Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hanging from a Hinge

After making all of the hinges in the hollow form bracelet, I started thinking about other ways to use hinges in my designs. I've seen hinges used in many types of jewelry, but never used them because it seemed too difficult to execute. What I like about the hinge is its functionality and sophistication. My next two pendants are designed with a bail that connects to the main setting with a hinge.

Modern Turquoise Pendant

The bail is created in the same manner as the hollow form bracelet in my 'Summer Bliss' post. A rectangular form is created with holes for a chain and a tube for the hinge. The setting for the turquoise is made using a roller printed silver sheet used face up so that texture is visible around the base of the bezel. The bezel and tube for the hinge are soldered in place. The pieces are pre-polished, riveted together, then set with a turquoise cabochon. I like the seamless transition from the bail to the setting with the hinge element.

Rose Labyrinth

The next pendant includes a hinge with a cast eucalyptus pod and a pink moss agate cabochon. I fabricated a half-moon shape for the bail from a 1/8" strip of metal that spans the diameter of the back of the pod. The opening is large enough to accommodate a thick chain. The bronze pod is embellished with a bezel set rhodolite garnet and a soldered tube for the hinge.

The setting for the agate is textured around the perimeter and on the bezel. The stamped and hammered metal has a rich look and complements the organic texture of the eucalyptus pod. The parts are pre-polished, then riveted together. Once the stones are set, the piece is given a final polish.

I really love the hinges in my new pendants. They were easy to make and give me another design option to create movement and flexibility. This is especially helpful when the pendant is on the large side. Before using hinges, my options would have been to solder the parts together (a large piece would be stiff) or connect them with jump rings.

I say thumbs up for hinges!

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