For tools and supplies
is a traditional technique for stringing pearls and gemstones. In today’s
beading lesson, we’ll show you some tools and techniques to make the
Pearls and gemstones are traditionally knotted because the knots prevent the beads from rubbing against each other. The knots also prevent loss if a strand should accidentally break. Today, artisans are incorporating knotting into lots of different types of jewelry and you can, too!
Since the cord will pass twice through first three beads on the knotted strand, it may be necessary to enlarge those bead holes. A bead reamer is basically a round file that you can use to make holes slightly larger or to smooth any abrasive edges. Bead reamers come in hand-operated and battery-operated styles. A battery-operated reamer works about five times faster than reaming by hand. Hold a bead inside a small dish of water because it will get hot, then use the reamer to enlarge the hole. Tie a knot on the end of the cord, then string the reamed beads onto it.
French wire is tiny, coiled wire that protects the cord from any abrasion that might be caused by the clasp. Cut a small piece and string the French wire and the clasp onto the cord. Place the needle back through the last bead to force the French wire into a loop. The first three beads that you string will be knotted by hand. Use a beading awl to make sure the knot is snug against each bead. Place a drop of glue on the last knot.
You can continue using the awl to help with knot placement, but a knotting tool is a faster and more consistent method. To use a knotting tool, wrap the clasp end around your hand. Hold your fingers apart and drop the clasp through the loop. Place the knotter through the loop with the point away from your hand. Pull the cord straight up to tighten the knot. Push your thumb up to force the knot off of the tool. Repeat this technique to make a knot between each bead.
Finish the piece as you started, by threading the end through French
Wire, the clasp and back through the first three beads.