Coiled Wire Necklace with Lampwork Pendant

May 9, 2008

A Solution for Long Lampwork Bead

Several months ago I bought a beautiful purple and green lampwork focal bead.  I assumed I would hang it vertically in whatever design I came up with.  (That's right, I'm one of those people who buys beads without a definite project in mind!)  When I saw Kitty Durmaj's Southwest Desert necklace, I had an "ah-ha" moment.  Why not hang the bead horizontally instead?  Just that simple change from vertical to horizontal has opened up a number of design possibilities that I never would have considered before.

Make It Your Own

Sometimes it makes sense to follow project instructions exactly down to the last bead.  If a bride-to-be  requests a traditional knotted pearl necklace, then you really shouldn't start throwing in hot pink and brick red seed bead fringe unless you want this to be your last design for her (and all her friends)!   Other times, it makes sense to change an existing design.  Maybe your budget requires a less expensive version or maybe you are trying to match the colors in a special outfit.  Whatever the reason, here are some ideas for customizing the Southwest Desert necklace:

  • The "Let's Use Up My Bead Stash" version:  Reverse the necklace's proportions--lengthen the beaded links and shorten the coiled links.  You may be able to double the number of beads in the necklace.

  • The "OMG I've Never Worked with Wire" version:  Use less expensive copper or colored wire as you practice your wireworking skills.   

  • The "Short Attention--What?" version:  Create just the lampwork pendant and slide it on some chain. 

Even if you're not into necklaces or wireworking, you can still find inspiration in this project:

  • If you are always making earrings or wrapped dangles, look at the section of this project on making your own eye pins.  This is a very useful skill since you'll be able to make eye pins the exact size you need for future projects!

  • Use the turquoise and amber color combination as inspiration for a piece using stringing or beadweaving techniques.

Free Project: Southwest Desert by Kitty Durmaj

This Beading Daily exclusive project features coiled wire links, turquoise and amber beads, and a lampworked pendant.


Reader Poll:  Do you sketch your jewelry designs?  Last day to respond to this poll!  I'll share the results in a future newsletter.  And I'm looking for the next poll topic!  What do you want to know about other beaders?  Share your suggestions on the website. 


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Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Create 6 stunning wire jewelry projects (2 wire necklaces, a wire bracelet, 2 pairs of wire earrings, and a wire ring) with this free eBook that contains step by step wire jewelry instructions for each project.  Jewelry designs range in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and use a variety of wire work techniques, including spirals, coiling, wirewrapping, hammering, and twisting wire.  Download Making Wire Jewelry:  6 Free Wire Designs from Beading Daily

Michelle Mach shares free beading projects and tips every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have questions or comments for Michelle (including suggestions for future free projects), please post them here on the website. Thanks!


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on May 16, 2008 2:28 PM


What do you do to fight shoulder, elbow and hand fatigue gotten from beading?

What do you do to refresh yourself when inspiration is not forthcoming?

What strategies do you have for dealing with custom orders, e.g. bridal jewelry?

When buying beads, how do you know how many to buy and how much to pay?

What are your strategies or methods for arriving at your unique look in jewelry?

Do you have any beading regrets, e.g. things you wish you hadn't made, bought, done, etc.?

What are the main criteria you use when designing jewelry: cost, appearance, type of materials, etc.?

Have you ever stumbled on any material that you never imagined using and found out you really love it? Or hate it?

Are there any beading techniques that you use to substitute for another technique or look that may be more difficult or time-consuming?

When is it time to learn a new skill? --Kelli P.

Comment by: Kelli P | May 9, 2008

Best advice ever for neck and shoulder fatigue? My sister (also a beader) called me one day while I was working on a tough project, and out of the blue she said "Drop your shoulders". I did, and it was like a 50lb weight had been taken off my neck and shoulders! I had no idea I'd been so tensed up in concentration, and the relief I felt was astounding. Following up on the shoulder drop, a deep intake of breath and a long slow exhale, and I'm completely refreshed. I was amazed.

