Look what I found: it's in the October '08 issue of Bead and Button magazine. How to make your own crimp beads. You understand why that is so exciting, don't you? It means you can bead into the wee hours of the night and not worry about having crimp beads. You can make your own.
It's all thanks to Melody McDuffee's work with the Krobo people of Ghana, West Africa, in the Soul of Somanya project. You'll find the instructions in Bead and Button, October 2008 edition: Wirework - Quick Crimps.
I've tried her method: it's easy AND it works. And all you need is wire, a hammer, chain nose pliers. That's it, that's all, that's everything.
The article that accompanies the technique is interesting: offering a skill and a market, the Krobo people of Ghana are becoming self-supporting.
If you give a fish to a starving man, he will eat 1 meal: but, if you teach a starving man how to catch the fish, he and his family will eat for a lifetime. Well, the same principle applies to the Krobo bead makers: they are learning a trade that will sustain themselves and their families for a lifetime.