Well Being

Lapis Necklace By Mary Lyon

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Technique Tuesday!

Many many thanks to Mary Lyon, who shared this delightful design and the instructions with us here at Jewelry&Beading.  Visit Mary’s site to learn much more about this busy lady!

Lapis necklace by Mary Lyon dscf8180 jpg


36 inches beading wire
2 strands graduated medium-to-large rough-hewn lapis chips
5 large (15mm diameter) round lapis-inlaid Afghani silver accent beads
1 extra-large (2 inch long) bi-cone lapis-inlaid Afghani silver bead
14 4mm small fluted silver rondelle spacer beads
2 3mm round silver beads
6 inches of 18-gauge sterling silver wire
1 inch of sterling silver French wire
2 silver crimp beads
1 tube of jeweler’s glue

1 pair of round-nose pliers
1 pair of chain-nose pliers
1 wire-cutter
1 large beading board or flat, steady work surface
Scotch tape

Finished Length: 36 inches

Tip: Save your work! Secure the ends of the beading wire by folding a two-inch strip of scotch tape across each end and pressing firmly in place to prevent losing beads off the ends.

1: Lay out the beading wire on the beading tray and start experimenting with the arrangement of the lapis chips versus the large round inlaid silver beads and the extra-large inlaid silver bi-cone bead. Create seven segments of different lengths. The segments contain 17, 25, 14, 7, 23, 11, and 16 lapis chip beads, but feel free to arrange them as you prefer. Each segment will be separated by a large round accent bead and the extra-large bi-cone bead. There’s no right or wrong. NOTE: This is not a symmetrical necklace, so the extra-large bi-cone accent bead is not at the center. Position it, and the large round accent beads at random intervals.

2: Begin stringing lapis chips, spacers and accent beads according to the pattern you experimented with in step 1. Each accent bead, including the bi-cone, should be braced on either side by 1 small silver fluted rondelle spacer bead. Proceed until you have the exact length and arrangement of beads that you love!

3: To finish the necklace, make sure the last bead at each end is a small silver fluted rondelle spacer bead. Add 1 3mm round silver bead and one silver crimp bead to each end. Cut the coiled silver French wire into two half-inch pieces. Thread one segment of the French wire onto each end. Then tape the beading wire at each end to secure your work, and set aside.

4: Make the clasp – the “eye”! With the wire cutters, cut two lengths of silver wire – 2 inches and 3 inches. With the round-nose pliers, bend the 2-inch wire into a securely closed figure-8. Start by looping the wire about midway down one jaw of the pliers to encourage a smooth rounded base loop. Work the rest of the wire around the bottom, or largest part, of one jaw of the pliers, to make a larger loop. Make sure each end of the wire closes tightly into a figure-8.

5: Make the shepherd’s hook with the 3-inch wire. Start by looping one end of wire midway down one jaw of the round-nose pliers to make a base loop. Then work the rest of the wire as though you’re starting another figure-8, but don’t close the end. At the open end of the wire, bend it into a small, tight closing loop.

6: Connect and finish! Remove the scotch tape from one end only (the end you’ll be working on)! Thread the exposed beading wire through the small loop in the figure-8. Then thread the beading wire BACK through the crimp bead, 3mm round spacer and the fluted spacer bead, and through two or more of the lapis chips in the first bead segment. With the chain-nose pliers, crimp the crimp bead to secure your work. Then carefully trim off the excess beading wire where it protrudes out from between the lapis chips. Repeat this step at the other end of the necklace to attach the shepherd’s hook. Glue both ends, at the crimp beads, with jeweler’s glue.

For lapis and lapis-inlaid Afghani silver beads – Silk Road Treasures – 28401 Ballard Drive, Unit F, – Lake Forest, IL 60045. (866) 775-7710.

For tools, spacer beads, crimp beads, silver wire, bead-stringing components, glue and bead-stringing tray – San Gabriel Bead Company – 325 East Live Oak – Arcadia, CA 91006. Phone: (626) 447-7753. www.beadcompany.com