I came across a website yesterday that posed the question, ” What is a significant change you have made in your jewelry business that has been for the better?” This got me thinking a bit and I decided to write about it because it might affect some of my clients.
With the start of the New Year, I have been doing a lot of thinking about where I have come from, and where I want to go from here. I try to read as much as I can about different techniques and styles so I am constantly learning and developing my interests, skills, and product line. As with all businesses, there are some rough spots and things that I look back on and say “Why did I do that?” but I am always striving to turn those moments into learning experiences.
One of those learning experiences has come from changing the way I finish off my necklaces and bracelets. This might sound like a simple concept, but it’s the difference between a piece holding up for the long-term, and a piece coming apart after being worn only once or twice.
When I first started creating jewelry, I ended my bracelets and necklaces using a piece called a “bead tip.” The concept is you put a crimp bead (a small metal tube that is squeezed onto the end of the wire) on the wire and then close a bead tip over the crimp bead. The clasp is then connected to the bead tip. After some time, I learned (the hard way) that this does not hold up, especially in bracelets. Because of the twisting that can occur when trying to close the clasp, the bead tips were sliding off the end of the wires and poor women ended up with their beads all over the floor. This was not a concept I put together; I had read about it on different jewelry designing websites, so I thought it would work. Now, looking back on it, I’m not sure why this method of ending necklaces and bracelets is recommended at all.
Live and learn. Now, I still use the crimp beads, but I feed the wire through the crimp bead, fold the wire over, feed it back through, and squeeze the crimp bead closed so I end up with a small loop that holds the clasp in place. This ensures that the necklace or bracelet will not pull apart unless it has some serious pulling done to it (beyond what should be done to a piece of jewelry to get it on). Each crimp bead is then wrapped in a crimp cover, which looks like an open bead until it is put into place, and then it looks like a regular metal bead. The photo below shows two metal beads (closest to the colored bead) and a crimp cover on the end by the wire loop.
Now, to my clients, if you have a piece of jewelry I made with the ends done as I have shown with the bead tips, I will gladly rework it at no cost to you so you can continue to enjoy your jewelry without any concern for its stability. If it was made that way and came apart, I will repair that for you as well.
I write this not to admit that I have created faulty jewelry, but to admit that I made a mistake (based off of something I was instructed to do not knowing was not the best method) and also to show you, the jewelry wearer, what to keep an eye out for when purchasing jewelry. For this reason, I am constantly researching and trying new methods of creating jewelry so I can provide you with not only beautiful, but durable jewelry. I hope this has been informative and helpful for you. Thank you for reading!