New beader and pearl obssesionista in town... needing your help :-)

eolian pearls

Well-known member
May 15, 2017
Dear pearl loving and beading community,

It has been a few months since I am a regular lurker on this amazing site, I have discovered the wonderful world of pearls just recently ( triggered by a beautiful Tahitian pendant that was a gift from a friend visiting French Polynesia) and already it has changed my life and my bank balance:)
Doing my research here ( THANK YOU ALL for your informative and encouraging posts that made me feel I too might be able to knot and create some personal pearl pieces) I made a few pearl purchases online, received my new stash of pearls ( tahitian and akoyas and freshwaters ) and all sorts of beading and wire wrapping tools and I am finally ready to come out in the open and bombard you with questions:)

My first learning project is a necklace of levander golden freshwater pearls from Wen ( AAAA 6,5-7mm) mixed with lava stone beads ( since I live on a tiny Sicilian island which is glamour&pearl - free I get only to wear casual pieces here and vulcanic beads are the way to go on a vulcanic island:) I used Beader's secret #30 pink thread and my knots are far from perfect but I would be happy with this necklace were it not for the lava stones' larger holes that even a double knot cannot stop... So my first question to you kind pearl guiders would be what can I do to keep the design and stop the beads from running through the knots... Second question is if I should have used Beadalon instead for security...

Thank you all, it is so exciting to feel like a little girl playing with pearls again and all thanks to you!!!

PS: I will try to post pictures, but my connection is very slow s it will take some time...


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I would find some metal or small gemstone beads that are bigger than the holes in the lava but the holes in them are similar to the size of the pearls. Use them on either side of each lava stone. Then when you knot at the pearl the bumper bead will keep your pearl from scratching.
Welcome eolian pearls! Your necklace is so unique and looks perfect with the sea there in the background! I'm going to flip that photo over for you...

eolian pearls photo.jpg
On the question of security, it's true that Beadalon (or any beading wire) wouldn't be worn down by the edges of the volcanic rock the way thread would be. Examine the necklace periodically and restring as needed, or restring with beading wire when you see a bit of fraying of the thread. Gemstone beads used as spacers could also wear the thread out; metal beads not so much but they could discolor the pearls as they tarnish.

Another spacer you can use to reduce the size of the hole, which could also offer some protection for the thread, is Beadalon silicone bumpers.
I use the 2mm size and find they look like a knot.

Thank you Pearl Dreams:) I will need that flipping help:)
Thank you for your advice lillie, maybe black spinel would work, I don't want to add more color, I guess need to order new beads, I only have labradorite and pyrite and hematite for my next projects...

Thank you Pearl Dreams, luckily Beadalon bumpers were a part of my first order and I don't need to wait three weeks before anything new arrives to the island...I will try it with these bumpers tomorrow and let you know how it goes.
So pretty, I love lava beads! Welcome! (My family is from the Milazzo area, caio!)

I've found that the size ratio of bumper to bead is pretty important. If the bumper is too large for the bead size, then it looks very obvious and you don't get as nice of a drape between beads.
Wow, how unique. It's lovely. The sea and white and sky blue paint looks so summery. Perfect foil for your necklace.
Welcome, Eolian Pearls! Your new necklace is delightful. I really like the suggestions of tiny bumpers or small black spinel bead spacers. How I wish I'd brought some of those black lava beads home from Sicily last year ... that and an orchard of lemon trees, which alas won't grow here in Pennsylvania's cold winter winds and snow, sigh.
Eolian Pearls,

You're off to a great start with such a pretty necklace! 3-1-3-1-3 and so on is a very attractive pattern, imo. Combining gem beads and pearls, even various sizes of pearls, can have differing hole sizes which presents a challenge. Most of the lava beads I have are quite smooth, and would not easily abrade thread. One can always run a sample thread through the bead and rub it against the edge to see if the thread snags. Working through challenges like these is part of the fun!

I find 2mm spacer beads to be a nice size with most designs, but have never used the silicone bumpers.
Thank you ladies, you are all so kind and welcoming!
MSC I am in Milazzo quite often, it is my port to get to the islands, however, I am not Sicilian not even Italian strangely enough I am a Slovakian who ended up falling in love with Sicily and not only:) and as been living here for the last 6 years. And yes Cathy, the lemon orchards are helping to keep me here:)
Thank you for all your suggestions, I will rework my necklace and let you know how it goes. Already ordered the spinel beads:)
Welcome ! I was going to also suggest the clear silicone bumpers - even high end jewellery will sometimes use them. The material you use for stringing will depend on the quality of the drill hole in the beads...some Lava are very rough and chipped..some might be quite smooth. If rough I would stick with a fine wire - 49 strand Stainless beading wire. ( the higher the number the more flexible the wire) . And Tornado crimps make an attractive patterned square that is easy to use - making sure your wires are straight and next to each other.

Best of luck and waiting for the new photos !!
IMG_2617.jpgToday a hot and lazy day, no restringing, I did check the lava beads though and they are quite smooth so I will stick with Beader's seccret which is truly a wonder!!! Thank you all for your comments and suggestions!

I was playing with my other new pearls, tiny keshis from Druzy design that I bought because I really loved the color of a few green-blue pearls and then was blown away by all the other ones:) All together they are so shiny and colorful and I love them with this Pearlescence Thaitian enhancer so much!!! I don't think I will need to knot them - they are so tiny...what do you think? Sorry in advance for the unflipped pictures, is it my Ipad? I never see the picture when I am posting it so I can't correct it...
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a neck shot with silver grey studs also from WendyIMG_2448.jpg


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OMG! That enhancer from Pearlescence is gorgeous! Love the earrings too and all so beautiful with the keshi! With tiny keshi or pearls, they usually lay more nicely if unknotted. You may want to finish by knotting back through near the clasp, but check first to be sure the thread will fit. A doubled size #30 thread has a break strength of 24.5 lbs.

LOVE pearls and denim!