Out of This World Tiered Necklace

Out of This World Tiered Necklace for Perles et Cetera Magazine
by Carmi Cimicata, John Bead Corp Marketing and Social Media Manager

Published Autumn Issue 2017 in French


I have been thinking a lot about our planet lately. Our connection to the sun and the other planets in our solar system are mysteries we have yet to truly unlock. With these thoughts in mind I attempted to create a necklace that would showcase our solar system in a necklace. I felt like I was back in high school as I tried to remember the order of our planets and what their most basic colours were.

The first step was to find beads that would resemble the planets. Happily, my company John Bead Corp has a rather large selection of semi-precious beads. Our solar system has eight “official” planets, which orbit the Sun. I reviewed the planet colours on “Ask an Astronomer” and selected the matching semi-precious beads that would work best on my necklace.  Amazonite beads are usually in a mixed color strand. You will find beads that are pale blue to brown with this gemstone. I also used yellow jade for my gold Saturn, red jasper for Mars, agate for orange and white Jupiter and some sodalite for Earth’s white and blue.

The planets, in order of their distance from the Sun, are Mercury (Gray), Venus (pale Yellow), Earth (blue and white), Mars (reddish brown), Jupiter (orange and white bands), Saturn (pale gold), Uranus (pale blue) and Neptune (pale blue).  This printed solar system became my template. I did not want too much empty space in the middle of my piece, so I went with five strands instead of eight.

I chose a pretty yellow jade pendant for my sun. I knew the first strand on this tiered necklace needed to be centered properly with a focal piece. I used a good beading wire to create all five unique tiers. Once the first tier was measured and the pendant was in place, I was able to set all the planets in locations similar to how they looked on my printed solar system map.

My rough measurements for strand lengths did not help. I quickly realized my strands were going to need tweaking and I had to “eyeball” each tier.

Since I needed to see where each “planet” would be set it was easier to set aside my ruler and use my own judgment for the right lengths. In order to ensure that each tier would hang properly I needed to cut slightly longer lengths of stringing wire so I could add or subtract wire depending on where my planets were. Taping my tiers was a very helpful part of the process.

When I figured out where a planet needed to be, I marked my wire, set a crimp in place and flattened it. Then I strung my bead and placed and flattened a second crimp to keep it secure on the wire. For tier two, I only had one bead to set.

I finished both ends of each wire with an Ez-Crimp. I taped each tier to my board to keep the strands sorted and the wire properly shaped.

I used jump rings to attach all my finished tiers to five-hole coupling bars. A lobster clasp and jump ring completed the necklace. It was fun and relaxing to get all the beads set. I started to get really good at flattening my crimp beads too!

I think my finished necklace does indeed resemble our solar system!

(P.S. I thought long and hard about adding Pluto, even though it isn’t considered a planet anymore. I might just attach a small dangling bead to represent it.)

Supplies Used
Semi Precious Yellow Jade Pendant
Semi Precious Round Beads for the eight planets
Gold Crimps
Beadalon EZ-Crimp Ends, Gold
Beading Wire – Softflex Medium Flex Wire
5 strand coupling bars
Small Jump rings
Lobster Clasp and Large Jump Ring

Tools Used
Japanese Style Side Cutter Pliers
Econo Flat Nose Pliers to open and close jump rings
Crimping Plier to attach Easy Crimps to wire
Needle nose plier to flatten crimps

Instant Glam Bezels The Cover Story!

The current GLAMOUR  issue of Perles et cetera is on the stands and it features my Icon Inspiration Necklace for John Bead Corporation.

The article is in french, so I am going to share the article with you in English.

One of the hottest trends for fall/winter 2013 is a divine one with religious inspiration.  Byzantine icons, stained glass and the Maltese cross appeared on clothing, handbags and jewelry.  I clipped several fabulous examples and left them displayed in my studio.

I knew that somewhere in my studio was an icon image that would become the featured image for my necklace for this Perles et Cetera issue.

It took some time to find (because I do save everything) but I finally located a letter my husband had written to me several years ago.  The edge of the note had the perfect image!  The printed icon was quite large, so I decided to see if I could embed it in resin after dividing it between two large Instant Glam by Fernando rectangle bezels.

I carefully cut out my paper icon sections and sealed them into my bezels with glue.  I then made a small batch of Jewelry Resin (according to the manufacturers instructions) and poured it into my bezels.  I allowed this first layer of resin to cure for 48 hours.

I decided to add some extra paint lines and markings to the first cured layer of resin.

When the paint dots and dashes were dry, I painted a second layer of Jewelry Resin across the bezel surface.  This top layer of resin ensures that my own paint markings are completely covered in resin and cured in place permanently.

I did not have a plan or instructions to string two bezels into one focal piece.  I knew I would have to just gather some great crystals, chain and fibers and experiment with the design.

I started by wiring my two bezels together.  The backs of the Instant Glam bezels have two rings.  I knew they would help me to place my chain and beads too.

Working on the backside I was able to add and subtract beads.  This is the sort of free form jewelry making project when the only way to know if the necklace will work is by stopping to try it on regularly.  I wanted the bezels to sit quite high, so I needed a strong choker at the top to hold everything in place evenly.

