Findings are essential for jewelry making.  The various connectors, tubes, bead caps, spacers, clasps and so on enable us to connect, to space, cover and finish pieces.  But that is not all they can do. With imagination and dollops of creativity, they too can have starring roles in our jewelry designs.

A new book I received for review called Fabulous Jewelry from Findings  (also available from Fox Chapel Publishing) explores a great many ways in which these unglamorous findings can be made to shine.  The book is by MylĂ©ne (-pronounced as Millane) Hillam, an Australian award winning designer and instructor who also wrote the previous book I reviewed called Stylish Leather Jewelry.

Lotus Bracelet with Bead Caps

This highly creative jewelry designer packed her book with 29 projects divided into 5 sections :

  • Bead Caps and Cones, 
  • Links, Spacer Bars and Connectors
  • Daisy Spacers
  • Clasps
  • Hollow Tubes

Her earrings, necklace, bracelet and ring designs are refreshingly modern and fun.  Shown here are some of my favorites.  The Lotus bracelet above with its profusion of bead caps really demonstrates what findings can do when they are used en masse.  Using a lot of findings together is a fabulous idea.  The approach totally changes what the original findings look like too.

Note that the bracelets in the book all used elastic cords.  But introducing clasps will also work in most cases if preferred.


Linking various types of spacer bars and connectors - even chandelier findings - is another frequent technique in the book.  The spacer bars in the Daisy Link earrings make this design look like an expensive pair. Indeed many of the book's designs belie their humble origins.

I also thought the Art Deco necklace looked stunning with its cleverly strung spacer bars focal, clustered daisy rondelles and a linked chain made with jump rings and spacer bars at the back.

Art Deco Necklace
The majority of the earring designs are on the long side so they may not suit those who like them dainty.  All of the earrings though showed this designer's clever eye for flowing styles.

Some of the most attractive styles in the book were the necklace ones.  The Lacy Birdcage necklace (below left) uses 3 loop connectors whereas the Tribal Tube Choker (below right) featured hollow tubes and daisy spacers.

Who would have thought to use a passel full of lobster claw clasps as a cha-cha ring?

This book is suitable for all levels. I particularly liked the modeled pictures which is uncommon for a jewelry making book.  They do show how well the designs look when worn.

It is also a great inspirational book to get one looking at common jewelry making items differently. And if you've bulk bought jewelry findings and need to whittle the supplies down, then this book is definitely for you.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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