Pearl Knotting ... Warren's Way

In this class, I teach a non-traditional pearl knotting technique which is

  • Very easy for people to learn and do,
  • Does not use special tools,
  • Includes step-by-step instructions for a simple way to tie knots,
  • Shows clearly how to attach your clasp and finish off your cords, and
  • Achieves that architectural perfection we want in our pearl strung pieces, 

A pearl knotted necklace is



Architecturally perfect.

Steeped in centuries' old traditions.

Yet how best to make a pearl knotted necklace is constantly debated. What are the preferred and correct techniques for tying knots? Or, attaching the clasp? Or, finishing off the cord ends?

There are many, many variations in technique. They all work. Yet most are very difficult for the beginner -- especially those traditional techniques which rely on tools for making and positioning the knots.

Over the years, in fact, I have seen many students give up, frustrated. They try to follow a more traditional pearl knotting technique, and find that they cannot tie the knots. Cannot make good knots, Or cannot get the knots close enough to the beads.

And students find that they are often left out in the dark about how to attach the clasp. Most books and online tutorials go into great detail about hand-knotting, but skip over or give very little information about how best to attach your piece to the clasp.

Over the years, I have seen how students, when following traditional pearl knotting methods, or methods which utilize some more traditional techniques and approaches, become dissatisfied with their results, and give up. Pearl knotting doesn't need to be this hard.

After many, many years, enduring many concerns, debates, demonstrations and arguments about which way is best, I came up with my own preferences – using ideas, goals and parts of techniques from several established methods, adjusting them, based on my experiences with students and teachers and my knowledge of good design, and how to balance artistic concerns with functional ones,

And I began teaching pearl knotting – using these ideas and techniques in a way which I will call “Warren’s Way”.

In this video tutorial series, I will be covering several topics:

(1) some information about pearls

(2) about hand-knotting

(3) the differences between traditional and non-traditional pearl knotting methods, in terms of the kinds of choices which need to be made

(4) step-by-step instructions for the basic pearl knotting technique, beginning with discussion how to select and test for size of bead cord.

(5) step-by-step instructions for four variations in the basic non-traditional pearl knotting technique:

(5a) variation #1: attaching directly to the clasp

(5b) variation #2: using french wire bullion

(5c) variation #3: using clam shell bead tips

(5d) variation #4: making a continuous necklace without a clasp

(6) how to handle different contingencies, including what happens when you run out of cord and need to add more

(7) caring for your pearls

(8) a note about re-stringing pearls

(9) some final words of advice

There are downloadable handouts which come with this video.





Example Curriculum

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  PART 3: VARIATION #1: Attaching Directly To The Clasp
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  PART 4: VARIATION #2: French Wire Bullion; VARIATION #3: Clam Shell Bead Tips
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  PART 5: VARIATION #4: Continuous Without Clasp
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  Detailed Course Notes (downloadable .pdf files)
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Warren Feld, Jewelry Designer

Hi, I'm Warren Feld

Over the years, I have found that people who bead and make jewelry have not necessarily learned how to make the best choices, when it comes to deciding what beads, clasps, other findings and stringing materials to include, and what not to include, in a piece. Typically, they have learned by following patterns in magazines, books or online, taking classes following step-by-step instructions, or purchasing kits. Here, all the choices have been made for them.

So, they have not learned what materials go together, and which do not. What techniques work well when, and which do not. How to buy something, and not. How to make smart, clear, workable choices about things which enhance appeal, things which enhance functionality, and the necessary trade-offs we need to make when trying to achieve both goals.  They have an incomplete understanding of the creative marketplace, as they try to sell the pieces they make.

As a result, most jewelry makers all too often do not understand the intricacy of quality issues. They have not picked up enough information in the course of their learning, their doing, and their selling. Many people are uninformed about workable materials and strategies to make their pieces more durable, more drape-able, appropriately finished, and better able to move with the person, as the jewelry is worn over time.

I created these series of Video Tutorials so that you may learn the special insights about jewelry making, jewelry designing, and the business of craft. I want my students to learn what questions to ask about the materials and techniques they are using, about introducing their pieces in the creative marketplace, and to recognize the implications and consequences for they various answers they find. 

-- Warren Feld, Jewelry Designer

Basics of Bead Stringing and Attaching Clasps
Basics of Bead Stringing and Attaching Clasps


Learning bead stringing is more than putting beads on a string and tying on a clasp.

Successful designers need to bring a lot of knowledge to bear, when creating a successful piece of jewelry -- one which is appealing, functional, satisfying to the client, and durable.

Jewelry designers have to know some things about:

  • Materials
  • Techniques
  • Some architecture and physical mechanics
  • Some sociology and anthropology and psychology
  • Even some things about party planning

In my explanations about bead stringing and the various stringing techniques in how jewelry is made, I reference all these things. It is important that you will have more insights and understandings about bead stringing and jewelry design.

I discuss how to...

  • Choose stringing materials and the pros and cons of each type
  • Choose clasps, and the pros and cons of different clasps
  • Make architectural considerations when creating a clasp assembly
  • Set up your workspace
  • Select tools, materials, adhesives and other supplies you will want to have on hand
  • Organize the overall design process
  • Use the different types of jewelry findings
  • Crimp the way better designers do
  • Use needle and thread for stringing
  • Use elastic string the correct way to make stretchy bracelets
  • Make simple and coiled wire loops
  • Attach end pieces to thicker cords
  • Make simple and fancy slip knots
  • Make a silk wrap
  • Make eyeglass leashes, mask chains, lariats, multi-strand pieces, and twist multi-strand pieces, and memory wire pieces

Orientation To Beads & Jewelry Findings
Orientation to Beads & Jewelry Findings

This ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS Series is presented from what is called the Art & Design Perspective. The focus is on teaching you how to make smart choices when creating jewelry.

These tutorials are not only a presentation of facts and information. They are also an introduction to ideas about design. For the novice, they are a tale of how one begins to learn and to work with beads and make jewelry. And for the experienced jewelry maker, they are a great refresher, presenting a lot of often-randomly-learned concepts in a developmental, cohesive order.

This Series of 18 modules, most around 20 minutes, and totaling a full 5 1/2 hours of introductory materials about all kinds of beads, metals, clasps and stringing materials for the beader and jewelry maker.

So You Want To Do Craft Shows...
So You Want To Do Craft Shows...


It is very important for anyone thinking about selling at craft shows, festivals, bazaars, markets, or similar settings, to be smart about it.

That means understanding everything involved, from finding them, applying to them, knowing what inventory to make and take, setting up, promoting, and managing.

And, asking the right questions.

I developed this online tutorial to help prepare you for doing this kind of craft show homework.