by Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Hand-knotting with thread places evenly sized knots in between each pearl or bead in your design. The technique outlined is done by forming the knot with your hands then finishing it neatly using a pair of finely pointed tweezers. It assumes a silk thread needle is already made, and French wire and the first half of the clasp are already in place.
Attach a section of French wire and the first half of a clasp to the desired length of silk thread. String the first bead onto the doubled end of the length of thread (so it rests against the French wire).
Place the strand in your non-dominant hand then bring the thread around the back-side of your hand, with the needle end in your dominant hand. Pass the thread back around the front of your non-dominant hand and pass the needle through the resulting loop to begin forming a knot.
Transfer the loop to your dominant hand, with the needle in the other hand now, then gently tighten the loose knot.
Lay the bead side of the thread to the side of your work surface, and position the loop on top of the bead.
Notice that the threads are even so that as you prepare to tighten the knot, the threads will feed evenly.
Using your dominant hand, insert the fine tip of a tweezer through the center of the loop then grasp the thread close to the end of the bead.
Pull the thread firmly with your non-dominant hand and remove the tweezers when you're certain the knot is tight around the tweezers' tips and against the bead.
Remove the tweezer then gently separate the threads. Pull the threads, securing the knot tightly against the bead.
Repeat Steps 1 - 5 to continue placing knots between the pearls.
Ideally, there should be no play between two knots. The tweezers method can achieve that nicely with a little practice.
Do not make a knot in between the last two beads you string on.
Add a piece of 3/8 inch French wire and the other half of the clasp.
Pass the silk thread needle back through the last bead. Gently pull the thread through and ease the French wire and clasp up against the last bead.
Form a knot between the two last beads.
Flip the strand over to make a second knot on the other side. Add a dab of adhesive to the knots only (not the pearls).
After a short drying time (few minutes), use a fine pointed scissor to trim the excess threads close to the knot. Use an awl to tamp the thread ends as close to the knot as possible. Let dry thoroughly.
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