Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Troll Bracelet Beads...
Since I've started making the cool silver-lined beads that fit Troll Bracelets, a lot of people have asked me for details on what stuff to get and where to get it. I spent a lot of time looking around, and trying things that didn't work. There doesn't seem to be a lot of specific information out there... very frustrating. I eventually bought a bracelet from the Troll folks in Denmark, as well as one of their beads and another bead from the Pandora bracelet line. Now I think I have it figured out. And to save time in answering everyone individually, I'm here to tell you everything I found out. For specifics on actually making these beads, you'll have to go a-googling. I'm not enough of a silversmith to explain the details. The photo above shows a Troll bracelet with, from the left, a TrollBead, a Pandora bead, a silver bead, and one of MY beads.
So here's a list of What-to-get and Where-to-get-it...
TrollBeads is where I got my starter bracelet. I've read that Pandora beads will fit Troll bracelets, but not the other way around. I like the Troll bracelets better anyway. I ordered a 7.5 inch bracelet and made my own clasp. Theirs are really pretty though. Here's a bead/bracelet compatibility chart to help you out. Uniquely Charming - on ebay.
There are bunches of "authorized" Pandora stores, but here's a pretty good one that somewhere has a nice page to help you figure out what size bracelet to get.
I actually went to ebay to buy my Pandora bead to fit on my Troll bracelet. The seller is Pandoras Box Of Beads. I had a lovely shopping experience.
The mandrels and sterling silver tubing I use for my beads are 3/16 inch or 4.5mm. The tubing has an inside measurement of 3.75mm, and the walls of the tubing are 26 gauge. I get the tubing from Santa Fe Jeweler's Supply, and the mandrels are at all the big glass bead suppliers like Arrow Springs, Glasscraft, and Frantz.
I'm also told that Metalliferous in NY, NY is a good place to get silver tubing.
I use a bead press from Jim Moore Glass Tools to flare the tubing, forming it into rivets. You have to do the finish work by hand. I get my hammers and polishers at Rio Grande.
Any questions? You'll have to ask someone else, because this is all I know! Have fun with these, or buy them from me! And hey! If you have other helpful hints or sources for supplies, please leave a comment here, so we all know what to do! Thanks!