Beginner needs help making silver beads


I tried searching through the archived articles but didn’t have any
luck finding the infomation I was searching for… I hope it’s okay
that I post this message:

I was wondering if anyone could help me by explaining how to make
silver beads. I would like to make long (at least 1.5" or 3-4cm)
beads that are sort of cylindrically shaped but taper at both ends
(largest diameter= 1/4"-3/8" or 5-10mm and smallest diameter=
1/16"-3/16" or 2mm-5mm). Some of you might be familiar with the
Southwest Native American silver pinion bead. I would like to make
beads similar to this.

Also, what would be the fastest and easiest way to make saucer and
round silver beads?

I would appreciate any advice/suggestions/recommendations. Even
pointing me into a direction or recommending a book would help.

Much Thanks,


Sami, Indian Jewelry Making (Volume I) by Oscar T. Branson has bead
making illustrated.


Indian Jewelry Making
By Oscar Branson

Price: $14.93

Media: Spiral-bound
Manufacturer : Treasure Chest Books
Release data : 01 February, 2001

sami asked for advice about making round and saucer silver beads. i
can give a recommendation: buy nancy m. howland’s book doming silver
beads! it explains why and then how to do it, step-by-step. there
are many illustrations, several appendices, a bibliography,
reference tables. i am a beginner and had remarkable success with her
instructions. my jewelry-making instructor was impressed.

when nancy publishes another book, i will snap it up without even
looking at the subject.

you can find info on the book and how to order on her website: she also had an article in “lapidary
journal” that gave some tips that were not in her book.

while you are at her website, look at her jewelry. i especially like
her champagne bracelet.

no affiliation except respect,
jean adkins

Hello Sami

Take a look at the Lapidary Journal’s website under projects they
show step by step how to make beads.
Lapidary Journal - Jewelry Making, Jewelry Arts, Gems, Beads, B&B, Minerals and More Or you can get
that article from your local jewellery supply or rock shop as it was
in I think the March 2005 issue of their magazine.

Karen Bahr
Karen’s Artworx

Here’s an online article about making a solderless bead:


I’ve always had good luck with using disks (textured with a rolling
mill, etching, etc. always adds more interest) and using a dapping
block. The steel dapping blocks and punches work best, but you can
get wood ones very cheap. The steel blocks give you clean consistant
saucer or 1/2 sphere. After you acheived the form you want, you must
drill your holes before soldering together to let the air escape.
You probably know air expands when heated and will blow up a
hollowform if not properly vented. I always be sure the joints to be
soldered fit perfectly together and are clean to ensure a good
connection the first try. You can find dapping blocks in any tools
catalog- good luck!

Stephanie Swanson