I like to work with pre-made chains but also want to learn how to make my own, unique chains. What do you recommend?
Pairing machine-made chains with your own handmade chain is as simple as an ''S'' link.
Start with a 3-inch length of 16 to 14-gauge wire. Using round-nose pliers, grip one end of the wire close to the end with the tip of the pliers. Rotate your wrist to form a simple loop. Repeat on the other end of the wire, so the loop is facing the opposite direction from the first.
Position one end of the wire in the round-nose pliers, near the widest part of the barrels, right below the loop. With the loop facing you, rotate your wrist away from you to form a large loop.
Repeat on the other end of the wire to create the ''S'' link. Connect the ''S'' links together using jumprings for your own, handcrafted chain.
For variation, alter the position of the round-nose pliers to change the size of the curves.
What is the most secure way to attach a charm or bead to chain?
There are several methods of attaching findings to chain. All are equally secure and offer a variety of design possibilities. Lobster claw clasps are a fun and versatile addition to charms or links, split rings (made like a key ring) allow for easy attaching and using two jumprings instead of one adds strength to the connection between charm and chain. If you catch your charm bracelet on something, it's most likely only one jumpring will give way and the second will hold on!