Tuesday, 18 March 2014

An Alternative To Jump Rings And Some New Enamel Pendants



Until recently I've always used jump rings to attach my enamel pendants to a chain. Enamel is great but some of the methods of attaching things to other things commonly used in jewellery, in other words cold connections and soldering can be a bit tricky when combined with it. It is possible to solder and rivet enamel pieces but not without some difficulty. So....I just used handmade jump rings and always felt vaguely dissatisfied with the final look.

Then I realized I could use my wirework experience and make my own bails! Why has it taken me so long to think of this? Who knows! I must have been thinking of "other things" (that means chocolate).
I made some new pendants last week, two with pierced out detail and finished them with a cold connected wire bail. 




Very simple in design - a length of 16g/1.2mm sterling round wire hammered at both ends and a hole drilled in the centre of the flattened areas. Tidy up the ends and bend into a loop then squeeze the ends gently so they sit close to the pendant on either side. Line up the holes then thread a balled up piece of 22g/0.6mm wire through and wrap around the loop to secure then trim and gently squeeze in the end. Oxidize and polish. Ta Dah! 




I think the bail makes the pendant look much more "finished" and is a vast improvement to a jump ring. You could also use this method to connect a smaller enamel piece to a large silver piece too. I'm also thinking that a small silver disc or decorative silver spacer would look nice sat between the ball and the front of the loop.
I'm just going to have to make some more enamel pendants and try!

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18 comments:

  1. Fantastic bail! I love simple.

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  2. Looks pretty awesome. Good work!

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  3. Beautiful. This is jewelry I would wear every.single.day.. It just looks so beautiful, gorgeous and yet whimsy with a dash of elegance. I have no idea if that makes sense. It's so so beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Andrea, yes it does make sense to me anyway!

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  4. These bails are awesome! They have a great industrial look. Your enameled pendants are beautiful. Chocolate over powers my brain from time to time too. :)

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  5. Creative and clever alternative to the jump ring! I've been thinking about using something on my enamel pieces besides a jump ring and this is a definite winner!

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    1. Thanks Susan! Sometimes the jump ring just isn't enough :D

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  6. Thanks for sharing...you do great work...pieces are very pretty!

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  7. What a lovely alternative to jump rings! I've been searching the web to see if it's possible to solder jump rings closed onto a pendant which has been enamelled! how do you go around this? I thought the heat of the torch would spoil the enamel? This is a great idea though, they look lovely!

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    1. You could try soldering the jump ring to the copper first using IT solder then enamelling over the top. I've never tried this though. You can't solder anything directly onto the enamel as the solder wouldn't flow and the enamel will burn.
      I have seen some people set a jump ring near the edge of a piece and enamel over it to hold it in place but there's the risk any movement in the jump ring may crack the enamel.
      The joys of enamelling!

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