Beading Terminology
  Asymmetrical:  A necklace or bracelet style that has a focal point that is not the centering point.
  Bail:  The loop or fastening that the enables an object to be hung on another object like and wire, chain or string of beads.
  Barrel Clasp:  This clasp is a long cylinder that usually has a loop on each end to fasten the bead cord to. It comes apart into two pieces and is either screwed together or is held together by magnets.
  Bead Cord:  Any material that is passed thru the beads, like a string, thread, wire, Tiger tail, Acculon, Beadalon, Oppulon, and etc.
  Bead Tip:  A clamshell shaped metal finding used to hide knots and connect thread and wire to a clasp or finding. By using a bead tip on a fabric like thread or linen it will keep the fabric from fraying where it attaches to the clasp.
  Beadalon:  A manufacturer of Jewelry Wires and cables. Many people refer to the twisted beading wire as Beadalon.
  Bi-cone:  The shape of a bead or stone that is two faceted pyramid/cones with flat side together and peaks pointed away from one another.
  Brick Stitch:  A stitch used in bead weaving projects that resembles a brick pattern with the bead above and the bead below starting in the center of the bead.
  Briolette:  Usually a pendant shaped bead, with facets and drilled from side to side across the top of the bead. Most often smaller than teardrop pendants in size. Usually associated with Semi-Precious Stones and Swarovski Crystals
  Bugle Bead:  Similar to a seed bead only in outside diameter. This bead is usually very long like a cylinder or tube. The bugle is often sewn onto clothing.
  Cabochon:  A material, usually stone, that has been cut and prepared for mounting. Popular shapes are round and oval. Most are flat on one side.
  Centering Point:  The point on a necklace or bracelet that hangs closest to the earth. Many times this is also the focal point.
  Chain Nose Pliers:  The chain nose pliers is a pliers that looks similar to a needle nose pliers but it smooth on the gripping jaws. Not having the serrations in the jaw allows you to grasp wire without damaging them and leaving marks. This pliers also doesn't have a cutter. It is also used to make chains.
  Clasp:  The finding that enables the ends of a necklace or bracelet to be connected to each other
  Crimp:  A metal tube or ball with a hole in it that is squeezed around a wire to hold it tight.
  Crimping Tool:  A pair of pliers that are specifically designed to close crimps in a manner that ensure a tight fit of the crimp on the wire. There are two size f crimping tools, Micro and regular.
  Crystal:  A molecular structure that is found in nature and man made beads that usually is associated with a high quality and clarity. Like Swarovski Crystal and quartz crystal.
  Daisy Chain:  A bead weaving Stitch that has a series of beads woven around a center bead and then connected to another section. It looks like a sires of flowers hooked end to end.
  Donut:  An object that is shaped like donut with a hole in the center, usually thin on the side and the hole is usually 1/4 the height of the object. Many times used as a focal point on a necklace. The donut shape makes for easy attachment of other objects like dangle and other embellishments.
  Ear wire:  A finding that fits in a pierced ear and allows other findings to be attached to it. Most often associated with a closed system where the earring can not slip out of the hole.
  Eye Pin:  A pin that instead of having a flat head on it has a loop. This is also called a loop pin.
  Faceted:  A bead that has many surfaces that are uniform in shape and size. The high quality facetted stones usually has sharp edges.
  Finding:  The elements of jewelry that are usually associated with the attaching of ends, charms, clasps, pins, and other pieces other than beads and cord or string.
  Focal Point:  The point on your Jewelry that the observers eye is drawn to. In other words the focus of his/her vision. Most often the point closest to the earth.
  Hank:  Strands of beads, usually 10-14 strands and most often seed beads.
  Jump Ring:  A ring that has a square edged cut across it. This finding is used to attach charms, clasps, and other items to Jewelry. Many time it is used to make bracelets longer and to provide a weak point. A weak point is the place you would want the bracelet to come apart when snagged.
  Knot Cover:  Similar to the Bead Tip this cover is used to hide the knot or crimp and providing a small metal ball at the end of a bead cord next to the clasp.
  Lobster Claw Clasp:  A type of clasp that looks similar to the claw or a Lobster.
  Luster:  Glossy, pearly coat to make a bead shinier.
  Melon Bead:  Sometimes called ovals are shaped like a watermelon, longer than they are wide.
