Bridging Links: Combining Beads and Watercolor Paper Shapes into Unit Form Constructions


The necklace shown here is an example of a “Unit Form” watercolor paper necklace in which the individual unit forms are linked together using a bridging link. Both end loops of the bridging link are locked closed with tightly wrapped coils.  This type of linking mechanism is very secure and results in a necklace with great flexibility.

I refer to this type of necklace as a “Unit Form” necklace because it is composed of identical, repeated shapes.


Closed bridging link

The bridging link is made from 20 gauge, sterling silver wire, and both ends are resolved with coils that tie the loop closed. The bridging links are formed from lengths of wire measuring 3.5″ / 8.9 cm.

Open bridging link

Example of a bridging link with a jump ring style loop

This type of bridging link (right) with unlocked loops can also be used, but I prefer the coil locked loop (above) to the jump ring style loop because the locked loops are 100% secure.

They will not accidentally open.

First create a locked-end loop

First step: creating a locked-end loop

In the necklace illustrated at the top of this page,  the bridging link serves two purposes:

  1. It unites the rice paper beads with the circular watercolor paper forms
  2. It attaches these assemblages together to form the necklace.

To attach the bridging link to the rice paper beads and unit form, first create a locked end loop as illustrated in the example above.


Then slide the watercolor paper unit form and the rice paper bead onto the partially formed bridging link.

Completing the unit form assemblage

Completing the unit form assemblage

Complete the “unit form” assemblage of (1) wire, (2) circular paper form and (3) rice paper bead by wrapping the remaining straight end of wire into a coil locked loop.

Preparing to attach the next assemblage

Preparing to attach the next assemblage

To attach the next assemblage of wire and paper, the first step is to form a locked coil on one end of a pre-cut length of wire. Then, position the unit form and rice paper bead onto the unfinished bridging link and form the end loop.




Sliding the open loop onto a completed loop

Sliding the open loop into a completed loop

After the remaining loop has been formed, but not locked in place with a coil, slide the open loop onto the loop of the completed  assemblage, then lock it in place by coiling the wire’s end around the shaft of  the bridging link.

Connected unit form assemblages



Above is a sterling silver wire construction with beads. This is another example that employs the bridging link with the coil locked loop.

Both necklaces seen in this post will be available as detailed video demonstrations during this summer.

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More videos you might like:

     The Greek Link Necklace   
     The S- Link Necklace with Beads   


     Arc w/Rice Paper Cylinder Earrings
     Making Rice Paper Earrings

 The jewelry objects that you see created in the videos and websites are original designs by Ross Barbera. These designs may be copied for your personal use only, and may not be offered for sale or exhibition without written permission from Ross Barbera.

©2013 Ross Barbera Realisticart, Inc.




This entry was posted in Basic watercolor jewelry construction, Beads, Link necklaces, Necklaces, Other Paper Solutions, Rice Paper Jewelry, Watercolor jewelry, Wire and Watercolor Paper Jewelry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bridging Links: Combining Beads and Watercolor Paper Shapes into Unit Form Constructions

  1. CHANTAL says:

    thanks for sharing this new idea waiting for how to make it ,not easy for me to get the rice paper I will try to order in N Y C


    • Ross Barbera says:

      Hi Chantal,
      You’re welcome! I’m going to look into other possibilities for rice paper as well. Thanks for your comment!


  2. Michelle says:

    Your talent and generosity of spirit in sharing your ideas and designs absolutely blow me away!! I literally froth at the mouth every time I see an email from you in my inbox!! Thanks, thanks and thanks again! God Bless you always, Michelle

    • Ross Barbera says:

      Hi Michelle,

      So glad you find these projects useful – this is what makes what I do worthwhile! Thanks so much for your kind feedback!

      -Ross Barbera

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