Comment by: gypsywoman | May 9, 2008

Well, Kelli, You've asked alot of good questions and the last one intrigued me, why you would ask that? I was burned out for sometime with beading and chain making and wirewrapping because none of those had captured my passion. Then I was offered a class in pmc and I did it. All I can say is WOW!!!!!! Why did I wait so long to try this...I first heard about it some years ago. Now I can't get enough. I'm having so much fun (its alsmost sinnful) seeing my projects turn into silver and adding the beads and wirework and chains, that the pieces are all coming together like it was meant to be. I guess what I'm trying to say is you will know when its time to learn something new, I just wasn't ready or confident enough to move into something else at that time. BeBe of tucson

Comment by: Beverly E. B | May 10, 2008

Kelli P. It's time to learn a new skill when you feel like you're doing a good job with the one you've just learned and you're bored with doing it. I get tired of doing one thing very quickly so I go on to a more challenging thing or new stitch fairly quickly. Only you can know when that time comes.

Comment by: Lesli M | May 10, 2008

I loved many of those questions. Mine is this: How do you deal with the mess? Even for a project that turns out to be fairly simple I end up trying many beads, different shapes, colors, sizes. I often leave them out and start something else, or even when I inadvertently leave out a spare bead or two or 3-4 kinds, Yikes, pretty soon it is a big fat mess. Do you clean up after every project? Sometimes those old messes lead to new ideas, but still....

Comment by: Bonnie R | May 10, 2008

I can't download the project; it says the page or file doesn't

Comment by: Terri K | May 10, 2008

BeBe of tuson: I know exacly what you mean. The same thing happened to me With wire wrapping. Once I took the leap I just can't get enough. All my projects just sort of jump together like they were ment to be . It's amazing... Everyting I do has to have wire wrap in it some were if not everywhere. I have created wrappings that have astounded me. It just sort of feels natural. I did not have to learn anything about wrapping for some reason. The first time I wrapped beads on a pair of earrings it was beautiful. I'm not talking wrapping the bead with a single piece of wire. I'm talking about wrapping the wire a 3rd of an inch from the bead and down onto the bead about a 1/8 to a 1/4 of an inch depending on my beads that I am using. I was meant to wire wrap. Now I am working on braclets without beads. Once I get that done I will make a neckless and earrings to match. I make all my own findings including chains. I found my calling if you can say that. I'm in heaven. Valerie C.

Comment by: | May 10, 2008

Kelli P. has a lot of questions I would like to ask also but the one that comes to mind first and formost is the one that Bonnie R. made about the mess you make with a project and going on to do several other projects and before you know it you have a huge mess to clean up. I let my mess go for about 2 to 3 weeks before I clean It up (witch takes a whole day to do by the way) and start over. Sometimes longer. I'm one of the lucky ones who have a Studio, its small but then so am I so it fits me well. When it gets messy "OUCH!"I just move it all aside and start the next project. I do get insperation from it but sometimes it turns out to be a big pile of *#%@. You know what I mean. Do any of you have the same problem and if so what do you do? Valerie C.

Comment by: | May 10, 2008

wow! interesting questions. I am fairly new at beading,so I'm not quite at the designing level yet, but I have been known to tweak a pattern here and there to make it fit my own personality. sometimes I will spend hours just going through my old magazines, and get reinspired, because alot of the techniques, I couldnt do, when i first bought some of those mags, so thats fun! As far as beading regrets, I dont have any because every pattern is a learning experience and if there is something that i hate THAT much..snip snip, and start over, thats the advantage of beading. As far as bridal jewelry goes, I've had only one order and it was for a friends sons wedding, and it went so smoothly, they didnt give me alot of time, but they knew it and just picked from stuff that i already had, and and i just made the items in the colors that they chose, very easy and smooth sale. Good luck and Happy Beading!!

Comment by: Rose M | May 12, 2008