  Memory Wire Pliers:  A tool that is especially designed to cut memory wire. Memory wire is made of spring steel and will damage most side cutters and make them unusable.
  Mothers Bracelet:  A style of bracelet that uses Letter beads to spell out the names of a mothers children. Usually made with Sterling Silver or Gold Letters and often including the birthstone of her children. Single, Double and triple strands are very common with this bracelet.
  Ndebele:  A type of stitch used in bead weaving, It was perfected and produced by the Ndebele tribe in Africa. It looks like a herringbone tweed or a knit fabric. It makes a relatively weak fabric that is not fluid and draping like right angle weave
  Nymo:  Strong nylon thread used most commonly for bead weaving. Sized 00 (ultra-thin) to F (thick), in many different colors.
  Opaque:  Transmits no light, a 'Solid' glass bead.
  Pendant:  Any object that is hung from necklace or bracelet that hangs at the centering point or Focal point. Drilled stones, Mounted Cabochons, and Glass drops are just a few examples of pendants.
  Peyote:  A very common stitch used on bead weaving projects
  Re-string:  The process of replacing the existing bead cord or string within a piece of beaded jewelry.
  Round Bead:  A bead that is a perfect sphere, drilled through the center. It has characteristic of being shiny but not typically sparkling.
  Round Nose Pliers:  The tool used to create loops on wires, make circles in wire and rounded bends.
  'S' Clasp:  Decorative clasp, resembling an 'S' in shape. Hooks to a chain or jump ring to fasten necklaces and bracelets.
  Seed Bead:  A small bead with a hole that at least 25% of the size of the beads. Most are smaller than 2mm and similar in size to a small seed. Most often used in bead weaving projects where it is necessary to pas a wire, string or thread back through the same beads more than one time.
  Shepherds Hook:  A type of ear wire that is shaped like a question mark and has a place to attach a head pin, loop pin or wire that would hold other objects
  Side Cutters:  A pliers designed to cut wire. Usually the tip is used to do the fine cutting of thin wire and deeper in the jaw to cut heaver wire. It is also called Dikes.
  Silver Lined:  S/L, mirrored lining. Common in bugle and seed beads.
  Split Ring:  Finding used to join two or more pieces of chain or other findings. The wire wraps around twice, like a mini key-ring, which makes it difficult for the piece to come apart.
  Split Ring:  A split ring is the spring steel ring that is typically used to hold your car keys in place. Where you open the ring and slide the key around until it reaches the center. In Jewelry making the split ring is available in many sizes. Some so small they can barley be seen with the naked eye. A special tool called a split ring pliers is used to assist with the assembly of components onto a split ring.
  Spring Ring Clasp:  A clasp that is circular in shape and has a spring that keeps the clasp closed. It is hooked to a jump ring or split ring.
  Square Bead:  A bead that is shaped like a cube with all sides and drilled through the center of a side perpendicular to that side. It usually adds some sparkle, but not as much as a crystal or facetted bead.
  Striated:  Marble or streaked color on a bead, with swirls of other tones on the surface.
  Super Glue:  A brand name for cyclocyniate glue, it is often used for gluing broken beads back together and for attaching stones and glass to various findings
  Swarovski:  The most popular and best known manufacturer of Crystal's in the world. Swarovski is located is Austria. These crystals are best known for their exceptional brilliance exceeded only by precious stones like Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires. The most prominent characteristic is their sparkle and elegant feel.
  Symmetrical:  Usually used to describe a style of necklace or bracelet where each of the beads on one side of the centering point have an identical bead in an identical position n the other side of the centering point.
  Toggle Clasp:  A type of clasp that uses a bar and ring. The bar attaches to one end of the bead cord and the ring attaches to the other end of the bead cord with the bar slides thru the ring and then turns at a right angle to the cord. The bar then cannot move back thru the ring.
  Trade Bead:  Old glass beads, mainly made in Venice 200-400 years ago, used for trade in Africa and Asia. Usually large, cylindrical and very colorful.
  White Heart:  A clear or transparent bead with a white lining. Typical in seed beads, although bigger beads also exist.
  Wire Wrap:  A technique that uses wire to cage objects, usually stones, marbles and Cabochons. Often a bail is built into the wrap to so that the object can be hung


