Monmouth County Private School – Jewelry Making and Beading Elective
Practice the skills and techniques of jewelry making. Students will use different materials to design and create their own jewelry pieces. Projects will range from simple to complex: from simple string beading, pendant making, rope braiding to the use of wire or leather.
The purpose of this course is to give students the opportunity to explore different materials and methods of jewelry making and beading in order to extend their knowledge and skills in this area.
- create original jewelry pieces.
- create a bead tray.
- utilize a variety of materials and methods to create a range of jewelry pieces.
- extend existing knowledge and skills in jewelry making by trying new techniques and utilizing new materials.
Students in this elective began by learning how to use crimping beads and a crimping tool to attach fasteners to their jewelry pieces. While some students began creating necklaces and bracelets by stringing beads, others elected to learn new weaving techniques to create macrame pieces.
As we approached Spring Break, students continued to explore various materials and techniques in jewelry making. Some students continued to show interest in macrame jewelry; they extended their knowledge and experience by experimenting with different weaves and alternative stringing materials. Others extended their knowledge of jewelry making by practicing wire wrapping to create pendants, earrings, and even worry dolls.
When we returned from Spring Break students began final projects. Mechele Shoneman served as a visiting jeweler and helped students design and complete their projects. Students chose to work with different materials. Some students chose to carefully select and layout beads on a beading board. They practiced measuring, creating symmetrical patterns, wire wrapping and adding components. Others worked with leather, learning how to measure, securing pendants and beads using overhand knots, and finally adding components. Some students made earrings. Again they learned how to wire wrap, add beads and components. Finally a small group of students chose to create a bollywood style macrame bracelet. They used a basic macrame stitch and learned how to create symmetry and balance in their piece by applying the bead, bead, plain stitch, plain stitch pattern.
handouts, projects, and tutorials
Mechele Shoneman, guest jeweler
This class was a great success. Students learned and applied a variety of jewelry making techniques. They worked with an array of materials and extended their knowledge of jewelry making all around. Students reported enjoying the time they spent in class and even asked that it be extended.
All of the full time elective students were able to design and finish a final project by the end of the class. However, most of the high school students and other students who attended only one time each week were not able to finish their final project. In some cases this was due to a large learning curve in a macrame jewelry making and in other cases absences that prevented some students from the having the necessary time to complete their project.
Additionally, the string we used to make the beaded necklaces was, unfortunately, too weak and one of our student’s final project broke shortly after the class ended. In the future it is recommended that a stronger material than fine c-lon be used in beaded necklace projects. While this material may have held for a lightweight bracelet project, the weight of the added beads for a necklace overwhelmed the material causing the piece to fall apart.
TEACHER: Christi Sandbach