Beading Tips

Interested in a new hobby? Perhaps beading is the solution! There are tons of things and tips to remember to ensure you are successful in your craft.

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Beading success tips, part two.

Last week, The Montclair Dispatch gave a great outline on the different ways beads are manufactured and beading tools. However, there are other things that are also important to consider when getting into beading.

Hardness: The MOS hardness scale rates various stones both semi-precious and precious according to scratch resistance. It goes from 1 to 10 with Talc being the least resistant to being scratched. Here is the following scale for beading:

Talc                   1          scrapeable with fingernail           0.03          2.4

Gypsum          2          scratcheable with fingernail        2.25          1.25

Calcite             3          scr. With copper coin                        4.5            109

Flourite          4          easily scr. with knife                           5              189

Apatite           5           still scr. with knife                             6.5            536

Orthoclase   6            scr. with steel file                               37            795

Quartz           7            scratches window glass                  120        1,120

Topaz            8             scratches quartz                                175        1,427

Corundum   9            scratches topaz                                  1,000    2,060

Diamond     10          scratches corundum                       140,000  10,060

 Note: The Diamond cannot be scratched because it is the hardest of all minerals.

Scale. It is a good idea to learn and know this scale so you don’t scratch your stones. Especially if you want to keep your collection of stones looking nice. Don’t jumble them up in a bag where they are loose.  Start with some of the common beads, and try to get samples in as many different materials as possible.

Storing Beads: How you store your beads is very important! Learn how to store your beads properly, and use containers that will enhance the collection itself as well as protect your beads from getting broken and scratched. There are many good containers for storing beads. For example, plastic containers that have separate compartments for individual or similar bead types are perfect. Watch makers cases are good for both protection and display. Velvet pouches are good, and they can be used to store and or transport beads that are fragile or light sensitive beads from getting bleached from being in the light. Little lightweight gum tins are good to store your beads in also.

Here are some other important tips to remember to be a successful bead collector:

  1. Study the basic history of each bead as you acquire them. You will be surprised at the amount of information is out there about your beads as your collection begins to grow.
  2. Learn the basics of stringing beads, it will help you immensely. Learn how to string and close. You just might want to make a cool chocker or necklace using some of the beads from your collection.
  3. Learn the facts about the tools you use! Collecting tools is also part of the art of bead collecting.
  4. Learn how to correctly store and display your collection.
  5. Never tell anyone where your collection is! Remember! Beads are small, and can disappear at the drop of a hat.
  6. When you purchase a bead or a group of beads, always get a sales receipt. If there is a discrepancy with the purchase or authenticity of the bead or beads. It can help solve the problem such as: Type of bead or beads, where and when the purchase was made and who you bought the items from.
  7. Keep a log! Log your beads in for each purchase you make. Always give a brief description of the item as part of the logging in process. Keep track of your purchases via a spread sheet and/or disc as a backup. Always keep a hard copy in a safe place where it can be easily returned.

Visit Tia Marie Beading Studio right on Bloomfield Avenue for a taste of the beading collection Montclair has to offer!

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