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People are saying

This was the greatest class and instructor EVER!
I went into this class thinking it would be very tedious, something fun to try, probably make something cool, but not anything I would try again. My main objective was to learn about soldering without having to invest money in tools/materials I might never use again.
Dave is a great teacher. The class was nonstop education. It was a lot of info on selling, techniques, tips, etc. Never did I feel rushed or bogged down. Dave took a great amount of time individually helping each of us. Answering even unrelated questions. He showed us ways to make silver smiting fast (big fan) and profitable.
I completed 2 projects, and felt confident enough to help a couple other students a bit. I am in awe of my projects, and although they are not my usual aesthetic, I love them, and will now set up a space to do more pieces, combining the techniques I learned with some enameling techniques.
I can't rave about Dave enough. He is so organized, calm, patient and funny. He is safety conscious and critiques your work by teaching you what you could do better. He makes you feel confident in what you are doing.
If you get the chance, take his class. I can't wait for the advanced ones.

Class review by Miranda Ackerley:

This is the perfect class for anyone wanting to learn how to be a successful silversmith, whether for yourself or your business. I’ve taken a silversmithing class before, but was unable to continue making silversmithing pieces because of how expensive the supplies were. Therefore, I was most impressed by how affordable the tools and supplies used in this silversmithing class were. Unlike other silversmithing classes, Dave taught me how to use supplies that are less expensive and don’t require their own room to keep from burning my house down. After the class, I was able to purchase the supplies and set up an area on my kitchen table to work without spending a small fortune. I think Dave can make any unsure beginner feel like an expert, and I left with the confidence to make beautiful pendants on my own.

Class Review By Alexis Brown

Just a note to thank you again for the great Intro to Silversmithing class. I learned so much in the 2 short days... and you gave me such a renewed appreciation for Southwestern jewelry.  I have a large collection of Native American jewelry that I have collected for many years... just looking at those pieces now, and realizing what is involved to create these pieces... well, I'm in awe!.

Karen V

Dave Smith’s Beginning Silversmithing class was AWESOME! Two days of nonstop education. Dave is very organized, patient and entertaining. He took time to help each person individually while keeping the rest of the class working too. He is safety conscious and critiques your work by teaching you what you could do better while instilling confidence in what you are doing. I am quite impressed with my project pieces and can't wait for the advanced class. I have been making and selling beaded jewelry for about 4 years and while I love the creative aspect, I haven’t really found my ‘nitch’. Until now! Thanks Dave,

Laury H

Hi Dave, I just wanted to thank you again for the Silversmithing class you taught at Beadoholique in Spring, Texas. I had a great time and FINALLY learned to solder without being scared of it. I am quite happy with my piece and enjoyed your way of teaching. I too teach jewelry classes and I'm a fine silver snob!! There's nothing like it although I am told gold is wonderful to work with but too rich for my 'not very deep' pockets! Thanks again and I hope to be in another one of your classes somewhere in time.

 Kathy C.

I have been wanting to attend a silversmithing class to learn about the techniques because I didn't want to learn on my own, and I am so glad I waited! I was blown away with the quality of instruction and how many techniques we were able to learn in just two days. Everything we needed was provided for the class, and I was so impressed with the preparation that is taken to get ready for students. Dave was great with giving 1 on 1 attention to each student (even in a large class), was extremely patient for those that were slower learners, and made difficult techniques seem simple with giving professional hints and tips. Plus he even pushed through and continued the course when he was sick. Dave gave us lots of options to get everything we needed to start on our own, including tools, materials, and instructional dvd's/'online content at very competitive prices as well. I was so impressed with my own work and enjoyed it so much that I decided to purchase a kit and the online instruction so I could review our techniques and learn new ones. The online content is fabulous; it gives you a view that would just be like your own on the bench, and even shows how to prevent or fix mistakes! Dave gave me the confidence to start making pieces the very next day on my own, and I'm very excited to have learned this skill. I couldn't have been happier with the class and the instructor. If you decide to take this course I guarantee you will not be disappointed!


Melissa M.

Hi Dave, I was in your class at Argenta Bead Company this past September. After your class I took another beginner silversmith class because a pendant, ring and possibly a bracelet was to be taught and I wanted more practice and knew I'd probably get to learn different techniques with silversmithing. So far the class has only worked on a ring. I am very thankful I found your class because this class is more of a craft class. I got to experience an acetylene torch, saw, warm pickle and paste flux (I prefer your method for flux & pickle) but it has been very frustrating and illogical with some procedures. Many students have had to re-solder pieces because the instructor did not do a good job at showing how to manipulate the solder with heat. Because you made us watch twice how solder follows heat I was able to save my solder when it balled up on the inside of my ring connection. Very proud moment for me because I was in a state of panic. There is much more I can point out but it would be a book. If I hadn't found your class and took just this other one I would have given up on making jewelry, and I want this to be a business. So thank you for sharing your skills and experience. I hope to take another class from you some day.


Rick C.

This was so much more than a soldering class. I went home and created jewelry for my wife and kids. They love it!

Tiffany H.

OMG! I am so looking forward to the advanced silversmithing class. I am the only student at my school who is making their own sterling body art.


 Amber T.

I tried learning in on-line silversmithing classes but there just wasn't enough detail about how to solder a bezel or how to handle the problems I was having. Dave covered all that in class. My comfort level is enough now that I plan to start selling as soon as I get enough pieces created.