestone find someone to drill a hole for you, you may find someone at a local shop or craft event that can help with this.

What you'll need is some silver head pins at least 1.5 times as long as your bead, we found some tumbled Lapis lazuli drilled with a 2mm hole. Fancy silver beads if you want to add some decoration to the finished design.

Finally a silver ring of some type to thread your chain, cord, ribbon or whatever material you have chosen to hang the piece from.

The only real tool you will require is a pair of pliers, ideally round nose but you could adapt our method and use standard pliers.

We threaded the decorative bead onto the head pin followed by the beads then a second decorative bead.

Make sure the beads are held tightly together then grasp the end of the pin close to the top bead with the pliers and bend the pin around a jaw o the pliers to create a hoop, we wrapped it around twice.

We had a selection of fixings, jump-ring, snap bail, D shaped wire jump-ring, but you could also use triangular bails, or small split rings, just remember that with jumprings use a thick wire because you won't be soldering the joint and you want it to be strong enough to withstand daily wear.

You may have a little extra wire of the pin to deal with either cut it off or wrap around the hoop you have just formed.

Open the jump-ring (or fixing) put through the hoop and close, for our demonstration we chose a sturdy thick jump-ring.jewellery no heat


rockngem magazine issue 65
rockngem magazine issue 65

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That's it all finished.

Two gifts or starter necklaces, an investment of 10 minutes and approximately £3...

Hannah Breeson

Below: lapis lazuli with laser etched silver beads
(mid construction), below right: with laser
etched and silver nugget bead.

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