I added seed bead chains through my chain to make it more glamorous.

The strung crystals and the seed bead chain looked quite beautiful by the time I was done.  I even made a dangle with some of my leftovers.  However, I felt as though the necklace needed more.

I pulled out some sari silk ribbon in colours that would match my featured icon.

I simply sewed my fibers in place and attached them to the body of the necklace.

I am quite thrilled with the Icon Inspiration necklace.  I can’t wait to wear it to a special event this holiday season!

John Bead Products Featured

The Bezels

Instant Glam by Fernando Tuscany Rectangle

Envirotex Jewelry Resin

Fire-polished 6mm White pearlized glass beads

Fire-polished 8mm Crystals AB glass beads

Platinum and orange Seed Bead Cube chain

Oval Cable Antique Silver Leaf Chain

Hook and Loop Clasp

Black Flat nose pliers

Other Jewelry Making Components Used

Wire to string beads.

Split Rings to attach strung beads to chain.

Wire Protectors and crimp tubes

Sari Ribbon

Carmi Cimicata is also the author and designer of Resin Crafts Blog where you can read hundreds of how-to articles about resin and how to work with it. www.resincrafts.blogspot.ca

The Moon, Star and Sun Necklace

If you are still wondering what to do with a metal blank here is the perfect necklace to inspire you.  Hand crafted by Fernando Dasilva it features several of the popular metal blank shapes in the Metal Complex catalog.

We have two different star shapes and they are both available in gold, German Silver and brass.

The sun shape is also available in the three standard colours.

The Metal Complex texture hammer added the additional details to each blank on the necklace.

Linked chain allowed Fernando to space all his components.

A little difficult to see are the crystal moons.  They make this necklace catch even more light.

They are Swarovski pendants.


Bezel Beauty!

The hand crafted Metal Complex Bezels are perhaps my favorite items to work with.  Since I really love working with Jewelry Resin, having having beautiful bezels is a must!  The “Lipped Bezels” always look expensive and well made.  You also have the option to decorate the edge with additional beading or wire wrapping techniques.

I made a unique and asymmetrical necklace to showcase this bezel.  I used:

Bronze Leaf Toggle

Swarovski Bicones

Swarovski Briolettes and

Aqua Black Dazzle-it Checker Beads

Handmade Bezel Love

This Metal Complex copper, hand made bezel with lip is the ideal frame to showcase the illustration of my puppy Magnus.  These special bezels look expensive and finished because of the extra lip detailing.  My puppy was nicely embedded in a layer of Jewelry Resin.

I used wire mesh and goat suede lace to make my necklace.

You can see many more Metal Complex bezel projects in the Gallery on the website:  www.metalcomplex.com.

The Second Skin Fish Leather Blog Hop!

I have a post filled with wonderful wearable art today!  Welcome to the Second Skin Fish Leather blog hop!

Eleven artists, jewelers and craftspeople were shipped one piece of Second Skin Fish leather along with a metal cuff and our Dazzle-it Leather scissors.  They could do anything with what I sent!  The results will astound you!

Each image links to the artist’s own blog post.  Many have provided wonderful mini tutorials!

Lisa Kettell – Her variations will have you searching through your old jewelry stash!

Charlotte Gordon applied colour and wiring in a way I would have never thought of!

Michael Demeng created a wearable shrine!

Andrea Matus DeMeng’s cuff is both delicate and exotic.  She experimented with heating the leather.

Laura Weed incorporated the actual image of a fish eye!  She was not a fan of the leather when she started the project, but I think her finished cuff tells you that she found a way to love it!

Suze Weinberg went wild!  She made and wore her cuff the same day.  If you go to her blog you’ll see the matching pendant/necklace she made as well!

Lori Mendenhall incorporated components and findings that bring out the very best in the colour leather she received.  Her colour palette is vintage and fresh at the same time!

Bindy Lambell created a stunning cuff.  Her leather colour is fabulously celebrated with this beaded cabochon!

Vicki Boutin’s use of text imagery makes this cuff look like a secret message.  I want to stop and read everything!

June Beach has big and bold embellishments!  Love those crystals!

And finally, we have our own local crystal star Stephanie Dixon.  Leather, metal and some very fine felt.  Stephanie created a video how-to!  I am going to try this idea next!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this blog hop!

Hot Red Fish Leather Earrings!

Here is another wonderful sample of what happens when you give Fernando Dasilva fish leather to experiment with.

The new Second Skin fish leather is available in a glossy or suede finish.

I love how Fernando used these fabulous filigree cones for his accent.

These are perfect for Valentines Day!


Silver Luster Iridescent Gel and German Silver Metal Blanks

My metal blanks look like I have spent a lot of time working on them to create such unique colours.

All I did was whip up a batch of Luster Gel.

Luster Gel is a two part process.  Both components are shown here.  The activator is in the small silver can attached to the lid.

Different colour effects can be achieved by timing how long your silver items stay in the luster gel.

The lighter samples were in the gel the longest!

I am so glad I experimented with this product.

My original blank looks so plain now!