Multi-Strand Necklace with Bone Beads and Turquoise Beads

Marlynn McNutt, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®


Bone was the first thing early humans used for ornament. Most modern bone comes from Indonesia and is made from cow, camel or sheep, and is a by-product of the food industry. Bone is hard enough to wear well, but soft enough to carve into shapes. It's also porous enough to take dyes and colors. Bone can also be scrimshawed and have designs carved into them. Some small animal bones, such as birds, have hollow bones that are ready for stringing.


Wood is readily available and easily worked with. The different types of wood provide the various textures, wood grain patterns and colors for use in wooden beads. Wooden beads are not only used for jewelry, but for other items as well, such as car seat covers and foot massagers, to name a few. Wood is easily dyed and colored, can be carved into shapes, inlaid and laminated. Most exotic wood beads originate in the Middle East or Asia.

Thai Flowers

These are natural flowers, which are chosen from the garden or market for their freshness and lack of flaws. They are carefully cut from the stems and placed in a container of silica sand, then covered with the silica. A cover is placed over the container and put into a microwave oven for a few minutes. The flowers are left in the covered container overnight to dry. A stick is then attached to the back of the flower, and a solution of resin is gently brushed over the flower to make them more stable to work with.

After the flower has dried, it is then dipped into the resin solution 3-4 times more to preserve it, then left to dry again. The flower is then sanded to remove any excess resin and sharp edges, then airbrushed for color. Once the flower has dried, the stick is removed from the back, the back is sanded to form a flat surface, which is then drilled so a finding can be attached. The flowers are now complete.

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