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California Jade

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These turn out pretty well if you do it right.

The How-to Process

     If you happen to be in or near Monterey, you should go to a store called Let It Bead on Cannery Row.   Let It Bead is on the second floor of the white building between Bubba Gump's and Fish Hopper.   A set of clasps and a yard of leather can be bought here for under $2.00.

     Size will play major part in how you choose your necklace pieces, because you don't want the piece to be too big.  Average sizes will be about the size of a quarter or half-dollar.  Some larger pieces can be used if they are a certain shape, like the one I am wearing now: it's about 2 inches long at its base and it narrows as it nears the top.
     Make sure your pieces are thin, too.  1/4 of an inch is the optimal thickness.  They can be thinner, but not much thicker. 
     Drilling the holes...The hole shouldn't be more than 4.5mm (about the size of a copper BB) in diameter.  The bridge--the small isthmus around the top of the hole that the leather hangs on to--can safely be about 1/8 of an inch thick.
     You can drill 2 holes side-by-side too: here the bridge can be about 1/4 of an inch thick but the space between the 2 holes shouldn't be more than 1/8".  This is harder to do, so to see it isn't a normal sight.
     Adding the jade: bend and crease the leather strap in half, then insert the crease through the hole in the jade.  Open the loop and slide the rest of the leather through and tighten.  Each strap should be about 20-24 inches long.
     Tying it off: I prefer to use cheap screw clasps like those found on surfer shell necklaces, but you can take each strand and tie a pretzel knot around the opposite strand, creating a kind of slip knot that can be loosened or tightened.

Cutting & Carving