Jewelry Therapy: The Art of Beading with One Hand

by Terri Jacoby.

Bracelet by Terri Jacoby.

Bracelet by Terri Jacoby.

Jewelry artist Terri Jacoby shares how beading became part of her road to recovery:

Early in 1998, I was in a horrific car accident.

I had lost the use of my limbs by an “incomplete spinal cord damage”.

Turquoise Dusterearrings by Terri Jacoby.

Turquoise Duster
earrings by Terri Jacoby.

Many months went by, and while I was in rehab, I slowly gained back my legs and the use of just one hand.

But I was housebound, as my husband had to work, and I couldn’t drive anymore. I needed a hobby.

Well, one day we went by a bead store – and I was immediately hooked.

At first all I could make were simple stick earrings, but still I was proud of them.

Later I started making a little more intricate pieces, but it was the satisfaction that hooked me – it was satisfying that I could do something.

I just want to tell anyone who is housebound: Try beading. There is no greater satisfaction in the world than to hear the words,

“You Made That?”

Plus it keeps your mind occupied so you don’t dwell on your problems.

Thank you, and God bless.

Terri Jacoby’s jewelry line is created with the use of only one hand, making her products truly unique and her labor much more intensive.

Information contained in this website should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. No products mentioned in this post have been tested or endorsed by Rena Klingenberg.

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  • Nickie Braun says:

    How made beading with one hand. Do u can one hand .

  • Liz says:

    I am very interested to know how u managed beading with one hand
    I did beading as a hobby and have since had a stroke which has left me paralysed in my left side and I have had to resort to just glueing bead projects like glueing cabochons onto bezels or bails
    It is starting to get very frustrating that I can’t do what I used to with two good hands
    I have purchased quite a number of different tools and supplies to give it a go but have had no success except the glueing

    Best regards
    Liz Allvar

  • Dianne Thomas says:

    I’m also interested in any instruction or advice you can offer. Although I didn’t lose full use of my hand, I crushed a nerve in my wrist that has left my thumb and first two fingers with limited usage. I can’t pick up beads or do fine work with my left hand, I even have trouble holding the pliers to open/close jump rings. Fortunately, I am right-handed but I find it very hard and frustrating to try and make things without being able to use both hands. It’s also depressing; jewelry-making is what makes me happy.

    Thank you,

    Dianne Thomas

  • Hi Dianne, have you seen this post here at JMJ –
    Tools for a Person with Difficulty Using Hand .
    If you scroll through all the comments below the main post there, you’ll see several tools, tips, and suggestions for jewelry artists who don’t have full use of two hands.
    I hope this helps – please let us know if any of the suggestions there are helpful to you! 🙂

  • Liz says:

    I used a cork board and pins
    Also pasta scene for holding my projects so I can then glue what I want
    Seems to work for me
    Good luck
    Don’t lose hope or ur getup and go to do ur passion

  • Sandi says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’m going to try this with my mom who also had a stroke. Liz, what is pasta scene?

  • Liz says:

    Hi sandi
    Sorry yeah I just read what I said and I couldn’t work out what pasta scene meant what I meant is plastaseen or blu tak but mostly the cork board works best

  • Liz Allvar says:

    Hello sandi
    I hope your mother and the rest of the family are coping with the changes from your mothers stroke
    Having had a stroke I understand how challenging life is now
    I have made up my own affirmation
    PPA be patient stay positive and accept things have changed
    When I feel lowly I quietly mantra my affirmation to myself
    If your mother would like to talk to a fellow stroke survivor I am only to willing to give you my email address.
    Hi Liz,

    Alicia here. I had to remove your email from your comment as posting contact info can bring floods of spam to your inbox.

    Setting up a Gravatar is the easiest way to leave contact info in comment threads.

  • Connie B Thomas says:

    check out the helping hands device from Hobby Creek. It’s how I, a beading addict, survived six weeks in a sling.

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